A Syrian migrant living in Germany faces a Berlin court Tuesday for attacking with a belt two men wearing kippa skullcaps in an assault that stoked fears of resurgent anti-Semitism.

A video of the attack, filmed by one of the victims on his smartphone, sparked widespread public revulsion as it spread on social media.

The defendant, a 19-year-old migrant from Syria, is charged with dangerous assault and hate speech in the trial that was to hear eight witnesses and could reach a verdict the same day.

The footage of the April 17 assault shows the attacker, one of a group of three, shouting "yahudi", Jew in Arabic, before lashing out at the two men, leaving one injured.

The Bild daily identified the belt attacker as Knaan S., who was registered at a refugee home in Brandenburg state outside Berlin but went on to live "out of a suitcase" in the capital.

The victim who shot the video, a 21-year-old student, later revealed that he is not Jewish but an Israeli Arab called Adam, who was walking at the time with a German-Moroccan friend aged 24.

Adam told public broadcaster Deutsche Welle that they had wanted to test whether wearing a kippa was safe in the fashionable inner Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg.

He said he had uploaded the video "for the police, the German people and the world to see how terrible it is these days to walk through Berlin streets as a Jew".