Olaf Scholz Pledges To Protect Germany's Jews After Anti-Semitism Upsurge
Olaf Scholz was speaking on the 85th anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass or Kristallnacht (File)
Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged Thursday to protect Germany's Jews against a "shameful" upsurge in anti-Semitism in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war, on the anniversary of the Nazi pogrom that began the Holocaust.
Speaking in a Berlin synagogue that assailants targeted with two Molotov cocktails 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 German leader was speaking on the 85th anniversary of the Night of Broken Glass or Kristallnacht, a spasm of orchestrated violence that ushered in the Nazi's slaughter of six million European Jews during World War II.
On November 9-10, 1938, Nazi thugs murdered at least 90 Jews, torched 1,400 synagogues across Germany and Austria and destroyed Jewish-owned shops and businesses.
The pretext for the coordinated action was the fatal shooting on November 7, 1938, of a German diplomat in Paris by a Polish Jewish student.
The Nazis rounded up and deported at least 30,000 Jews to concentration camps and made Jews pay "compensation" for the damage caused to property.
On October 7 this year, Hamas gunmen rushed across the border into Israel, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, in their homes, on the streets and at a rave party.
The deadliest attack since the founding of Israel led it to declare war on Hamas, with Israeli forces heavily bombarding Gaza before sending in ground troops with the aim of destroying the Islamist movement. The Hamas-run health ministry said more than 10,500 people, mostly civilians and many of them children, have been killed in the territory.
Since the Hamas attack, some 2,000 anti-Semitic incidents linked to the Israel-Hamas conflict have been reported so far in Germany, federal police said. Authorities have boosted security around Jewish institutions.
In October two men hurled Molotov cocktails at the Beth Zion synagogue in Berlin. No one was hurt, but the attack left many Jews in the capital rattled.
Pro-Palestinian rallies on German streets have in some cases gathered far-right and far-left extremists chanting anti-Israel and anti-Semitic slogans and sparked clashes with police.
Scholz, most of his cabinet and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier attended the ceremony at Beth Zion, along with the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, 102-year-old Holocaust survivor Margot Friedlaender, and family members of Israelis held hostage by Hamas.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)