09:14 GMT23 January 2021
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    The past year has reportedly seen a further increase in anti-Semitic incidents in Germany, leaving some elements of the Jewish community concerned about expressing their faith in public.

    Felix Klein, the German government's top official against anti-Semitism, has urged Jews not to wear kippahs in some parts of the country.

    The Funke media group cited Klein as saying that “my opinion has unfortunately changed compared with what it used to be” on the issue.

    “I cannot recommend to Jews that they wear the skullcap at all times everywhere in Germany”, he said, without elaborating on what places and times might be risky.

    READ MORE: Suspect From Anti-Semitic Video Which Stirred Germany Gives Himself Up to Police

    His remarks come after Josef Schuster, the head of Germany's Central Council of Jews, told the Radioeins broadcaster  in April 2018 that he advises individuals “against showing themselves openly with a kippah in a big-city setting in Germany, and wear a baseball cap or something else to cover their head instead”.

    Schuster made the remarks after two men wearing Jewish skullcaps were insulted and attacked by three people in Berlin earlier that month, with one of them identified by police as a 19-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker.

    In 2018, at least 1,083 anti-Semitic incidents took place in Germany, which is 14 percent more than the previous year, according to the non-governmental research and information centre anti-Semitism in Berlin (Rias).

    READ MORE: 'No Jews in Germany': Police Mistakenly Beat Victim of Anti-Semitic Assault

    Rias project manager Benjamin Steinitz noted that anti-Semitism is taking “threatening forms” and becoming blatant. The number of anti-Semitic attacks increased from 18 to 46 and the number of threats increased from 26 to 46.

    However, the number of unreported anti-Semitic cases may be higher, Rias claimed, adding that most such incidents do not constitute a criminal offence but are still traumatic for their targets.


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