Report: Berlin sees pandemic spike in anti-Semitic attacks

Anti-Semitism commissioner admits that German capital "has an anti-Semitism problem."

Dan Verbin ,


During 2020, over 1,000 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded in Berlin, an alarming 20 percent increase over the previous year, according to a new study released on Monday. The figure amounts to approximately three anti-Semitic attacks per day in the German capital.

The report by RIAS, which is a Berlin-based anti-Semitic watchdog group, revealed that nearly one in five anti-Semitic attacks during 2020 was related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Incidents frequently occurred during anti-social distancing demonstrations through the dissemination of anti-Semitic “myths and conspiracy theories” as well as “perpetrator-victim reversals and Holocaust trivializations.”

The study also reported 123 incidents of anti-Semitic pamphlets, 51 incidents of threats, and 43 incidents of vandalism.

Seventeen of the attacks involved physical assault, half the number of 2019. This was likely due to social distancing.

“One thing is clear: Berlin has an anti-Semitism problem,” said Samuel Salzborn, Berlin's anti-Semitism commissioner, according to German media.