How to stop anti-Semitism at school? This question was the focus of a lecture by former Federal Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger in the Schauspielhaus.
Everyone is talking about Russia and Ukraine. Thus, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (70), FDP politician, former Federal Minister of Justice and since 2018 the first commissioner for anti-Semitism in the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia, simply continued the conversation of the day when she gave a lecture in the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus on what turned out to be a related topic: “Anti-Semitism is everywhere – causes and counter-strategies”.
The lawyer, who passionately defends her humanitarian concerns, began with Russian President Putin, who justified his bombing of civilian installations as a supposedly necessary “denazification” of Ukraine. misanthropic worldviews.
Taking the example of Putin’s distortion, Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger immediately proved his fairness in dealing with the facts. She admitted that there is indeed a far-right movement in Ukraine, including the nationalist Azov Battalion militia. But no democratic country is exempt from such groups. The Ukrainian right won only 2% of the vote in the 2019 elections, “significantly less” than right-wing extremists and parties controlled by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Germany or France. of the government. President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, on the other hand, is elected with more than 70% of the vote, a man from a Jewish family, parts of which were wiped out in the Holocaust. The lawyer concludes: “Putin’s assertion that Russia is invading Ukraine to ‘denazify’ it is absurd”.
Referring to Yale University professor Jason Stanley, Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger described fascism worldwide as a cult of leaders that promised national renewal in the face of alleged humiliation of the nation by ethnic, religious or religious minorities. others. In this way, the Jews have also become an enemy: as presumed members of a global elite who, invoking liberal democracy, “cause decadence, national weakness and moral impurity”.
Regarding anti-Semitism in Germany today, Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger distinguishes four manifestations. The fourth, nationalist anti-Semitism, is particularly dangerous because it speaks for itself: “Here, the Jews are perceived as different and therefore labeled as third parties. It classifies them as foreigners and accuses them of disloyalty to their respective nations.”
Criticism of both Judaism and Israel, which denies the Israeli state’s right to exist, is also found in this field of demonization. Conspiracy theories are one of the most vulgar forms of anti-Semitism. According to Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, they have become commonplace since the start of the corona pandemic. It is then said that Israelis or Jews invented the virus in order to make a profit with a suitable vaccine. Behind this is the desire for simple explanatory diagrams in an age that is becoming increasingly difficult to understand.
The speaker counts among the most recent forms of anti-Semitism its diffusion by pop stars like Xavier Naidoo, the mixture with positions of opponents of vaccination and audacious theses of discussion groups on the Internet. Often, even the courts do not agree on what is still allowed and what is already punishable – for example the inscription “not vaccinated” at demonstrations.
Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has a clear answer on how to end anti-Semitism: with prevention, “and prevention means education. If “you Jew” is one of the most common insults in German schoolyards, such incidents should become a topic in educational classes. : “There must always be a reaction to anti-Semitic incidents.”
Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger calls for a “culture of regard and recognition” – so that the anti-Semitic motives of German gangsta rap do not decide the image of Judaism that today’s young people convey to their children.
“Hate is knocking at our door”, concluded Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger in her moving speech. Anti-Semitism is back on the streets. German society must show unity against him: “There are no excuses.”