Case illustrates long history of antisemitic harassment of Jewish pupils, particularly by Arab and Turkish children
A Jewish family in Berlin has pulled their teenage son from a state school after nearly four months of antisemitic harassment, both verbal and physical, the boy’s mother has told the JC.
Emma, who is British, said her son, Phillip (not their real names), 14, had been moved to an English language high school in Berlin.
Emma said she and her husband had originally been attracted to the school, Friedenauer Gemeinschaftsschule, which has a large proportion of Arab and Turkish children, by the fact it was so multicultural.
She said it had never occurred to Phillip to deny his Jewishness, and one day he mentioned it to his classmates.
One of them responded: “Listen, you are a cool dude but I can’t be friends with you, Jews are all murderers.”
The verbal abuse escalated to physical violence, until earlier this month, “when he was attacked and almost strangled, and the guy pulled a toy gun on him that looked like a real gun. And the whole crowd of kids laughed. He was completely shaken.” (...)
The case underscores concerns that educators and parents have expressed for years in Berlin about the antisemitic harassment of Jewish pupils, particularly by Arab and Turkish children.
Berlin’s Jewish high school receives between six and 10 applications a year from parents who want to move their children away from schools where they are being subjected to antisemitic harassment, said Aaron Eckstaedt, principal of the Moses Mendelssohn Jewish High School in Berlin.
The requests generally are “in reaction to antisemitic statements coming overwhelmingly from Arabic or Turkish classmates,” he said, adding that “in most cases, the families complain about the relative lack of response from state schools” to the problem. (...)
As for Phillip, he would not necessarily recommend that other children reveal their Jewishness to classmates unless it’s “a nice, quiet school.”read more