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Germany — National Strategy against Antisemitism and for Jewish Life (2022)

The strategy is an instrument for implementing a holistic, cross-policy, interdepartmental and cross-level approach to combating Antisemitism. It aims to create structures for the joint and targeted action of state and civil society actors. It provides orientation and shows which fields of action must be included in order to prevent hatred of Jews as a cross-sectional social phenomenon and to make it appropriately broad.

NASAS is applicable at every political and social level. It serves as a model and thus also as an instrument to review the current situation, to classify ongoing measures and, if necessary, to adjust. It can be used to determine what is missing in order to create optimal conditions to prevent and combat hatred of Jews and to involve and support Jews in the best possible way.

The current state and the current planning status of measures to combat Antisemitism can be read in various existing documents in relation to the Federal Government. These inventories enable to understand what is being done against Antisemitism and what concrete plans are available, in order to be able to determine what still needs to be done beyond the status quo, a concept and a compass necessary. There is a need to know which fields of action are central to this and which goals are to be achieved in each case.

The 5×3 model

This model consists of five fields of action and three cross-sectional  dimensions

NASAS names the five central fields of action with corresponding goals as follows:

  1. Data collection, research and situational awareness
  2. Education as Antisemitism prevention
  3. Culture of Remembrance, Historical Awareness and Commemoration
  4. Repressive Antisemitism and security
  5. Jewish Present and History

The fields of action can be transferred to every political and social level.

The three cross-sectional dimensions are:

  1. Stakeholder perspective
  2. Structure formation
  3. Digitality 

Cross-section dimension A: Stakeholder perspective

The overarching goals are the creation of empathy for those affected in the past and present, the appropriate representation of their interests as well as real inclusion and participation in the sense of overcoming the separation into Jewish and non-Jewish members of society. The aim of the Federal Government is to consolidate such participation processes.

Cross-section dimension B: Structure formation

The formation of sustainable structures at local, national and international levels contributes significantly to strengthening holistic, level and cross-policy work against Antisemitism. An example of this is creating formats for regular exchange. Structure formation is therefore a goal in itself. This includes the institutionalization of existing formats in the sense of establishing and strengthening them as well as the initialization and consolidation of networking processes.

The aim of the Federal Government is to establish its own office at the Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism. The BLK office is an important milestone for the further development of cooperation between the Federal Government and the Country as well as for the structural strengthening of the Commissioner agreed in the coalition agreement.

The aim of the Federal Government is also to establish a regular, Germany-wide exchange forum under the leadership of the Federal Commissioner, which networks state Antisemitism commissioners, civil society actors, and other relevant bodies. Central to this is the involvement of representatives of Jewish communities and organizations. The establishment of such a forum is an important milestone for the necessary consolidation of exchange processes.

Its central goal is to create a statutory mandate for the Confederation to maintain and strengthen civil society’s engagement in the areas of democracy promotion, diversity and extremism prevention. This funding is to be designed in the longer term, regardless of age and more needs-oriented than before, in order to create more planning security for civil society. The adoption of a law on the promotion of democracy is also an important milestone in the institutionalization of instruments for combating Antisemitism.

NASAS itself is structuring insofar as it is intended to shape future government action. The aim of the Federal Government is therefore to include the 5×3 model in the funding practice in the field of Jewish life and the fight against Antisemitism and to take into account the IHRA definition of work in an appropriate manner.

The digitalization of all areas of life brings challenges and opportunities. Digital communication media are predominant in our everyday lives and shape our thoughts and actions. Goals and measures in all fields of action should therefore be reviewed to see whether digitality is properly taken into account: both as a subject of research and monitoring, as a driver of innovation and carrier of risks, and as a medium for new forms of transfer and interaction.

Cross-section dimension C: Digitality

The aim of the Federal Government is to strengthen media literacy in all age groups and population groups. Digitalization not only creates new spaces of possibility, but also dangers through the spread of antisemitic narratives, conspiracy myths, hatred and agitation. For this reason, since 2020, the Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism has been supporting the annual education and action weeks against Antisemitism organized by the Amadeu Antonio Foundation. The Federal Government also aims to anchor the fight against antisemitic disinformation as an object of strategic communication in the context of contemporary public diplomacy.

Field of action 1: Data collection, research and situational awareness

The overarching goals here are to expand knowledge about Antisemitism in order to better understand its forms and spread. Research will also be carried out into the effectiveness of measures to combat Antisemitism and the realities of life for Jews.

Another central goal in this field of action is the optimization of data collection and data exchange.

These structures need to be expanded, networked and supported.  The aim of the Federal Government is to improve the coordination of data collection at European level as well. To this end, it is working with the

Human Rights Agency (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, FRA) managed working groups on hate crime recording, data collection and encouraging reporting. The aim of the Federal Government is also to make the services of the federal online registration offices more widely known, for example in organized sports and schools. 

A further goal in this field of action is to promote and expand the transfer of knowledge between scientific research, authorities and civil society organizations as well as advisory and monitoring agencies, for example through regular exchange procedures and new communication channels.  

In order to collect as much data as possible and to make Antisemitism visible in all its manifestations, the exchange of data between the various actors should also be regulated and improved. The aim of the Federal Government is to promote the creation of interfaces and the consolidation of exchange procedures. This applies to the networking of state and civil society agencies both among and with each other.

Field of action 2: Education as Antisemitism prevention

The goals of the preventive and educational work against Antisemitism are education, awareness raising and strengthening the commitment against Antisemitism. Another goal is to raise awareness of the perspective of those affected by Antisemitism. This includes, in particular, making visible the diversity of contemporary Jews in the sense of a lived matter of course in Germany. Another goal is to impart wide-ranging knowledge about Judaism and its history, as well as about Antisemitism.

the Federal Government’s aim is in particular to :

  • imparting knowledge about Israel and its history.
  • to enable citizens to actively and committedly oppose anti-democratic developments through encounters in various formats, such as youth exchanges.

Antisemitic incidents are on the rise in the arts and culture, for example in the form of the boycott of Israeli artists, as well as a boycott of Israelis at international sporting events. This has existential consequences for Jewish and Israeli victims. The aim of the Federal Government is therefore to promote and strengthen offers of critical self-reflection as well as art and cultural work critical of Antisemitism. In the areas of organized sport and e-sports, it is desirable to broadly anchor education and prevention services critical of Antisemitism. Local and regional associations and associations should be involved. This also applies to digitally mediated sports and communication areas from gaming forums to social media.

Field of action 3: Culture of Remembrance, Historical Awareness and Commemoration

A common future needs common remembrance: In our diverse immigration society, the goal of a living culture of remembrance requires that individual references to the Shoah be made possible. The goal of forming historical consciousness is directly linked to this: because remembering also means knowledge of the here and now.

The aim of the Federal Government is to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to keep the memory of the crimes of National Socialism alive.

The aim of the Federal Government is to promote such historical awareness in as many professional fields as possible. For this reason, the training of lawyers was recently supplemented by a federal amendment to include an obligatory examination of National Socialist injustice. Another desired milestone is the expansion of the licensing regulations for physicians with regard to medical studies in such a way that the time of National Socialism is particularly taken into account in the teaching of historical, ethical and legal foundations of medical action.

The Federal Government’s aim is therefore to help digitally secure, publish, network and make available the testimonies collected in memorials and other institutions and archives. A milestone in this regard is the project, which goes back to the initiative of the Federal Ministry of Finance, to make the documentary heritage of the files from the so-called restitution digitally accessible in a thematic portal.

 Field of action 4: Repressive fight against Antisemitism and security

The aim of the Federal Government is to realize everyone’s right to freedom and security. To this end, manifest antisemitic acts must be adequately countered at all levels.

The aim of the Federal Government is to improve the protection against discrimination under the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG). The reform of the AGG agreed upon in the coalition agreement is an important milestone.  The introduction of further state anti-discrimination laws can also increase the protection against discrimination against Jewish and Israeli people.

The improvement of victim protection both inside and outside criminal proceedings is a further objective of the Federal Government. 

Field of Action 5: Jewish Present and History

The Federal Government’s goal of strengthening the Jewish community stems from Germany’s special historical responsibility. It is also an expression of a democratic self-image and a commitment to the Promotion of cultural and religious diversity.

The aim of this field of action is to strengthen the Jewish present and to convey and make visible Jewish history in all its religious, political and cultural diversity and complexity.  When designing and implementing measures to strengthen and make visible Jewish presence and history, the interests and perspectives of Jews should always be in the foreground. Measures to strengthen the Jewish presence primarily address the Jewish community itself. The aim of the Federal Government is to support Jewish institutions, organizations and initiatives, including those of the young Jewish generation, in establishing and expanding sustainable and diverse structures.