Activists distributed kippahs to members of the public at several of Berlin’s major parks on Sunday in response to a reported rise in anti-Semitic incidents over the past year.
A series of marches, protests and solidarity events have been held in the city following a spate of incidents over recent months where Jews have been targeted. Footage of an attack on a kippah-wearing Israeli national in Berlin went viral in mid April.
“We would hand out kippahs to people to say that this city should not be a place where someone would be beaten up for wearing a kippah, or any other religious symbol,” one of the activists told Ruptly.
“In the past few years, there’s been more antisemitism and you have to be really careful because we’ve already seen where that leads, 70 years ago. And you have to remain vigilant. And that’s the start of it where we have to strongly combat this,” a tourist who accepted one of the free kippahs told Ruptly.
Last week, more than 2,000 people attended the so-called ‘Berlin wears a kippah’ protest march in Berlin on April 26 in solidarity with the Jewish community after a video in which an Israeli national wearing the yarmulke was attacked on the street went viral.
“I’m actually a Christian. Jewish people belong to the same group of religions as I do. I’m here to share my support. What’s happening in Germany right now is not good. We see people beaten simply because they’re wearing a kippah, schools have to be protected at all times, kindergartens as well. This is unacceptable,” one participant told RT’s Peter Oliver.
The number of reported anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin rose by some 60 percent, to 947 total in 2017, according to the latest figures from the Department for Research and Information on Anti-Semitism (RIAS).