Enlarge image

Flags at a solidarity rally for Israel in Augsburg

Photo: Stefan Puchner / picture alliance / dpa

Since the terrorist attack on Israel, at least 176 Israeli flags have been desecrated or stolen in Germany. This is the result of SPIEGEL research at the interior ministries of the federal states. According to the report, since the Hamas attack on October 7, there have been at least 104 documented individual cases in which flags, mainly on public buildings, have been torn down, stolen, set on fire or otherwise destroyed.

Among other things, North Rhine-Westphalia reports on 35 stolen and eleven burned white and blue flags with the Star of David. Other federal states only provide rough information: Baden-Württemberg registered incidents "in the low three-digit range", Lower Saxony in the "lower double-digit range", as did Schleswig-Holstein and Hesse.

Bavaria's Ministry of the Interior said that the attacks on flags or flags could not be researched in the statistics, although there are reports of several incidents in Passau and Augsburg, among others. In Bamberg, a hitherto unknown person is said to have wiped his shoes with an Israeli flag and then thrown them into a wastepaper basket.

In Stade, Lower Saxony, young men had broken into the historic town hall and tried to tear down an Israeli flag that had been displayed in solidarity. In Giengen (Baden-Württemberg), two windows had been smashed at the town hall. The perpetrator tried to start a fire in the building and stole an Israeli and a Ukrainian flag.

Anyone who violates flags and emblems of foreign countries faces imprisonment for up to two years or a fine.