Solidarity in Berlin

Berliners wear kippot in show of solidarity

Germany's capital is taking to the streets following vicious attack on rabbi and his daughter, with one newspaper featuring politicians in yarmulkes, Jews and non-Jews holding 'kippah flashmob'

The German capital is reacting to last week's attack on a rabbi with a show of solidarity with the local Jewish community.


Under the headline 'Berlin is wearing a kippah' the Berliner Zeitung, one of the capital's most popular newspapers published a front page story featuring some of Berlin's most prominent resident's wearing yarmulkes on their heads.


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Another newspaper, 'Welt Online' reported on the flashmob event that took place in the city in which participants marched with yarmulkes on their heads.



Berliner Zeitung's front page


Politicians, artists and businessmen had their pictures taken with skullcaps on their heads, explaining that through the act of wearing a kippah they were expressing their opposition to anti-Semitism.


Rabbi Daniel Alter, 53, was approached by several young men as he walked down the road with his 6-year-old daughter. They asked him whether he was Jewish and when he said yes, they beat him viciously and threatened to kill his child.


The attackers presumably identified the victim as Jewish from the traditional kippah he was wearing.


Alter, who later underwent surgery for a cheekbone fracture, described his attackers as Arab-looking. They have not yet been found.


"Berliners show their solidarity and wear a kippah, the report stated. The newspaper explained that the head of Berlin's Charlottenburg and Wilmersdorf districts, where many immigrants live, came to the newspaper offices and suggested the act of solidarity.


"It's a good idea; it's a strong symbol of solidarity. In Judaism the kippah symbolizes devoutness and humbleness before God," explained Stan Schultz a parliament member from Berlin's Spandau district.


משתתפים ב"פלאשמוב כיפה". היום מתוכנן אירוע נוסף (צילום: AFP)

Kippah flashmob in Berlin (Photo: AFP)


Wolfang Bahro, an actor said that "In the 21 century in a city of tolerance, an act like the attack on the rabbi is horrific." Eric Schweitzer, the president of the Berlin trade and commerce union said: "We are happy that more and more Jews from around the world are coming here. There is no room for anti-Semitism anywhere, especially not in Berlin where the Holocaust began."


Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit who denounced the attack just a short time after it occurred called on residents to join in a demonstration of solidarity at the site of the attack. He called on all Berliners to wear yarmulkes as a gesture of support for the rabbi.


In his Shabbat sermon at a heavily secured Berlin synagogue, orthodox Rabbi Yitzhak Ehrenberg declared: "I've been living in Berlin for 16 years and for seven years before that I lived in Munich. I take the train wearing a kippah. I have never been threatened or attacked.


משתתפים ב"פלאשמוב כיפה" (צילום: AP)

Solidarity in Berlin (Photo: AP)


"There were those who said that it is dangerous for Jews to live outside of Israel, but I'm telling you that here in Germany it is not dangerous, thank God."


The rabbi addressed a call by the Potsdam Reform Judaism center which advised its students to avoid wearing yarmulkes in public. "We are not afraid, we will not abstain from covering our heads," he said decreed.


Sarah Nurit, a 35 year old kindergarten teacher and mother of three, initiated a solidarity event through Facebook. Some 100 people – Jews and non-Jews – took part in the 'kippah flashmob.' They marched on Saturday accompanied by a few police officers and reporters.




פרסום ראשון: 09.02.12, 09:34
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