An Israeli professor was attacked by a 20-year-old in Germany, and then beaten up by police officers who claim they thought the professor was the attacker.
The unnamed professor, who works in Baltimore, had traveled to the University of Bonn in West Germany where he was holding a guest lecture on July 7.
The professor, 50, was wearing a Jewish kippah when he was attacked that afternoon by a German with alleged Palestinian origins, who shouted, “No Jew in Germany” both in English and in German.
The attacker reportedly hit the professor several times and punched his kippah, a small head-covering worn by traditional Jewish men, before a witness alerted the police, a police statement released Thursday says.
After the police entered the scene, the young attacker ran off, with the professor following in pursuit.
German officers are claiming they “mistakenly” tackled the professor to the ground, thinking it was the attacker. The officers then proceeded to punch the professor in the face after he resisted arrest.
The real suspect was eventually caught after a woman accompanying the professor explained the situation to the police officers, and he is facing multiple charges. The police are also expected to launch an investigation into the officers’ response.
The number of anti-Semitic crimes rose by 2.5 percent in 2017, despite an overall decline in politically motivated crimes, The Telegraph reported.
This attack specifically mirrors one from April, when two men, one wearing a kippah, were attacked for apparently no reason during broad daylight in Berlin.
“Unfortunately we see an increase in these kinds of cases,” Felix Klein, the government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, told USA Today after the April incident. “1,500 anti-Semitic attacks are registered by police every year.”
An estimated 200,000 Jews still live in Germany today, the Washington Post reported, and a large amount of them attend synagogues that are guarded by police.
German courts sentenced a German neo-Nazi to life in prison Wednesday for her role in a string of murders, robberies and membership of a terror organization whose goal was to kill people “for anti-Semitic or other racist motivations.” (RELATED: German Neo-Nazi To Life In Prison For Murdering Immigrants)
German authorities say the professor went on to do his lecture, and has since returned to the U.S.
Police Chief Ursula Brohl-Sowa apologized for the incident with this statement in the police report: “A terrible and regrettable misunderstanding in the field, for which I have expressly apologized to the professor. We will examine exactly how this situation came about and do everything something [sic] possible to avoid such misunderstandings in the future.”
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