Merkel warns against the resur­gence of anti-semitism in Ger­many

The Daily Telegraph - - World news - By and in Paris in Ber­lin

Henry Sa­muel

Justin Hug­gler

AN­GELA MERKEL yes­ter­day warned against the rise of re­newed anti-semitism in Ger­many as she marked the 80th an­niver­sary of the Kristall­nacht Nazi pogrom against the coun­try’s Jews.

The Ger­man Chan­cel­lor’s call came as France re­vealed that anti-semitic acts had risen by 69 per cent in the first nine months of this year. Kristall­nacht, or the Night of Bro­ken Glass, saw scores of Jews mur­dered or rounded up on Nov 9, 1938, and sig­nalled the start of the Nazi drive to wipe them out.

At a me­mo­rial cer­e­mony in Ber­lin, Mrs Merkel said: “We should re­mem­ber it ev­ery day, not only on a day of com­mem­o­ra­tion. Let us work ev­ery day to en­sure that what hap­pened 80 years ago can never hap­pen again.” De­scrib­ing the pogrom as a “way­mark to the col­lapse of civil­i­sa­tion” em­bod­ied by the Holo­caust, she said it had been pre­fig­ured by ris­ing anti-semitism at the time. “I am con­vinced that we can only draw the right les­sons if we un­der­stand the Novem­ber pogroms of 1938 as part of a process,” she said.

Josef Schus­ter, the pres­i­dent of the Cen­tral Coun­cil of Ger­man Jews, used the oc­ca­sion to speak out against the na­tion­al­ist Al­ter­na­tive for Ger­many party (AFD). “They taunt the vic­tims and sur­vivors of the Shoah by rel­a­tivis­ing Nazi crimes and de­stroy­ing our cul­ture of re­mem­brance,” he said, us­ing the Jewish word for the Holo­caust.

An­dreas Wild, an AFD politi­cian, pro­voked out­rage when he at­tended a Kristall­nacht me­mo­rial cer­e­mony wear­ing a blue corn­flower, which was used as a se­cret sym­bol for the banned Nazi party in 1930s Aus­tria. Mr Wild claimed he was un­aware of the flower’s as­so­ci­a­tions. Mean­while, Edouard Philippe, the French prime min­is­ter, an­nounced a wor­ry­ing hike in anti-semitic acts in 2018 af­ter a two-year drop.

“Ev­ery at­tack per­pe­trated against one of our cit­i­zens be­cause they are Jewish echoes like the break­ing of new crys­tal,” Mr Philippe wrote on Face­book, re­fer­ring to Kristall­nacht.

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