Feb. 27, 2014 6:00pm Sharona Schwartz
The author of a German study that examined thousands of anti-Semitic hate messages told an Israeli newspaper that she was “very surprised” to discover that only 3 percent came from those described as members of the political “far-right.”
Monika Schwarz-Friesel, a linguistics professor at the Technical University of Berlin, and her team read 14,000 letters and emails addressed to the Israeli embassy in Berlin and to Germany’s Central Council of Jews, Haaretz reported.
The results were summarized in her book, “The Language of Hostility Towards Jews in the 21st Century,” which was published in German and is due out in English next year.
“I wanted to find out how modern anti-Semites think, feel and communicate,” Schwarz-Friesel told Haaretz.
The study concluded that a majority of the messages – 60 percent – were sent by educated Germans, including university professors and priests.
That finding shattered the research team’s initial assumptions.
“At first, we thought that most of the letters would be sent by right-wing extremists,” Schwarz-Friesel said. “But I was very surprised to discover that they were actually sent by people from the social mainstream – professors, Ph.D.s, lawyers, priests, university and high-school students.”