Jews in Germany should feel comfortable with a kippah in everyday life, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier communicated in his statement on the Night of Broken Glass 82 years ago today. November 9, 1938, was the terrible climax of the persecution of Jews under the Nazis. Hundreds of Jews lost their lives as a result of the state-directed and state-organized violence against them around that day, and many also committed suicide. Synagogues, schools and prayer houses went up in flames.
"For a long time it was assumed that anti-Semitism was history in Germany. In recent years, however, we have had to realize that this was obviously a fallacy - as the attack on the synagogue in Halle last year proved, not least," says Thiemo Fojkar, IB Chairman of the Board. "Our Basic Law as the basis of our social coexistence is actually quite clear in this respect and guarantees all people within its scope the freedom of belief and religious practice. We follow this as IB naturally and already intensified years ago our activities for the stabilization of the variety in the IB and the society, so Fojkar further.
"But not only in Germany, but also in many countries in Europe and the world, we observe with great concern that tolerance and acceptance of people with different opinions or a different faith seems to be dwindling. In many cases, this latent racism is also being promoted by government agencies or government representatives, so that it is always good news when moderate forces committed to equalization are able to assert themselves.
Hate and violence must never be regarded as normal, we all must always examine ourselves and strive for understanding for others, demands the IB chairman. Where intolerance and racism can lead, the unspeakable atrocities in the time of the national socialism showed. In addition it may come never again, not with us in Germany and also nowhere else on this earth. To say this in slightly modified words of the designated new President of the United States: The others are not enemies just because they have different views. They are human beings and we must all treat each other as such!