With a tote bag filled with tools, 77-year-old Irmela Mensah-Schramm walks the streets of Berlin's suburbs. With eyes like a hawk, she looks for graffiti and stickers that spread hate, racism and anti-Semitism – and then removes them. She has been doing this for over 40 years.
"I was born in 1945. I can't influence what happened before that, but I can do something for what happens next. Everyone can do something, because this kind of thing should not be tolerated," she says.
The number of crimes linked to the conflict has increased
The firebomb attack on a synagogue in Berlin is one of the most serious of the 3,700 crimes – 680 of which are suspected of being anti-Semitic hate crimes – reported in the country since Hamas's terror attack on Israel. Since then, Berlin's synagogues have been surrounded by riot barriers and police on guard around the clock.
This development has led to the political debate now being mostly about counteracting anti-Semitism among immigrant Muslims in the country.
"Dangerous to link it to immigrants"
Uffa Jensen, a professor at the Technical University of Berlin, is one of those who claim that politicians focus on the wrong thing, as he believes that they divert attention from the proto-German anti-Semitism in society.
"Linking the real problem to immigrants is dangerous. Because it is not the case that the crimes and the anti-Semitic attacks, the propaganda, have stopped from right-wing extremism. On the contrary, in the weeks leading up to the Hamas attack, we saw rising numbers. We also saw that the potential for violence is still high.
Activist Irmela is of a similar opinion. This is especially true since she has for decades seen, erased, scraped away and sprayed over Jew-hatred graffitied by people – especially from the neo-Nazi milieu.
"Of the stickers alone, I've scraped off 94,563 of them. They're probably annoyed with me.
Watch SVT's European correspondent follow the 77-year-old activist as she cleanses the streets of Berlin of anti-Semitic and racist graffiti, in the clip above.