Allegations against the Magdeburg police: anti-Semitism, quite normal

An entire department of the Saxony-Anhalt police is said to have tolerated and spread anti-Semitism. The state policy is drawing its first conclusions.

At the inauguration of a new kennel for the Saxony-Anhalt police: Interior Minister Stahlknecht Photo: Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert / dpa

LEIPZIG / BERLIN taz | In the entire Magdeburg riot police station, it is said to have been common practice since the 1990s to refer to the operator of the canteen there as “Jews”. The Saxony-Anhalt Interior Minister Holger Stahlknecht (CDU) announced on Monday.

The cases became known due to an anonymous e-mail that was received by the Burgenlandkreis police station last Friday – the anniversary of the anti-Semitic and racist terrorist attack in Halle. In this accused the: the sender: in that the “entire office” knew the circumstance and did “nothing to prevent”. “This institutional anti-Semitism has to stop,” it says in the letter.

The allegations were investigated immediately and were confirmed, said Stahlknecht. He was “affected, scared, angry and shaken” by the incidents. Last week, the Interior Minister himself was criticized for having said that the police who guarded Jewish facilities in Saxony-Anhalt were missing elsewhere.

The Central Council of Jews accused him of promoting anti-Semitism and suggested that he resign. Max Privorozki, the chairman of the Jewish community in Halle, also said that he was “really shocked” by Stahlknecht’s statement.

Similar case in the Bundeswehr

Stahlknecht himself denied responsibility and only said at a press conference that he was sorry if he had been misunderstood. The police presence to protect Jewish facilities has “top priority”.

Now the interior minister is forced to act: A special commission is to investigate the case in the Magdeburg police more closely. According to Stahlknecht, Jerzy Montag, legal policy spokesman for the Green parliamentary group, is to lead the investigation. However, internal circles denied that there were already firm agreements in place. All that was said was a question and considerations.

Montag would not be inexperienced as an expert: He was already in charge of the special investigation into the Oury Jalloh case and is currently an expert on the commission for dealing with right-wing extremism incidents in the Hessian police.

In addition to the investigation in the specific Magdeburg case, the State Ministry of the Interior is trying to draw further conclusions. The protection of the constitution, Stefan Damke, is to take the newly created post of extremism officer and set up a complaints office. In addition, external experts are to investigate the spread of anti-Semitism and racism in the state police.

Lower Saxony’s Interior Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) had already initiated a similar study. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) has so far refused to carry out such investigations at the federal level. He claimed that there was “no structural problem” in the federal and state security authorities. Christiane Bergmann, Head of the Public Security Department in the Ministry of the Interior in Saxony-Anhalt, however, emphasized with regard to the latest case in Magdeburg: “You cannot speak of individual cases.”

A similar case became known from the German armed forces at the beginning of the year: In his annual report, the Bundestag’s armed forces commissioner reported on a non-commissioned officer who described a canteen leaseholder as a “real Jew” because of allegedly excessive prices. She received disciplinary proceedings and the outcome is unknown.