On Tuesday, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) announced a multi-year strategy for combating “anti-Semitism, bigotry and bias in Europe.” The effort is in partnership with Volkswagen, the German car-maker founded under the Nazi regime.
The partnership will include educational and research programs aimed at addressing antisemitism and bigotry in Germany and Europe. To facilitate the partnership, the U.S.-based ADL announced the future appointment of a Berlin-based staff member.
In a press release, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt and Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess referenced the global threat of antisemitism. “We are proud to partner with ADL and expand our company’s commitment to push back against anti-Semitism and bigotry globally,” Diess said.
As part of the partnership, the ADL will begin facilitating workshops for Germany-based Volkswagen employees starting later this year. Volkswagen intends to expand these internationally in the future.
The partnership comes after recent reports on the alarming increase in antisemitic incidents in Germany. The German Interior Ministry revealed a 20% increase in antisemitic hate-crimes between 2017 and 2018, and a December 2018 report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights found a sharp rise in European antisemitism over the past six years.
Following last week’s European elections, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the importance of combating antisemitism, lamenting “There is to this day not a single synagogue, not a single daycare center for Jewish children, not a single school for Jewish children that does not need to be guarded by German policemen.”
As part of the effort, the ADL will conduct ongoing briefings for European officials on research and policy related to combating antisemitism.
Said Greenblatt, “With anti-Semitism and hate rising across the continent, this is an important moment to gain an understanding of why these biases are spreading once again in countries outside of the U.S. and to invest the appropriate resources to combat it head on.”