In their recent documentary, Germans and Jews, filmmakers Tal Recanati and Junina Quint, portray Germany as having reached a nuanced reconciliation with its Nazi past by breaking the silence about it and facing it head-on. Yet, several recent surveys of German attitudes toward Jews and the Jewish homeland reveal the persistence of strong, anti-Semitic attitudes that belie the filmmakers’ conclusions.
Indeed, Germany may actually be stoking anti-Semitism with its official policy of acceptance and open-mindedness toward Muslim immigrants, even to the point of allowing them expression of hatred toward Jews. One of Germany’s major trade partners is Iran, hostile to Israel since the first Gulf War, and Germany continues to blame Israeli settlements for Middle East unrest. Thus, Germany’s policy of acceptance and tolerance toward Muslims may actually mask an underlying anti-Semitism that stubbornly remains despite the passage of time.
In 2011, a survey by the Freidrich Ebert Foundation, Intolerance, Prejudice and Discrimination, found that 49% of German respondents agreed with the statement that Jews were trying to take advantage of their people’s suffering during the Holocaust. Another 20% of Germans agreed that Jews have too much influence in their country, 30% agreed, “Jews don’t care about anything or anyone but their own kind.”
A 2015 study by the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence from the University of Bielefeld found that 49% of Germans don’t want to hear anything about the Holocaust, 55% are angry that Germans are still accused of crimes against Jews, 28% responded that they can understand why people don’t like Jews considering Israel’s policies, and 27% say that Israeli policy toward Arab-Palestinians is not different from what the Nazis did to the Jews during the Third Reich.
The deep resentment and demonization of Jews revealed in surveys are not indicative of a guilt-wracked...people anxious to rise above the atrocities of the Nazi generation. Clearly, large percentages of Germans still harbor harsh, anti-Jewish sentiments.
In 2012, an Anti-Defamation League survey of Attitudes Toward Jews in 10 European Countries discovered the following about German respondents: 24% felt that Jews have too much power in international financial markets, 43% agreed that Jews talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust, 14% believe that Jews are responsible for the death of Christ, and 77% believed the government was doing enough to ensure the safety and security of its Jewish citizens.
The deep resentment and demonization of Jews revealed in the surveys are not indicative of a guilt-wracked, tortured people anxious to rise above the atrocities of the Nazi generation. Clearly, large percentages of Germans still harbor harsh, anti-Jewish sentiments.
By contrast, Germans seem to apply the values of multiculturalism, diversity and tolerance to Muslims, bypassing Jews entirely. Germany today houses Europe’s largest Muslim population, with the influx of Muslim refugees comprising almost 6% of the total population. It leads the way as Europe becomes an increasingly multicultural and Islamic continent. Yet, far from experiencing great anguish about dramatic increases in anti-Semitism that rose during the Holocaust, Germany appears indifferent toward the impact of Muslim interlopers on its Jewish population.
Paradoxically, Germany has accepted this wave of Muslim “refugees,” many of whom vacation in their war-torn homelands, while, the Third Reich persecuted Germany’s Jewish citizens, who, by and large, were productive members of society contributing substantially to the economy and culture of the state. While Jews fled to avoid death camps and had few places to go during Nazi persecution, Muslims are welcomed in Europe. Although more than 33 Muslim countries exist that could choose to accommodate Muslim refugees, five of the wealthiest – Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain – are unwilling to accept a single refugee.
During the Weimar Republic (1918-1933) which preceded the Third Reich, Jews, who were barred from certain professions, were disproportionately represented in law, medicine, journalism and retailing. They were active in creative pursuits, business, diplomacy and government. A Jew even drafted the Weimar Republic Constitution. At the time, five of the nine German recipients of the Nobel Prize were Jewish scientists. For the first time, German universities fully opened their faculties to Jewish scholars, including physicist Albert Einstein.
Although portrayed as “the enemy within,” a higher percentage of German Jews fought in World War I than any other ethnic group in Germany. Over 12,000 gave their lives for their country.
Despite their sacrifice in that war, Jews were targeted beginning in the 1920s with wide circulation of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a forgery that claimed that Jews conspired to take over the world.
Given the contributions of a predominantly upright Jewish citizenry and their benign, contributory, integral presence in Germany, it is remarkable to consider what followed, even more so as we view today’s efforts to accommodate Muslim “refugees” who decline to work and integrate into German society and insist on shariah law supremacy in lieu of German constitutional law. Further, Muslims in German have been linked to 69,000 crimes in the country in the first quarter of 2016!
Whether actively or passively, most Germans went along with the marginalization and demonization of Jews and the concomitant restrictive laws, ghettoization and, ultimately, the Final Solution. Desperate Jews facing deportation to Nazi death camps were not widely welcomed as refugees by other countries. Official German policy singled out Jews for ethnic cleansing to purify the Aryan race and made harboring and assisting Jews a crime punishable by death.
By comparison, today’s Muslims in Germany enjoy protections from persecution. Social media is reviewed for offensive statements against Muslims. Germans who openly object to the settlement of Muslim “refugees” are charged with incitement and hate speech, forced to pay fines and/or endure probation or suspended sentences. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has gone so far as to chastise her fellow countrymen about those “with hate in their hearts”… “who seek to marginalize others.” It is indeed striking to comprehend the gaping dissimilarities between official German policy toward its productive Jewish population during the Third Reich with the protections, generous entitlements and privileges afforded to today’s mostly parasitic Muslim refugee populations that refuse to become part of German society and are massively over-represented in every category of crime.
The official narrative, vastly different from the past party line about the Jews, is that the influx of Muslim refugees is having a positive, multi-cultural influence on Germany, that Islam is truly a religion of peace not represented by ISIS, and that random acts of terrorism have nothing to do with Islam. Evidence for this distorted, benign view is non-existent and stands in sharp contrast to the Third Reich view of evil Jews as “subhuman” creatures infiltrating Aryan society, inhuman and unworthy of life itself.
This apocryphal perspective is further buttressed by efforts by German authorities and the media to conceal the dramatic rise in rapes, assaults and murders perpetrated by Muslim migrants. Following the Cologne sexual attacks on New Year’s Eve during which 1,200 women were assaulted by groups of men described as Arab or North African, the North-Rhine Westphalia government ordered a cover-up to include the elimination of the word “rape” from police reports. Of the 2,000 men involved, the authorities identified only 120 and they were given suspended sentences of a year or less.
The German media takes great pains to obscure the religion, nationalities and motives of Muslim assailants and often refrains from reporting incidents altogether to avoid charges of racism or xenophobia. In 2013, in an extreme case of Germany’s so-called open-mindedness, the prestigious Ludwig-Borne literary prize was given to a philosopher who sympathized with Islamic terrorist organizations and equated the 9/11 attacks with the Holocaust, the Allied bombings of Nazi Germany and the atomic bombing of Japan.
Reminiscent of the Third Reich era, displays of Jewish hatred and agitating against Jews are in full bloom in today's Germany. Radical Islamic protestors are permitted to yell, “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas,” “Jewish s—t” and “Jew, Jew, cowardly swine, come out and fight on your own.” Yet those who call for the preservation of German culture, protest the massive influx of Muslim “refugees,” religious fanaticism and Islamic separatism and radicalism are shut down, depicted as Nazis, prosecuted for hate speech, fined and even jailed. Appallingly, it has been alleged that the German government is busing in counter-protest groups to create opposition to anti-immigrant rallies.
Lutz Bachmann, the founder of PEGIDA, the organization that opposes the Merkel migration policy that has brought more than 1 million “refugees” to Germany last year, was convicted of inciting racial hatred which constituted an "attack on the dignity" of refugees and fined close to $11,000. Quite a turnabout from a country that forced Jews out of their homes into ghettos, then death camps, encouraged its populace to turn them in and fomented Kristallnacht against Jewish businesses.
This past summer, the creators of a Facebook forum for AFB, an anti-refugee movement, were found guilty of hate speech for conducting online discussions about the migrant issue. A teenage girl who posted a video, in which she expressed her fears for her safety, had her FB page taken down.
It defies belief that a Germany that once prized its Aryan identity to the point of committing genocide has gone so far as to encourage its citizens to submit to Islam and shariah.
It defies belief that a Germany that once prized its Aryan identity to the point of committing genocide has gone so far as to encourage its citizens to submit to Islam and shariah. A current television ad asks Germans to "Enjoy difference, start tolerance" by wearing the "beautiful hijab.” Instead of requiring Muslims in Germany to adhere to cultural and social norms, parents have been warned not to let their daughters wear revealing clothing to avoid "misunderstandings" by Muslims who are thought unable to control themselves at the sight of a short skirt or bikini and will harass the girls. Islamic education has even been introduced into German schools. Seven out of Germany’s sixteen federal states now offer some form of Islamic religious education.
The pundits who claim “Holocaust guilt” as the driving force behind the present day pandering to Muslims and their demands are off track. It is implausible to reconcile today’s Muslim “refugee” policies with stubbornly intransigent anti-Jewish sentiments and rationalize it as a reaction to Third Reich atrocities.
The popularity in Germany of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS), belies claims of profound Holocaust guilt. The BDS movement singles out Israel for criticism while ignoring the human rights violations of true tyrannical states. It uses false analogies of apartheid and Nazi Germany against Israel and attempts to damage Israel economically and put a stop to academic and cultural exchanges. It seeks to boycott Israel on all levels and to delegitimatize and eliminate Israel as a Jewish state. In July, NGO Monitor discovered that the German government had been donating millions of euros to groups promoting BDS. This, at the same time they were providing generous entitlements to Muslim refugees, despite the fact that they include ISIS supporters and that 13% of the refugees believe that suicide bombings are justified, according to a Pew Research poll.
Today, Germany is the top European trading partner of Iran, with sizable business interests in the Islamic terrorist state. Yet German officials consistently condemn the only democracy in the Middle East, while displaying reticence to criticize Muslim Palestinian murderers of Israeli Jews.
In 2011, the German Foreign Ministry supported a UN Security Council resolution to condemn Israeli settlement construction as "illegal." Its top diplomat, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle went so far as to meet with then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran.
The fixation on blaming construction projects in Israeli communities for the lack of Middle East peace and blaming Israel, not Palestinian terrorists, while, at the same time, pursuing a lucrative relationship with the Islamic terrorist state of Iran, contradicts the existence of any heartfelt remorse for anti-Semitism, past or present. When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Chancellor Merkel to express his disappointment about Germany’s position on the U.N. resolution, the Muslim “refugee” champion, who favored forcing Israeli Jews alone to freeze settlement construction, rebuked Netanyahu for “failing to advance peace” by telling him, “How dare you. You are the one who is disappointing us. You haven’t made a single step to advance peace.”
The hubris of this perverted policy in light of the yet un-atoned transgressions of the Holocaust and extant anti-Semitism is stunning. European leaders like Merkel remain mum about continuing anti-Semitism and persist in vilifying the Jewish State, a country on the front lines of the war against Islamic terrorism. At the same time, they pursue policies of Muslim appeasement and prohibit criticism of Islam in the name of multiculturalism. Merkel and her compatriots are thus paving the way for continued crime, civil unrest, the rise of Islam within their borders, and the ultimate destruction of their countries.