JERUSALEM, Israel – Berlin police are investigating the second anti-Semitic attack in under a week.
On Tuesday, five youths aged 12 to 15 sexually assaulted and committed an anti-Semitic attack on a 68-year-old man on his way to visit the Putlitzbrücke Holocaust memorial in Berlin, JNS reports.
Authorities say the suspects repeatedly called the man “Jew” and grabbed him between the legs.
Just one day before, police say another anti-Semitic attack occurred on a Berlin subway.
“An entering passenger boarded and punched him in the face with his fist and hurled antisemitic insults towards him,” Berlin police said in a statement about the Monday attack.
The Times of Israel reports that police are also investigating neo-Nazi graffiti vandalism after someone wrote “Heil Hitler” on a storefront in the Köpenick section of Berlin.
These incidents are part of a dangerous rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Germany.
According to the Interior Ministry, 1,799 anti-Semitic offenses were recorded in 2018, an increase of nearly 20 percent from the previous year. Jewish organizations said many offenses went unreported.
“We have seen a rise in anti-Semitism for years now, we see it across society. We see it on the right, on the left, in Islamism, and in mainstream society,” Remko Leemhuis, acting director of the American Jewish Committee in Berlin, told the Wall Street Journal. “Right now it feels like it’s coming from everywhere.”
He made the comments after an attack on a synagogue in Halle in October left two people dead.
Germany responded to the rise in anti-Semitism by appointing a commissioner in charge of combating anti-Semitism in 2018 and is pushing to criminalize “hate speech” online.
"We consider any anti-Semitic incident as targeting the Jews and non-Jews of Europe," German Ambassador to Israel Dr. Susanne Wasum-Rainer said at a conference in Jerusalem in November. "There is zero tolerance for racism, anti-Semitism, and hatred in Germany."