Holocaust can happen again in Germany, every fourth German says

According to WJC president, Ronald Lauder, anti-Semitism has reached a critical point in Germany. /PAP/EPA

A quarter of Germans, in a survey conducted by the World Jewish Congress (WJC), said that the Holocaust can happen again in their country, reported the newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

The main conclusion of the report accessed by the Munich-based newspaper was that anti-Semitic attitudes were widespread in Germany, with 27 percent of Germans in general and 18 percent of those classified as "elite," sharing anti-Semitic sentiments.

Forty-one percent of those surveyed believed that Jews mention the Holocaust too often and every fourth person thought that the Holocaust could happen again in Germany. Only 44 percent were concerned about violence against Jews and Jewish institutions. Twelve percent of Germans believed that Jews were responsible for most of the wars in the world and 22 percent held the view that Jews were hated because of their behaviour.

The daily underscored the survey results that concerned a group of university graduates earning more than EUR 100,000 annually, whom the research authors classified as "elite." Twenty-eight percent of them claimed that Jews had too much economic power and 26 percent saw an excessive Jewish influence in global politics. Such claims were part of the classic anti-Semitic repertoire, the newspaper observed. A half of the German elite (48 pct) said that Jews were more loyal towards Israel than Germany.

At the same time, 76 percent of the surveyed noticed a rise of anti-Semitism and could see the correlation of this trend with the growing support for far-right and extremist groups. On the other hand, Germans felt a strong urge to oppose anti-Semitism, with two-thirds of the surveyed willing to sign a relevant petition and one-third ready to take part in a demonstration.

According to WJC president, Ronald Lauder, anti-Semitism has reached a critical point in Germany.

Everyone knows what happens when ordinary people look the other way or fail to protest, Lauder warned, adding that it was high time for all of German society to start fighting anti-Semitism. The WJC president also said Germans were specially obliged to stop the reemergence of intolerance and hatred.

If more than one-fourth of society identifies with anti-Semitism, the time had come for the remaining three-fourths to take a stand for democracy and tolerant society, Lauder said.

The WJC ran the survey on a sample of 1,300 people for two and a half months.