German President, social media and anti-Semitism

German head of state President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has spoken out about the way social media is being used to promote anti-Semitism through “hate tirades” in Germany and across Europe.

Speaking after a ceremony celebrating the centenary of a synagogue in the southern German town of Augsburg that survived the Nazi regime, Steinmeier said:

“The social media often propagate the spread of hate messages and anti-Semitic provocation.”

Besides centuries’-long anti-Semitism in Germany, he says anti-Jewish sentiment is also a factor among some newly-arrived Muslim migrants.

Attacks on people because of their beliefs are the same as attacks on society as a whole, he says.

However, on a positive note Steinmeier, who is a Jew, also points out:

“The majority of German society and the civil administration … has positioned itself clearly against anti-Semitism and condemned it … and that is very important.

“It seems a miracle that today it [the synagogue] – 80 years after the breakdown of civilization during the Holocaust – has become a vibrant Jewish community.”


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