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The Research and Information Centre on Antisemitism Hessen

The Research and Information Centre on Antisemitism Hessen (RIAS Hessen) is in sponsorship of the Demokratiezentrum Hessen at the Philipps University of Marburg.

At RIAS Hessen, we are primarily dedicated to supporting victims of antisemitic incidents and to documenting and analysing antisemitism in Hessen.

We offer support and guidance on reporting antisemitic incidents, provide further assistance for counselling, and aim at ensuring the consistent recording and documentation of antisemitic incidents in civil society throughout the region.

Serving as an initial point of contact for those who experience antisemitism, their relatives and acquaintances, as well as witnesses and people who have otherwise been made aware of antisemitic incidents, the principle of confidentiality is a top priority for us. You alone decide what happens to the information you share. Verified incidents are systematised and evaluated. With your explicit consent, the incident is published in our chronicle. We also document selected incidents on our social media platforms.

Additionally, we endeavour to make your account of events as accessible as possible, which is why we remain available to you via phone, email, and online. Since we aim to provide all the assistance needed by those seeking advice, we are closely connected to specialised counselling centres – our key partner in professional victim counselling being OFEK Hessen.

Antisemitic incidents can vary widely. They can range from stickers or graffiti in public spaces to threats of physical violence, either digitally or personally, and even direct physical attacks.

We record these incidents and report annually on developments in Hessen, proactively monitor potential antisemitic events, and engage in research on antisemitism as well as educational projects in order to uncover and better monitor antisemitism today.

By following the scientific standards set and used, for instance, by the RIAS Federal Association, we categorise antisemitic incidents and identify their specific form, the key players, and the technical dimensions. We would be glad to provide you with further details on how we work. The regional registration offices meet regularly within the framework of a federal working group of the Federal Association to standardise existing working methods and further develop the quality standards of the work.

We have applied the operationalized working definition of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) as our professional basis. RIAS follows this definition:

“Antisemitism describes socially traditional, third-party constructs of a Jewish collective. The effectiveness of these fictions can be seen in the spread of antisemitic attitudes and public debates and can be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed towards Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, towards Jewish community institutions, and religious facilities.

Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collective. However, criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for ‘why things go wrong.’ It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms, and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.”

We strive to inform and further sensitise the general public to antisemitism in its various forms. We also do so by explaining the various antisemitic incidents and emphasising the perception of those affected by antisemitism. We work closely with Jewish institutions, civic organisations, and advisory networks.

RIAS Pillar Model

As part of our focused public relations work, we organise lectures and workshops on antisemitism and strive to raise social awareness of this phenomenon. This is also done through regular reporting on antisemitic incidents in Hessen, which, in addition to the reports, builds on broad-based monitoring of potentially antisemitic events and other incidents. This documentation of antisemitic incidents serves the evaluation and further development and is also used as an input for educational strategies.

RIAS Hessen is active in education, science, and research, based in a broad network. Findings from our activities are already reflected in the workshop on antisemitism, in which a wide range of actors from Hessen exchange information about antisemitism and cooperate with each other.

Have you witnessed an antisemitic incident or are you affected yourself? Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Taking into account the data protection of your information, your report will be registered using the form used by all RIAS offices.
The form is then forwarded to the database of the Federal Association for Research and Information on Antisemitism (Bundesverband RIAS e.V.).

Each report helps us combat antisemitism.