Olaf Scholz
Olaf ScholzReuters

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged on Thursday to protect Germany's Jews against a "shameful" upsurge in antisemitism in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war, AFP reported.

Scholz’s comments came on the 85th anniversary of the Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), a pogrom against Jews in Germany and Austria on November 9 and 10 in 1938 that began the Holocaust.

Speaking in a Berlin synagogue that assailants targeted with two firebombs last month, Scholz said, "Essentially this is about keeping the promise given again and again in the decades since 1945...the promise 'never again.'"

The chancellor said "never again" meant keeping the memory of Nazi atrocities alive, rejecting "terror propaganda" and ensuring that citizens and migrants alike respect Germany's "free democratic order which demands and guarantees diversity and respect".

Scholz said rising anti-Jewish sentiment in Germany, given the weight of its historical crimes, was "shameful" for the country, adding, "It outrages and shames me deeply."

Germany has seen a sharp rise in antisemitic incidents in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war, with some 2,000 incidents linked to the Israel-Hamas conflict having been reported so far.

Police have increased security for Jewish institutions across Germany since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

Scholz, along with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, have both denounced the rise in antisemitism.

Scholz is one of several world leaders who have visited Israel in a show of solidarity following the Hamas attack on October 7.

During his visit, Scholz met with both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog.