German president warns of dangers of letting anti-Semitism spread


Anti-Semitism must not be tolerated in Germany, warned President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday, saying it could destroy the sense of home for those who want to make a life in the country.

"Whether Jews, Christians or Muslims, whether believers or non-believers, whether they have lived here for a long time or have immigrated, people want to have a home in Germany," Steinmeier said in an interview with broadcaster ARD. That's not possible if anti-Semitism is allowed to spread, he added.

"Anti-Semitism destroys our home for everyone and that is why public institutions, including the police and the judiciary, are called upon to fight it," he said, adding that society must also join in.

He also said Germany should not have to get used to an increased police presence at synagogues.

There have been a number of anti-Semitic attacks in Germany in recent weeks, including one which saw a perpetrator attack a man wearing a Jewish skullcap in Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg district.

Germany also scrapped its biggest awards ceremony, the Echos, after the event became mired in controversy last month over lyrics on a prize-winning album that were widely viewed as anti-Semitic.    (dpa)

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