People strolling in downtown Essen, Germany. ( People strolling in downtown Essen, Germany. (
Essen, Germany


As the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II approaches, 42% of Germans have had enough of feeling responsible for the Holocaust. This, as anti-Semitism in Germany is on the rise.

Nearly half of Germans want to move on from the Holocaust, despite the prevalence of anti-Semitism in their country. A poll by German’s Forsa Institute for Social Research and Statistical Analysis found that 42% of respondents believe too much attention is still being given to the Holocaust.

Forsa released its poll to coincide with the annual gathering of Bergen-Belsen survivors on the anniversary of their liberation from the concentration camp. As the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in May approaches, German media have been producing new documentaries and articles about the war, including the Holocaust.

“There is a certain feeling that a lot is being shown about the past, about the horrors of it all, the liberation of Auschwitz and so on. It goes in the direction of people being swamped by it,” Forsa head Manfried Guellner told Reuters.

Despite this boredom of the topic and an increasing tendency among Germans to perceive themselves as victims of Hitler’s totalitarian regime, 16% of poll respondents were eager to see their country play a leading role internationally.

Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Germany, despite Chancellor Andrea Merkel‘s insistence that “anyone who hits someone wearing a skullcap is hitting us all. Anyone who damages a Jewish gravestone is disgracing our culture. Anyone who attacks a synagogue is attacking the foundations of our free society.”

During Operation Protective Edge, demonstrators yelled anti-Semitic slogans, such as “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.” A survey last September by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation showed that 18% of Germans held Jews responsible for their own persecution and 27% broadly or fully agreed that Israel treats the Palestinians the same way that the Nazis treated the Jews during the Holocaust.

In 2013, a study by the Technical University of Berlin analyzed the 14,000 hate-mail letters, e-mails and faxes sent to the Israeli embassy over the previous 10 years. The study found that 60% were written by educated, middle-class Germans, including professors and lawyers. Most included their real names and addresses.

By Sara Abramowicz, United with Israel

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