Berlin, Germany
Berlin, GermanyiStock

A new poll by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) of the general and Muslim populations in Germany found that both groups recognize that increasing antisemitism is a widespread problem in Germany.

The survey found that both populations have similar views on the issue, even though anti-Jewish attitudes are more common among Germany’s Muslim population.

When queried about antisemitism, 60 percent of the general population agreed it was a widespread problem in Germany, with 64 percent agreeing the problem has increased over the past 10 years. Nearly three quarters of respondents agreed that it was a problem affecting all of society, while only 8 percent said it was a problem only for Jews.

Among Muslims, who make up five percent of German society, 53 percent said antisemitism was a widespread problem, with just over half agreeing it has increased over the past 10 years. Two-thirds of Muslims viewed antisemitism as a problem for all of German society, while 14 percent saw it as a problem only for Jews.

Thirty-one percent of the German general population and 28 percent of the Muslim population said antisemitism was not discussed enough, with slightly over half of each population saying it was sufficiently discussed.

When asked if they considered commemoration of the Holocaust essential, 48 percent of the general population and 39 percent of the Muslim population agreed, with 43 and 40 percent saying it was important but not essential.

When asked about former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2008 statement that Israel’s security is in Germany’s national interest, 48 percent of the general population agreed while 31 percent of the Muslim population agreed.

“Antisemitism in Germany: A Representative Survey of the German Population and Muslims Living in Germany” was AJC’s first survey of German Muslim attitudes toward Jews.

The AJC survey came after the German government announced there were 3,028 antisemitic hate crimes in 2021, the highest number on record since the police began keeping track of incidents in 2001.

“We are encouraged that majorities of Germany’s overall and Muslim populations recognize the extent of antisemitism in their country,” AJC Berlin Director Remko Leemhuis said. “Our surveys also illustrate how deeply rooted antisemitism is in all sectors of society. Leaders of political parties should not weaponize antisemitism for political goals.”