German Official Warns Jews Not to Wear Yarmulkes in Public Amid Spike in Hate Crimes

Germany's anti-Semitism commissioner warned the country's Jewish population on Saturday to avoid publicly wearing yarmulkes, traditional Jewish head coverings also called kippahs, due to a rise in anti-Semitic crimes. “I cannot advise Jews to wear the kippah everywhere all the time in Germany,” Felix Klein said. The number of attacks against Jewish people in Germany increased 10 percent from 2017 to 2018, and the number of reported violent crimes rose from 37 to 62 over the same period, according to published figures.

Last year, a 19-year-old male attacked two people wearing yarmulkes with a belt in broad daylight in Berlin, and the attack was allegedly fueled by anti-Semitism. Weeks later, a man wearing the Star of David was also beaten in Berlin. The string of attacks prompted Germany's Jewish community to ask the government to implement an anti-Semitism oath for groups seeking public funding. German Justice Minister Katarina Barley called the uptick in attacks “shameful for our country.”