Star of David graffitied on Berlin homes in chilling echo of Nazi crimes

The Star of David has been graffitied on the doors of several homes in Berlin, in a chilling reminder of the persecution Jews suffered under the Nazis. Four cases have been reported to German police in recent days, escalating concerns about the safety of Jewish people in the German capital.

In one incident, a Jewish resident arrived home on Thursday evening to find graffiti smeared on her house door. “I speak Hebrew, talk on the phone in Hebrew, and wear a Star of David,” the young woman told Bild newspaper. “I really thought about whether I should stay at home.”

Of three further incidents reported on Saturday, police have confirmed that at least one Jewish person lived in the building. “It is now the subject of our investigation to find out whether the other houses have a Jewish resident and whether the incidents are connected,” a police spokesperson said.

Images published on social media showed a blue Star of David painted on a white door. 

The marking of properties belonging to Jews – a chilling echo from Germany’s past

The incidents, which are a crime under German law, appear to be an intentional imitation of the antisemitic persecution of Jews during the 1930s when Nazi brownshirts painted the Star of David on the doors and windows of Jewish businesses in an attempt to discourage Britons from shopping there.

It came as one of the country’s top spies warned that Hamas sympathisers could stage terror attacks on Jewish buildings.

Hamas supporters may “no longer stop at demonstrating and using hate speech… but may carry out specific attacks against Jewish and Israeli buildings and individuals,” Stephan Kramer, head of domestic intelligence in the state of Thuringia, said.

As part of an intimidation campaign, some people in Berlin have started marking buildings where Jews live

Credit: X

Speaking to Handelsblatt newspaper, Mr Kramer said that the war in Israel could also motivate other Islamist groups to “intensify” their activities, saying that they see “the whole of Germany as the enemy of muslims.”

He said that the protests by pro-Palestinian groups on German streets in the wake of the Hamas terror attacks proved “a new level of escalation and lack of inhibition has obviously been reached in this country as well.”

It is not clear whether Mr Kramer was speaking on the basis of specific information Germany’s intelligence services have received.

‘A rusty dagger’

Meanwhile, Germany’s largest network of mosques has denied that Israel was mentioned in Friday prayers after Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan had reportedly encouraged them to describe Israel as a “rusty dagger” in the heart of the Muslim world.

Ditib, an organisation which runs over 2,000 mosques in Germany and whose imams are on the payroll of the Turkish government, was ordered by Ankara to give a sermon condemning Israel as carrying out “the worst tyranny in history,” according to a report in German newspaper Bild.

The sermon was written by Mr Erdogan’s chief cleric and sent out to all mosques under the control of the Turkish state. But Ditib said that Israel was not mentioned in any of its mosques during Friday’s sermons.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday announced a ban on all Hamas activities in Germany, a move Berlin said is intended to send “a signal that all forms of support for Hamas’ terror are forbidden.”

Despite the Islamist group being listed by the EU as a terror organization since 2003, Berlin only banned public displays of support for Hamas in 2021.

Since then it has been illegal to publicly wave Hamas flags or distribute the group’s propaganda material.

In their most recent report on domestic security threats, Germany’s domestic intelligence service, the BfV, does not list Hamas as having an organisational presence in the country.

Over the past two decades, several charities have been banned in Germany on the suspicion that they have been cover organisations for raising money for the Islamist terror group.

On Friday, Germany’s police said that there was an “increased threat level” faced by Jewish and Israeli public buildings and the police presence outside mosques and Jewish schools has been increased across the country.

Since the terror attacks last weekend, pro-Palestinian marches have been banned in several German cities but protesters have nonetheless taken to the streets.

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