Berlin
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Antisemitic incidents continue to increase at a worrying rate in Berlin, with law enforcement sounding the alarm.

The Attorney General’s office reported 328 cases related to antisemitism in the first six months of 2022, and 319 total cases in the first half of 2021, Suddeutsche Zeitung reported.

“This is a preliminary picture. But it shows a very clear tendency, according to which the number of cases continues to be very high” the antisemitism officer at the Attorney General’s Office, Florian Hengst, said, according to the German Press Agency.

The number of cases has continued to increase over the last few years, with 661 cases in 2021 compared to 417 the year before and 386 in 2019.

“This shows how deeply rooted antisemitism is apparently in our society. It is all the more important that we counter antisemitism with all severity,” said Hengst. “It is all the more important that the police and the public prosecutor’s office are in close contact and that we vigorously pursue antisemitic crimes.”

Hengst said that his goal was go strengthen relations with the Jewish community in order to create more trust.

“The police and prosecutors are very willing to prosecute antisemitic crimes,” he said. “However, many crimes are not reported.”

He listed two common reasons: that victims of antisemitism believe the report will not make a difference and that they are worried that the perpetrator could find out they were reported.

But he encouraged reporting of incidents so that antisemitic crimes are taken seriously.

“If investigations have to be stopped, the background should be explained in a comprehensible and understandable manner in the notification,” he said. “It could be helpful, for example, to explain that the public prosecutor’s office also assumes that the act was motivated by antisemitism, in order to make it clear to those affected that what they have experienced and perceived is taken seriously.”