German Riot Police
German Riot Police Retuers

A new poll shows a shocking level of anti-Semitism among Germans. According to the poll, taken by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (associated with the SPD, the Social Democratic Party of Germany), 15.8% of German residents in the former East German part of the country identify themselves with the fascistic far right, and subscribe to its beliefs, including hatred of Jews.

That high level of anti-Semitism in eastern Germany is enough to taint the entire country as anti-Semitic; one out of every eleven Germans hates Jews, the poll showed.

Approximately 7.6% of Germans residing in the western part of the country identify with the far right. That was up slightly since the last poll two years ago, when the figure in western Germany was 7.3%, In eastern Germany, the figure on anti-Semitism two years ago was 10.5%.

Anti-immigrant stances were marked among those identifying with the far right, as over a quarter of those polled said that they wanted to rid Germany of foreign workers. Here, too, there were significant differences between the west – where 20% of those polled admitted to hating foreigners – and the east, where the number was nearly double.

Perhaps most worrying, the Foundation said, is that Germans age 14-30 seemed to prefer a strong dictatorship to the current democracy in the country. The desire for a dictatorship fell dramatically after age 30, with the least number supporting it around the age of 60.

Oliver Dekker, one of the designers of the poll, said that the difficult economic problems in eastern Germany probably contributed to the poll's results, and to the feeling among many that they need a strong leader to set things right.