At the dedication of a new synagogue on Sunday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed his concern over the anti-Semitic agitation that has reached Germany as the Israel-Hamas conflict intensifies and urged attendees to make the commitment to “never again” unshakable.
Scholz’s comments come as antisemitic incidents have increased in Germany as a result of the bloody intensification of the conflict in Gaza.
On Wednesday, two Molotov cocktails were thrown at a synagogue in Berlin, prompting Scholz to declare that such assaults on Jewish institutions would never be tolerated.
He elaborated on his remarks made at the opening of the temple in Dessau, an eastern German city where the Nazis destroyed the synagogue 85 years prior.
In discussing the militant attack from Gaza on Israeli civilians on October 7, he used the phrase “barbaric terror of Hamas” and expressed concern about the escalating tensions subsequently.
Since that terrible October 7, Scholz said, “I am terribly offended by the way in which antisemitic hatred and inhuman agitation have been erupting on the internet, in social media around the world, and unfortunately also here in Germany.
In Germany, of all places, here we are. At a gathering of Jewish leaders at the Weill Synagogue, Scholz remarked, “That is why our ‘never again’ must be unbreakable,” noting that the community has recently expanded as it has welcomed immigrants from Ukraine.
Kurt Weill, a German-born composer who escaped Nazi Germany in 1933, and his father Albert Weill, a cantor in Dessau, are honored by having their synagogue named in their honor. This synagogue in Dessau’s center asserts that Jewish life has been and will continue to be a part of Germany. It belongs here, according to Scholz.
“Germany will take all necessary measures to safeguard and support Jewish life.” Berlin and all of Germany’s Jewish institutions are now more heavily policed. Israeli flags that were flying in front of city halls around the nation as a show of support following the attack on October 7 have been pulled down and burned.
The star of David was painted on the doors and walls of several Jewish-inhabited buildings in Berlin.