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Berliners Don Kippot in Solidarity

1,000 Berliners gather following last week’s attack on a rabbi

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Kippah Flashmob in Berlin(EPA)

Last week’s attack on Rabbi Daniel Alter, which happened on a Berlin street in front of his six-year-old daughter, was one in a recent trend of troubling bits of news coming out of Germany. Alter was approached on the street by four men, whom upon seeing his kippah reportedly asked if he was a Jew and then threatened him and his daughter before assaulting Alter–breaking his cheekbone and sending him to the hospital.

In the wake of the attack on Alter, one of the first rabbis to be ordained in Germany since 1942, public officials went through the customary ritual of hand-wringing. The rector of the Abraham Geiger College, a Jewish seminary in nearby Potsdam, went so far as to dissuade rabbinical students from wearing kippot in public to avoid being targeted.

The best response, however, came from the people of Berlin, who organized a flash mob on Saturday when participants gathered in a public meeting place all donning kippot. Over 1,000 residents, politicians, celebrities, and community leaders came together in the semi-spontaneous flash mob and marched through the streets in a show of solidarity. Coverage of the event got considerable real estate in some of Berlin’s biggest papers:

Under the headline ‘Berlin is wearing a kippah’ the Berliner Zeitung, one of the capital’s most popular newspapers published a front page story featuring some of Berlin’s most prominent resident’s wearing yarmulkes on their heads.

Another newspaper, ‘Welt Online’ reported on the flashmob event that took place in the city in which participants marched with yarmulkes on their heads.

Some pushed back against the idea that Germany has become a difficult or dangerous place for Jews to live. At a sermon on Friday, Rabbi Yitzhak Ehrenberg addressed the issue:

“There were those who said that it is dangerous for Jews to live outside of Israel, but I’m telling you that here in Germany it is not dangerous, thank God.”

The rabbi addressed a call by the Potsdam Reform Judaism center which advised its students to avoid wearing yarmulkes in public. “We are not afraid, we will not abstain from covering our heads,” he decreed.

Earlier: Attacks on Jewish Body and Soul in Germany
Berliners Wear Kippot in Show of Solidarity [YNet]
After brutal attack, Berliners show solidarity by donning skullcaps [Times of Israel]

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jacob_arnon says:

” but I’m telling you that here in Germany it is not dangerous, thank God.””

And yet Jews keeps getting attacked in post war Germany.

btw: the attackers were Muslim and did any Muslims march in the “let’s show that Germany is safe” parade?

Why have we not been told whether the attackers were Muslims or local German lumpen? Either way the Berliners show of solidarity with the Jews was welcome – but was it an echo of Germany’s past or was it the kind of Muslim attack on Jews that is all too frequent in Paris or Malmo.
Given his appearance why did they need to ask him about his Jewish identity? Was it too make sure he was not a Muslim covering his head in a skull cap?
Muslims get attacked by skinheads in working class areas of East Berlin but even if such folk were responsible I doubt the Muslims would ever show solidarity with Jews. Of course if the attackers were Muslim, no Muslim would feel guilt or show sympathy for and solidarity with Jewish victims.
Truly alarming.

DansDaMan says:

2011 Berlin, Pop. 3,501,872
“As a response, over 1,000 Berlin residents, politicians, celebrities, and community leaders came together, wearing kippot, in the semi-spontaneous flash mob and marched through the streets in a show of solidarity.”

This is heartwarming news. It probably means a lengthy postponement of Kristallnacht II.

Shmooster says:

“Alter, who later underwent surgery for a cheekbone fracture, described his attackers as Arab-looking. They have not yet been found.”

From Ynet News here:
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4275824,00.html

Just a small comment on the use of the word “Kristallnacht”. I know it is the most common terminology among English native speakers (even on Wikipedia), but the term “Kristallnacht” (literally ‘night of the crystal’) is not a favorable word for the November progromes 1938. It is a Nazi term also known as “Night of the broken crystal”, which the Nazi regime invented to downplay the atrocious crimes of that night, by suggesting that only the crystal tableware of the ‘wealthy Jews’ got broken. As we all know what really happened, the term does not do any justice to history. Hence in German (public or private) discourse, people who use it are either seen as a) historically naive or b) in favor of national socialist ideology…

2000

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Berliners Don Kippot in Solidarity

1,000 Berliners gather following last week’s attack on a rabbi

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