There are many indications that antisemitism in Germany has increased in recent years on social media, in the public domain, within the political system, and in society at large. Jews often try to avoid locations where antisemitism is at its worst or may affect them. But that is not possible for schoolchildren. A number of extreme antisemitic incidents in German schools have been published in recent years, and by elaborating on several that have taken place in Berlin, we can get an indication of how serious the problem has become.
In April 2017, a Jewish school boy was tormented by fellow pupils of Arab and Turkish descent at a public school in Berlin’s Friedenau district. To protect his identity, his first name was changed, and he became known in the media as Oscar Michalski. He was not only insulted, but an older student shot at him with a realistic-looking gun. He also strangled Oscar to the point of unconsciousness. The school’s population is about 80 percent Muslim; most are of Turkish and some of Arab provenance.
The school’s headmaster, who taught mathematics in the victim’s class, said that he was unaware of the problems. And the school’s administration and social worker ignored them even after they were alerted by the victim’s parents. His parents then moved Oscar to another school. The French-German public broadcaster Arte broadcast a documentary on the story of Oscar.