Several thousand people protested Sunday in ‘s capital, Berlin, against , hatred and .
The march came amid a rise in since the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel and the launch of .
A similar protest was held in the Belgian capital, Brussels, in support of the country’s Jewish community.
‘Never again is now’
In Berlin, demonstrators braved heavy rain as they moved from the Tiergarten to the Brandenburg Gate under the motto “Never again is now,” a reference to the Holocaust and the crimes committed by the Nazi government.
Police estimated the number of participants at 3,200, while organizers said they expected 10,000 people to take part.
Josef Schuster, the president of the Central Council of Jews, said at the event that he sometimes didn’t recognize Germany as “something has gotten out of hand,” referring to a rise in antisemitic incidents in recent years, particularly since the erupted.
“There is still an opportunity to repair this situation, but to do so you also have to admit what has gone wrong in the last few years, what you were unable or unwilling to see,” he added.
The protest was also attended by Labor Minister Hubertus Heil and Bundestag President Bärbel Bas.
Germany has banned several pro-Palestinian demonstrations in recent weeks after some protesters chanted antisemitic slogans during earlier rallies.
The country has also registered hundreds of and Jewish institutions, including synagogues and schools.
A pro-Palestinian demonstration was, however, held in downtown Berlin on Sunday, drawing up to 2,500 people at its peak, according to police.
Brussels rally draws 4,000
Marchers at the Brussels rally waved Belgian flags and held up signs reading, “You don’t have to be Jewish to march against antisemitism,” “antisemitism kills” and other slogans.
Joel Rubinfeld, president of the Belgian League Against Antisemitism, said Belgium has witnessed “a huge increase” in anti-Jewish hatred over the past two months.
“We are living in a very complicated period,” he said, adding that the rally sends “a message to the Jewish community of Belgium to tell them that they are not alone.”
Sunday’s protests were the latest in a series of rallies in European capitals showing support for Jewish communities, including those in London and Paris.
mm/nm (AP, dpa, Reuters)
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