Yet another Jewish student at a Berlin school has been left traumatised after antisemitic bullying.
A primary school student at the Paul-Simmel-Grundschule was told by a classmate that she should be beaten and killed after she revealed the fact that she is Jewish, her father said.
“Our daughter was accosted by Muslim students because she does not believe in Allah” he said, before describing how she was surrounded by a group of Muslim students who chanted “Jew” at her.
These incidents reportedly form a pattern of antisemitic bullying which has seen her threatened on several previous occasions.
Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said “if Jewish students can no longer go to school without fear of antisemitic abuse, there’s something wrong in this country”.
Last July we reported that teachers in Germany are increasingly concerned about antisemitism from Muslim students creating a hostile environment in schools. We also reported on several disturbing incidents of antisemitism, including a Jewish boy who was forced out of his school following 4 months of persistent antisemitic bullying. The antisemitism in German state schools has led to an explosion in applications to specialist Jewish schools, which provide a safe haven from the bullying, at least within school hours.
Writing in July, we warned that “unless the German government takes serious steps to ensuring that schools are tackling antisemitism, and giving assurances to teachers and parents that all complaints of antisemitism are taken seriously, regardless of the source, then the situation will be dire for Jewish students in the country”, emphasising that “action must be taken quickly before confidence is lost in the school system’s ability to protect Jewish students”. Whilst no such action has been forthcoming, finally German politicians seem to be ready to act on the national disgrace of widespread antisemitic bullying in schools. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who is currently on a state visit to Israel, condemned this latest incident, writing “when a child is threatened by antisemitism, it is both a shame and unbearable. We must stand against every form of antisemitism”.
The German Police Union has now demanded that it be provided with information on these incidents. Rainer Wendt, the Union’s head, has voiced concerns that the incidents are not being properly recorded, indicating a problem of a scale beyond what we have been able to report.
Only time will tell whether any meaningful action will be taken.