Germany's Approach to Countering Antisemitism since Reunification

in German Politics and Society
Thomas Just Politics and Global Studies, Arizona State University, USA

Search for other papers by Thomas Just in
Current site
Google Scholar
Restricted access


Since reunification in 1990, the German government has taken numerous steps to counter antisemitism and improve its relations with the Jewish community more broadly. Its approach has consisted primarily of two parts: anti-radicalization legal measures and public diplomacy. In terms of legal measures, Germany has banned hate speech and incitement, adjusted immigration policy for Jews, and granted Judaism full legal status. In terms of public diplomacy, Germany has created a network of both governmental and non-governmental organizations to counter antisemitic attitudes within domestic society and to demonstrate progress abroad. This article examines these facets of the German approach, evaluates its success through an analysis of extremist group membership and survey data measuring antisemitic attitudes, and discusses some evolving challenges to which the approach must adapt.

Contributor Notes

Thomas Just serves as a Lecturer within the ma in Global Security program at Arizona State University. He received his PhD from Florida International University in Miami and has been a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Martin-Springer Institute at Northern Arizona University and a Lecturer of International Affairs at the University of Georgia. In 2017, he received the Young Ambassador for Peace and the Rapprochement of Cultures Award from unesco. His research focuses on the use of legal and public diplomacy strategies to counter extremist ideologies and work toward reconciliation in societies that have endured traumatic events such as genocide.

  • Collapse
  • Expand