According to the public prosecutor’s office, the number of anti-Semitic crimes in Berlin has reached a new high.

In 2022, 691 cases were registered with the public prosecutor, said Berlin anti-Semitism officer Florian Hengst of the German Press Agency. “Unfortunately, the steady increase has continued and we are recording a really significant increase,” says Hengst. The Attorney General’s Office had already recorded a continuous increase in the number of cases in previous years. In 2021 the number was 661, the year before there were 417 procedures, in 2019 there were 386.

“Anti-Semitism occurs in everyday life and is deeply rooted in parts of society,” said Hengst. There is a tendency to underpin anti-Semitism with conspiracy narratives. A typical scheme is to make Jews “maliciously” responsible for things with which they have nothing to do.

Comparisons between Corona and Holocaust

In connection with the corona pandemic, unspeakable comparisons were made between state measures to contain Jews and the systematic extermination of Jews under the Nazis. As examples, the lawyer cited the use of yellow stars with the inscription “Unvaccinated” or the phrase “Vaccinate sets you free,” which is based on the inscription on the entrance gate of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

“The public prosecutor’s office is pursuing this consistently,” emphasized Hengst. There are several final convictions for incitement to hatred in Berlin. However, the case law of the district court and the regional court is not uniform.

According to Hengst, false information in connection with the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has also increased anti-Semitism. Or National Socialism is being instrumentalised in a “frightening way”. Irrespective of this, Jews encounter hate and agitation in everyday life – on the street or in social media.