Amid rising anti-Semitism, German teachers fear revealing their Jewish identity

Bullying, death threats and violence: German schools grapple with a string of anti-Semitic incidents

Source: The Washington Post

BERLIN — “Should I tell my students?”

Jewish teachers in Germany’s public schools are grappling with the question of whether it is safe and appropriate to reveal their identity amid a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the nation’s schools.

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“It took me a while until I had the self-confidence to tell people,” said 41-year old school teacher Michal Schwartze, who worried early on in her career that she could be seen as biased as she teaches history and politics. Eventually Schwartze decided that she couldn’t hide her Jewish perspectives and personal activism against racism and discrimination. “I think it’s important to take a position, and to be explicit about my stance,” she said.

But 32-year-old Berlin-based teacher Anna Furer, on the other hand, does not want her students to know she’s Jewish, especially not the one who praised Adolf Hitler. “I’m trying to ignore this as much as I can, but at the end of the day I have feelings, too,” she said, referring to the student’s anti-Semitic remarks in the past. She is scared of someone in the classroom eventually finding out how much such comments affect her.

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