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#1 Posted by halim51 (98 posts) -

Hey y'all. So I'm planning a trip starting in France and zigzagging through the continent, ending in Estonia. I have most of the details planned out, but as I'm watching and reading news from the countries I'll be going through I've noticed a disturbing trend of antisemitism that has me concerned. I, and everyone I'm traveling with, are from a northern state in the US where walking around in public with kippot or tzitzit isn't a problem, so it isn't something we thought all that much about at first, but reading about incidences, particularly violent ones, have my group pretty worried about what we might encounter. I was just hoping that someone might be able to give me an idea about how much of an issue this really seems to be in Europe at the moment.

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#2 Posted by alternate (2888 posts) -

You should be fine. It is mostly antisemitism on a political scale. For example the rise of right wing parties in germany, holland, sweden, etc. - who are broadly intolerant to a lot of races and religions - and general anti Israel / pro Palestinian stuff from the left wing parties.

In terms of the general public I would say there is less antisemitism than there has ever been. You are way more likely to get grief if you are brown or even vaguely arab looking tbh. Or maybe black when you get nearer eastern europe. Put it this way - I would feel safer walking around europe as a jew than I would in the american midwest as a person of colour.

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#3 Posted by Ares42 (4183 posts) -

Ye, I feel a bit wary about chiming in since I live in one of the "more liberal" countries, but I'd be highly surprised if you met any general harassment. At worst you'd get a funny look. Anything more severe than that would be an extraordinary circumstance. Just follow general traveling guidelines and it will probably not be an issue at all.

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#4 Posted by Quipido (1530 posts) -

Yeah, I would not worry about it at all, my country is pretty bad one as far as this issue goes (mainly concerning gypsies) but that rarely has any actual effect on normal people - only incidents I know of are alcohol related, meaning you would have to walk through a bad neighbourhood at 3 am or something like that.

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#5 Posted by BallsLeon (531 posts) -

Sad we have to ask this in 2018. :(

Enjoy your trip!

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#6 Posted by dudeglove (13607 posts) -

Instances of targeting tourists seem kinda rare imo in Western Europe. Antisemitic shitheads tend to go after the people who already live there rather than ones passing through.

I will say though that there has been an increase in the past decade in shitheads in Eastern Europe for a variety of unpleasant nationalistic reasons (usually masked under some convenient "anti-Russian" stance thereby allowing these right wing asshats to come to the fore and for everyone else to happily ignore the fact they're dickheads), so it doesn't hurt to be unaware of what's going on in these countries. I don't think Estonia has been too bad for it of late but Latvia and Lithuania have gone/are going through a spate of historical revisionism that's wholly unpleasant to read about.

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#7 Posted by halim51 (98 posts) -

Thanks for chiming in everyone! We decided as a group it would probably still be better if we wear hats over our kippah, and hide SoD jewelry, but it's good to hear that might not be quite as bad as the news is making it seem.

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#8 Posted by tatsuyarr (244 posts) -

@halim51: No problem in France, it's quite rare that something happens to a person wearing a kippah, I see people wearing some everyday and they don't look worried about it. Also when it happens you hear about it in the news and I don't even remember the last time it happened. You shouldn't worry about it.

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#10 Posted by loafofgame (134 posts) -

@halim51: Please do let us know how it went. I hope everything worked out.

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#11 Posted by halim51 (98 posts) -

Hey y'all. So I just got back to the states. The trip really didn't go all that well. We didn't have problems through most of Western Europe, one small run-in with some drunk guys in Italy but other people around stepped in and defused the situation. Our first issue was in Hungary. My group was leaving a temple in Budapest when a group of guys started following us around yelling at us, this went on for ten or so minutes before they started throwing garbage and rocks at us. No one really seemed to care, including a few officers we ran past. It was a similar story in Poland, where harassing us seemed like it was just a local pastime. It was in Poland where we decided to just take the loss, and get tickets to Israel, where we spent the rest of the time we had set scheduled for our trip.

Well, that's how it went, sorry for the bummer post.

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#12 Posted by curiosus (118 posts) -

Ooof. As a European its really not surprising that you had problems in Poland and Hungary, these countries are now run by parties that are pretty openly anti-Semitic. They've been in the news for attacking Holocaust museums, and Hungary spends a lot of time demonising Soros. I don't see anyone mentioning them above aside from vaguely mentioning Eastern Europe but you didn't really list off your itinerary. You probably would have been ok in estonia.

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#13 Posted by Ares42 (4183 posts) -

I guess sometimes it's good learn that we have some shit we need to figure out over on this side of the pond as well =/

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#14 Posted by soulcake (2460 posts) -

@halim51: Man that sucks i know there are some problems with antisemitism in eastern Europe but that it was that bad, is just sad to hear especially in country's like Poland who probably get a lot of Jewish tourists, If that stuff happened in Belgium and the police saw the indecent i can guaranty you those guys are getting a ticket or some jail time.

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#15 Posted by halim51 (98 posts) -

I probably should have posted a more detailed itinerary before we took off, but I suppose I just had an American level of naivete about what's going on throughout the rest of the world?

Like I said though, my time in Western Europe was lovely, and the people were perfectly charming. Might wait a little while before visiting the east again, though.

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#16 Edited by Rahf (472 posts) -

What you happened upon is the exact same thing as it is in the US: a few people in a couple of areas being emboldened by the infantile courage of their political leaders, and minorities suffering because of it.

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#17 Edited by hnke (182 posts) -

@alternate said:

You should be fine. It is mostly antisemitism on a political scale. For example the rise of right wing parties in germany, holland, sweden, etc. - who are broadly intolerant to a lot of races and religions - and general anti Israel / pro Palestinian stuff from the left wing parties.

In terms of the general public I would say there is less antisemitism than there has ever been. You are way more likely to get grief if you are brown or even vaguely arab looking tbh. Or maybe black when you get nearer eastern europe. Put it this way - I would feel safer walking around europe as a jew than I would in the american midwest as a person of colour.

This post is an absurdly misleading description of reality. The skyrocketing antisemitism that Sweden has experienced is almost entirely the result of antisemitic demographics immigrating to Sweden, not the neo-nazis that we've have for decades. Less antisemitism than there has ever been? Try walking through Stockholm or Gothenburg or Malmö wearing a kippah and see if you can repeat that claim that with a straight face.

Have you ever been to the Midwest, by the way?

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#18 Posted by gkhan (1034 posts) -

@halim51: Fuck man, that sucks. I'm really sorry you had that experience.

Hungary in particular is getting bad lately. I have two Hungarian colleagues who have both left the country because they're horrified by what's happening there. The world is in a shitty, shitty place right now and it feels like it's getting worse everywhere, and Europe is no exception. Jews have it rougher than most, I would imagine. Shalom aleichem.