The Charlie Hebdo attacks ended in a bloodbath inside a Jewish market in Paris with four Jewish men slaughtered. And there’d been other attacks: In 2012, a so-called “lone wolf” killed three students and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France; last May, an attacker with links to the Islamic State killed four people at the entrance to the Jewish Museum in Brussels.
Botsch-Fitterling finds the pattern deeply distressing.
“I love my life in Berlin,” she said. “I love my home, and my children and grandchildren are here. But we can’t escape history. I just wonder, as I look around Europe today, about those who stayed until it was too late the last time.”
She’s hardly alone in wondering if there will again come a time when Jews won’t be able to remain in Europe. It isn’t an idle concern. Even before the Jan.7-9 attacks in Paris, there were signs of rising hostility.
A 2013 European Union survey of “those who consider themselves to be Jews” in eight nations found that two-thirds believed anti-Semitism to be “a very big” or “fairly big” problem. In France and Hungary, half those questions believed it was a very big problem. And a quarter of all respondents believed that they’d been discriminated against within the previous 12 months because of their religion.