Ariel Kirzon (43), Rabbi of the Potsdam Jewish Community, has apparently been the victim of an anti-Semitic attack. According to his own statements, he was insulted and physically attacked at a Berlin subway station. State security is investigating.

In Berlin on Tuesday there was apparently an anti-Semitic attack on the state rabbi of Brandenburg and community rabbi of the Jewish community in Potsdam, Ariel Kirzon. In a phone call to FOCUS online, Kirzon, who was born in Ukraine, reported that he and his 13-year-old son were on their way to the Westphalweg underground station in the Mariendorf district of the Tempelhof-Schoeneberg district at around 10:26 a.m.

While he was on the phone – he was speaking to the Israeli embassy in Hebrew – a “dark-skinned young man” insulted him and briefly grabbed his shoulder. The man is said to have shouted “terrible shit Jew”. Ariel Kirzon was clearly Jewish by his attire.

Kirzon told FOCUS Online that he was engrossed in his phone call during the incident and did not immediately respond to the attack. “It’s probably best not to talk to people like that.” His son heard everything. The state rabbi hopes that the video surveillance around the subway station of line 6 can help clarify the crime and that the attacker will be caught.

Ariel Kirzon filed a criminal complaint with the Berlin police for assault and insult. According to information from FOCUS, the investigations are being conducted online under the process number 220913-1356-034773. In the early evening, the Berlin police confirmed that they were investigating the incident: “Since it cannot be ruled out that the suspect could have entered the area of ​​the train station, the video recordings of the station were secured. The investigations are being carried out by the State Security Police at the State Criminal Police Office.”

Insults, threats and physical violence against Jews are the order of the day in Germany. In its annual report for 2021, the Federal Association of Research and Information Centers on Antisemitism (RIAS) lists a total of 2738 recorded antisemitic incidents, which is an average of more than seven per day. The experts also expect a high number of unreported cases.

Compared to the previous year (1957 incidents), this means an increase of 40 percent. According to RIAS, this is partly due to a changed data basis. In 2021, for example, three new registration offices started their work.