Over 2,000 Germans attend kippah rallies in Berlin and other cities
(JTA) – More than 2,000 Jews and non-Jews attended “Wear a Kippah” rallies in Berlin and other German cities to protest anti-Semitism.
The protests on Wednesday come in the wake of a Syrian asylum seeker’s attack on a non-Jewish man wearing a skullcap in the German capital last week.
Jews were joined at the rallies by Christians, Muslims and atheists, many of whom wore kippahs in solidarity.
Berlin drew the largest crowd, but hundreds showed up in cities such as Cologne, Erfurt, Magdeburg and Potsdam, The Associated Press reported.
The German daily Tagesspiegel, which has a circulation of about 100,000, printed a kippah in Wednesday’s paper that readers could cut out and wear to the rallies.
“We must never allow anti-Semitism to become commonplace in Germany again,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told the paper on Wednesday before the event took place in Berlin.
A video of the incident last week showed the assailant yelling “Yehudi!” or “Jew” in Arabic. In response, German Chancellor Angela Merkel lamented that Arabic refugees have brought a “different type of anti-Semitism into the country.”
On Tuesday, the head of the main Jewish umbrella in Germany said that Jews should not “openly wear a kippah in the metropolitan setting of Germany.” At the Berlin rally, he emphasized that his statement was that individuals should not go out alone with a kippah and said he felt misunderstood and wanted to clarify.
At the same rally, the city’s mayor, Michael Mueller, struck a different tone.
“Today, we all wear kippah[sic],” Mueller said, according to AP. “Today, Berlin is wearing kippah.”