A study from the Free University Berlin suggests that antisemitic attitudes among the German far-left are more widespread than is generally believed.
Thirty-four percent of those categorised by the research group as “extreme left” agreed with the statement that Jews have “too much influence” in Germany.
Even among the ‘radical left’ – which differs from the ‘extreme left’ in the definitions used by the study, in that extreme left attitudes are incompatible with democracy and the German constitution – the number of those agreeing with the statement was described as “worryingly high”, at 16 percent.
On average, one in ten of the people surveyed agreed with the statement.
The study was carried out online and gathered information from 36,000 people. Those on the extreme left and radical left, as determined by the survey, made up 17 percent of respondents, of which four percent were left extremists.
A high proportion of the far left agreed with the antisemitic stereotype that “Jews are greedy”. Thirty-four percent of the extreme left, and 13 percent of the radical left affirmed the statement, while across the entire political spectrum the number fell to eight percent on average.
The Researchers behind the study, Monika Deutz-Schroeder and Klaus Schroeder, said that the far left were not a “current threat to German democracy” but warned that the propensity to use violence was likely to rise.
Fourteen percent of respondents on the extreme left consider politically motivated violence to be justified, compared to on average of just seven percent in the rest of German society.
Back in January, Jewish groups in Germany protested against the governments insistence that antisemitism was not on the rise in the country. The Jewish community were proven right when the official statistics for hate crimes were realised in March this year, showing a 34% increase of anti-Semitic incidents in Germany in 2015.
In total there were 401 anti-Semitic incidents in Germany last year and Germany’s Jewish leaders have expressed that many in the community fear violence against them. A recent example of an anti-Semitic attack was in June when a 21-year-old Jewish man was attacked by three men who punched and kicked him for wearing a kippa (a Jewish skullcap).
Pray for the Jewish community of Germany.