tv Doc Film - Because Youre a Jew - The Story of Oscar a Victim of... Deutsche Welle January 28, 2018 2:02am-2:31am CET
today comes under the shadow of more than thirty defense related to the political upheaval in the country because your agenda by jewish boy from the limb was a bullet and attacked in school the noose was heard around the world. lost consciousness for a few seconds and then neared for his life. in a documentary because you're a jew. followed by an edition of quandary which explores living in fear how anti-semitic is germany next on d w. could. be enough to stop by to this word got around at schools or oscar's jewish and then he started getting harassed kicked and shot at why are all kinds of people they would grab his hand and then squeeze it so soha they fell to the floor in pain
they would slap him on the back of his neck or and then a boy grabbed oscar and put him in a headlock and choked him to the point he lost consciousness for a moment couldn't be a feared for his life oscar was a victim of anti-semitic a boy but i'm dizzy just a small thing while. gemma and then so mccoskey and their two older children leonora and isaiah a german british and jewish family who live in berlin. their youngest child oscar isn't appearing on camera and his real name is not being used in this report for months the fourteen year old was the target of anti semitic bullying at his school here in berlin oscar's parents will tell his story a story that began. and almost by accident. it's. on the last day of the first
week at school ethics teacher asked what houses of worship the students were familiar with and they answered the church mosque church mosque. and also pipes up which synagogue you know i'm jewish by the way finagle just mentioned that just in the context of the lesson design best stuff boy's best friend or his new best friend came to him and said you're a cool guy and everything but i can't hang out with you anymore because you're jewish and if you do it was really more in sorrow than in anger of this young man said i like you your a great guy but what can i do you're jewish so we can't be friends the next week it started. as well jews kill arabs ugly jews this could get him off i had to continue to escalate and one day he was punched and we saw a huge bruise on his back he was punched in the back and badly and then right up
until the worst incident dunham's admit he even pulled a fake gun on him under seal kind of like a fake execution site i was the point where we decided that he could no longer attend school. in the months following these incidents anti-semitism has also become a topic of conversation for his older siblings isaiah and leonora. from the moment i always felt it was better not to say i'm jewish. really yeah i don't see it that way. oh yeah i hardly told anyone not at university either. and i don't keep quiet about it to me that would feel like it's something i should be ashamed about it was even if that's not how it is for you i think the word secret highnesses you know i'm jewish if other people don't my kitchen that's their problem it's the one which might be. the most coasties have criticised the
school for its response to the events. they praise oscar's head teacher for her attempts to protect him but they say the school administration downplayed the anti semitic bullying and did nothing to intervene. people somewhere i have emailed well i told well we sort of tag them with saying look i'm fortunately the incident as more and more insular if the situation is escalating please can we do something about it. the principal did not reply after they withdrew their son from the school the mccoskey has decided to go public they wanted to raise awareness and help create change oscar's story made headlines across germany. the school maintains it took appropriate action but why did school principal hoover runkle fail to reply to phone calls and e-mails for nearly three
months. and why were oscar's head teacher a social worker and the deputy principal left to deal with the matter on their own the captain should say i was also one of his teachers as well i spoke with him about these attacks and for example i asked him if he would be able to accept an apology. and if everything was alright with or how to and that seemed to be the case so is i believe that at that point the situation was being addressed and that's because i had to order. the mccaskey is disagree for example the boys who punched oscar were not suspended from school. that's a lie and a lesson for does mine as if this feeling they had of being left to cope with the situation on their own i believe arose because the parents one of the school to guarantee their son safety or at that point a small principals in
a very difficult position i'm sure i came here in t. one hundred percent safety of course and the school can do a lot they can suspend students or have them transferred to another school in which to spend but we have to observe the school law as a process we're required to follow through because it's good and it takes a great deal of time to sling upwards as the was done. individualize. oscar's former school is part of these schools without racism network at least eighty percent of teachers parents and students sign a statement opposing racism and discrimination. there are interfaith workshops and seminars to promote understanding and tolerance. but oscar was still bullied and attacked because he is jewish. versus think of us that had what i thought could have done better is to tell the parents very clearly that if their son continued to
attend our school then the students involved in these incidents would not be there when they were at least for the time being. to restore peace to the school samantha classroom instruction or effort i can suspend them from lessons so that at least until the situation is clarify it was done that would have been an option when but since the issue was one of overall safety that wasn't enough i think is the driver to quit school come into. the school in the freedon own district of berlin has a solid reputation the neighborhood is an ordinary quiet one immigrant's professionals and working class families live side by side. but a few years ago a rabbi was attacked near the school a case that also made headlines. or can to mir is a district councillor for the social democratic party he knows the neighborhood the
school and its students well. and he knows about oscar's case. of course it will be my job to communication was the main problem something happens that was not ok for them it's what was there and the semitism or was it is futile monk teenagers if that's the bait was unnecessary if the boy to save it as anti semitism filters and believe that's why i was a target. that has to be taken seriously that was and then the school as an institution needs seven mechanism in place it's more think. the school authorities have meanwhile suspended one of the students who tormented oscar another has been given a second chance. to follow and it's. be very careful about calling the school and the semitic. that would be doing the school and then justice plots none the less we do know that anti semitism is a problem in our larger society that has put me in this that also means that anti semitism isn't just
a feature of far right extremist groups that. are creating this it is also present among people who are of muslim descent and for kids of. all the students who bullied oskar were muslim. first father is germany director for the international n.g.o.s human rights watch he says that until recently anti semitism among muslims in germany had been largely ignored. you see too many people have been sticking their heads in the sand willfully of what they held fast to the idea of a multicultural society and didn't want to grapple with the possibility that the very same people were trying to protect my thumb selves being anti-semitic or racist but and about that's how it is but people come here from
a lot of different cultures and bring their prejudices their anti-semitism racism or hostility toward other religions were thought we need to address those here in germany and that's a huge task i'm given and bought and as i did my mood. in the first half of twenty seventeen germany registered an increase in anti-semitic attacks stood to. stic showed that the majority of perpetrators come from the far right more than seventy years after the liberation of the auschwitz concentration camp jewish life in germany is still difficult michel askey has been paying close attention to what is happening on germany's far right wing this rally was organized by a far right group that calls itself veer through deutschland or we for germany was tough enough it. there for her the popularity of the slogan search shouting here like merkel must go actually mean that they want germany to be
a model cultural society what we're hearing here is a form of german nationalism the whole corps long dead and gone i place because the envoy is here is a revival of extreme nationalism and maybe even national socialism this is more third preaching harris factions at its most suspicious most let's see if it is true why he did not make up comedy among the participants is a berlin member of the far right party alternative for germany the a.f.d. though he's not one of the organizers he's in the thick of it. with her or her to talk to her address the fact that an a.f.p. member is drumming up support for this xenophobic protest is very telling us that there are very close ties between the far right and they have days where the in essence they're a far right party and see for another it's not because i thought. that. some two hundred thousand jews live in germany today few if any of them are likely
to have remained entirely untouched by anti semitism. what impact do such experiences have on their day to day lives here i'm still running around the city i'm doing all the things i want to do but it was strange my sense of relationship to the six. to our relationship to the world around us i don't think anyone's going to suddenly jump powerful attacking. thought this sense just generally of being. vulnerable. i the family has been deeply shaken by the violence and verbal abuse that oscar experienced at school. until this incident with oscar i thought we've done rather well i mean my kids up
in a successful way jewish in germany when it clearly we were in a bubble. going public with oscar story has put gemma mccoskey in the public eye but most victims remain silent today mccoskey has been invited to a meeting in a new counseling center for victims of anti-semitism established by the central board for jewish welfare in germany. it's run by marina chairman of ski the center also seeks to provide a safe space for victims to talk about their experiences ok enough of that thanks to my. name and i really think ghosts helped so if i had known this counseling center existed i'd have called right away and we felt like we had to deal with it on our own with runs off on the line there. so dave does a five additional interest in must have never since this case became public and was
publicized we've been dealing with an onslaught of parents human and arcsin and young adults who've suddenly realise there's a place where they can report what they've experienced. what has happened to them. they wouldn't pull me in and that's why we decided to go public things are getting better if you don't say if i don't want anyone to spare. what any child to experience what. it's really really really upsetting is we need to i'm watching. for gemma and then so mccoskey concern about the safety of their children has now become part of the fabric of their daily lives. my boy and i told my son it would be better not to walk around wearing a star of david necklace but i told him you can wear it under a shirt but i wouldn't wear it openly visibly on the streets of berlin. but.
i would think it could create problems and we keep hearing and reading about people of the harassed because they were wearing. the buy the new. this is the george high school. mendelson high school with the principal every error about eight or nine jewish students transferred here from other berlin schools because they were being bullied they were the targets of anti-semitism or they were being beaten up when the parents no longer feel like their children are safe so they come here to this george school instead and that's not what we ultimately want to censor creates a kind of get older stuff to mind so i thought that in the twenty first century a job can freely attend any school but it seems that's not the case that.
nearly all jewish institutions in germany from schools to synagogues are under police protection it's a reminder that day to day jewish life here is anything but ordinary. germany has gone to great lengths to confront its dark past across perlin testified to the fate of the six million european jews who were persecuted and killed under the nazi regime. the memorial to the murdered jews of europe is motivated near the german parliament in the center of berlin. the darkest chapter in germany's recent history is not being hidden from view nearly all official visitors to the german capital are brought to the holocaust memorial as were the duke and duchess of cambridge in summer twenty seventeen. fans of the memorials in germany are incredibly important and there are
a magnet. many people it's a lot of tourists a lot of politicians but all these memorials should not cause us to just lean back and say anti-semitism has been dealt with the flotsam and we've buried anti-semitism under this memorial that we've built to put that's completely divorced from reality at the mistreatment of it it's a little. but how much are visitors from abroad told about anti-semitic incidents that are happening today how forthright is germany in confronting the realities of present day anti semitism. then the lord or it's often people say stop making such a fuss about this you've got to tell them no we absolutely must make a fuss otherwise we're normalizing this soon masses of people would start saying oh it's completely normal to criticize tubes. you our entire culture of memory or that are so proud of here in germany it would all be for nothing and we'd be right back where we started it's been full of a lot of money. according to
a recent study only forty seven percent of fourteen to sixteen year old germans know that auschwitz was a death camp. oscar's grandparents want to change that. for years they've been visiting schools to talk about the persecution of jews during the nazi years persecution that france mccoskey experienced as a young boy they also went to oscar school to speak with students their. peers could prove the theoretician did you have the feeling that your story helps children understand has taught them something that for example when you went to also this is it if you hadn't lived on the border we offered to give a talk at the school right away after oscar told us what happened. to children from the neighboring class were specially curious and interested in what he had to say to the c.e.o. afterwards they apologized to oscar buzz and said they were stupid to have taken part in the bullying so it did help a bit to get my time there. just
a tourist invests it it's very good. the mccoskey story is also documented in the silent heroes memorial center in berlin the small museum in the city center is dedicated to those who resisted nazi terror and came to the aid of their jewish friends neighbors and relatives like the two german women who hid france mccuskey and help save his life. after the war france mccoskey was forced to confront the reality that anti-semitism had not ended with the nazi regime. at the jesuit high school he attended in berlin he was bullied so badly that he tried to commit suicide. two generations later his grandson has had a similar experience. in the us how look at this media denise it's crazy here we go to schools and talk to children about what happened back then about tolerance
and compassion and then this happens something's gone wrong maybe we didn't prepare him for what it means to be a jew it's a sign of how much it had been learned i once heard my father say that he always felt like an outsider at school here in germany doesn't mr tutt really surprised me because quite honestly i've always felt myself part of german society european society for me to. my flighted to my friends who are jews are just like every other young person. we have the same problems the same feelings we only feel different if we're made to feel different or she'd made. when people draw a distinction between jews and. i thought about the me and my father always told me don't tell people that you're
jewish they might start acting strange towards you you could lose friends but i didn't really understand what he meant but i took note of it it helps of it's ok to eventually when i was about as old as my son is now i decided to be open about it. about sunday that's what i did and since then i've been on the receiving end of the responses that come my way from society the time my circle of friends and acquaintances from colleagues. leagues who came to me with smug expressions on their faces and said to me when i was a journalist to see what the israelis are doing in gaza again they're just as bad as the nazis five of these and. you did not since. then so mccoskey is on his way to work. his job at human rights watch brings him in daily contact with the problems of racism and discrimination faced by minorities
but now it's hit home in a new way suddenly his own family is at the center of events. a month from from just isn't this includes first it all felt a bit strange. but it's what happened is indeed a human rights violation. so in that sense i can make a connection. that's it is part of what led me to this job via the career to go or my own experiences with anti-semitism lightfoot's. it's the day after germany's federal elections the far right a.f.d. party will send more the ninety delegates to the bundestag the german parliament. after the results were released because he immediately posted an article on the n.g.o.s social media platforms denouncing the politics of hate what does he think about the election results. if in this leader this find it disgusting to be forced
to watch child politicians or openly hostile to jews for more whole families and a phobic and racist have been voted in the parliament in such large numbers of its parliament could be had for ins and. human rights watch wants to make sure that the topic of anti semitism is taken more seriously by the next german government. patrick ziegler is director of the and frank center in berlin he is also one of the authors of a report on anti semitism submitted by a commission of experts to the german parliament in march twenty seventeen i think . it's fate's an example to stop thinking that a good will or does a big german government is still lacking an overall strategy and that now that's why our central command has to be just as we need an anti semitism represented as was about who will assume this coordinating role. for it's only been in.
more than six months have passed since the house keys withdrew their son oscar from his fried now district school out of fear for his safety they've heard nothing more from the administration since then. by coincidence gemma bumps into district councillor or con. tamir. the mccoskey has had met with him back when oscar was being attacked and bullied. as against by law it has happened so i heard you know i initially after those events the antidiscrimination representative at the berlin school authority spent weeks at the school giving workshops talking about empowerment and raising awareness about discrimination. even today gemma can't understand why the school failed to take such action while her son was still a student there. the mccaskey family is still left with the sense that the administration did not want to admit to poor confront the anti-semitic attacks that
were happening at their school today the family is trying to look toward the future oscar is now at a new school and says he's happy there under you did not met other jewish parents especially jewish mothers whose children have had similar experiences that's given me a feeling of solidarity. that's perhaps that in media something in me is you change. or not comes to how i feel about myself and my hold on in my view this lack of solidarity and compassion the refusal to confront the situation is inexcusable. if in the news just hold up on this oscar what i think is good is that oscar spoke out and said something like this completely even though it led to these terrible problems in the end the students were forced to leave it at that us charles nelson and. munition could even
though i know these issues even if just one of these students was anti semitic up yes but has now changed their mind to me that nothing in that sense you know you could say something positive just come out of it had done this is indeed a solution and therefore if. that was the documentary because your original. point from berlin was the time to school because of his jewish heritage. now journalist discuss the issue on quadriga living in fear how anti semitic is germany. international talk show. quadriga next on w.
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good quality care when i see ads and a good story when i hear it. my name is elizabeth and i work at steve. hello and welcome to quadriga this saturday is international holocaust remembrance day the murder of more than six million jews by the nazi regime is a defining fact of germany's post-war identity and the country has worked to confront it yet anti-semitic attacks are on the rise in germany the political dissent of the right wing nationalist party now represented in parlor.