Josef Schuster: “I can’t get away with a kippah …


Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews, on dangerous neighborhoods, the delimitation of what can be said and the question of where Jewish ethics and the constitution separate.

Mr President, here in Berlin you can recognize synagogues and other Jewish institutions by the small police houses and heavily armed security forces posted in front of the entrances. In any case, there is usually no such thing in front of mosques and churches. Is Jewish life in Germany still not safe and not taken for granted?

Josef Schuster: Jewish life is safe – but under the circumstances mentioned. For decades, police protection has ensured that people visit their Jewish community without any worries. Recently, however, after the attack on the synagogue in Halle in October 2019, there have been concerns that visiting a synagogue is no longer safe.

How did you specifically notice this concern?

In the first two or three weeks after Halle, visits to synagogues across the republic fell significantly. The interior ministers then quickly readjusted and optimized police protection where it was necessary. That calmed the Jewish community. But of course: as long as protection of Jewish institutions is necessary, something is wrong.

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Josef Schuster kippah


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