A Jewish German student was subjected to anti-Semitic abuse in early December by Arab fellow students in Berlin who screamed at him that “Hitler was a good man because he murdered Jews.”
The verbal abuse was dished out in the Ernst-Reuter high school by the students after the teen expressed his opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state, it was reported in the German daily newspaper, Berliner Zeitung.
The incident took place during a discussion in the classroom about Israel when the Jewish student opined on the concept of a Palestinian state, prompting the students to launch into a verbal tirade, praising the genocide of Jews during World War II by the Nazis.
Speaking to a Jewish newspaper in the community, the student said the flurry of insults included an array of accusations and calls for violence against Jews, including "You murder children,” and “Your heads need to be cut off.”
According to the Jewish teen, anti-Semitic abuse had been a common feature of his school life since his first day at the school. “I tried to stay calm, to smile and to present facts, but I decided to break my silence on the comment about Hitler,” he said.
After the incident, the student, who had been studying at the school for two years, filed a complaint to the principal, who promised that he would protect him.
As a result of the incident, and a series of other similar anti-Semitic attacks, the student is not allowed to play in the school yard during break times for fear that other students may attack him.
After investigating the matter further, the school principal released a statement acknowledging that the incident exposed an “anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish and anti-Israel attitude that prompted us to respond and we will continue to do so. We will take steps that will ensure that these instances are not covered up.”
The rabbi of the Berlin Jewish community, Yehuda Teichtal, lamented the “serious” remarks made in the school.
“A situation cannot be allowed where a student in school hears such disgusting things. We expect the government to act in order to prevent tolerance of hatred in society, especially among young people,” Teichtal said.
It is not the first time in recent days that anti-Semitism has struck Berlin.
Last week, a video surfaced showing a 60-year-old German man accosting restaurateur Yorai Feinberg (36) in the German capital and hurling anti-Semitic invective at him merely for being an Israeli Jew, the German paper Bild reported.
Also last week, the Jewish community of Serbia was rocked when a Jewish cemetery in the city of Pančevo was vandalized by two youths who smashed 47 Jewish tombstones.
The perpetrators of the attack climbed over the wall of the old graveyard and proceeded to deface and smash the stones, some of which dated back to the 18th century.
“We are disgusted by this incident. We couldn't believe that such a thing could have happened to us. There have been sporadic anti-Semitic incidents here like drawing a swastika on Jewish homes of defacing synagogues, but something as big as this has never happened,” said David Montijas, president of the Pančevo Jewish community.
The city mayor, Sasa Pavlov, condemned the attack and the municipality announced that it would install security cameras at the cemetery and bolster security measures at the site.