A suspicious object was found outside the New Synagogue in central Berlin on Monday afternoon. Police were called to the scene by a pedestrian who observed a man leaving the object near the building, German media reported.
The passerby said the man was on a bicycle, and left the object in a culvert near the building, sources said. Police were still investigating the object, and no injuries or damage have been reported.
Eighteen months ago, the chief rabbi of the eastern German state of Brandenburg, Rabbi Shaul Nekrich, said in an interview with the Berliner Zeitung newspaper that Jews in his community were being warned not to wear visible symbols of their Judaism in order to stay safe.
Nekrich was clear in his remarks that the state had a problem with anti-Semitism, although he made it equally clear there was little point in trying to appeal for help to state government officials, because “it makes no sense.” It simply was not possible for police to protect Jewish individuals, Nekrich said.
A spokeswoman for the German Culture Ministry claimed that a study in 2009 showed that anti-Semitic tendencies in Brandenburg were the lowest of any German state. Statistics quoted from the German State Office of Criminal Investigation showed 109 anti-Semitic crimes were committed in Brandenburg in 2009.