6 charged with incitement to hate after spewing anti-Semitic abuse on Munich bus

BERLIN (JTA) — Six people have been charged with incitement to hate after spewing anti-Semitic abuse at passengers on a Munich city bus.

Only an unmarried couple from Munich attempted to intervene in the weekend incident on a bus reportedly packed with some 40 passengers.

According to news reports, the alleged perpetrators are all from Munich and Ebersberg and range in age from 18 to 33. Police said witnesses reported the “most harmless” of the shouted slurs included “Juden raus!” — “Get rid of the Jews.”

Most of the passengers reportedly did nothing. After one woman addressed the group and asked them to stop, they aimed their abuse at her.  Police said her boyfriend’s intervention prevented further escalation.

The bus driver stopped on the Donnersberger Bridge and called police, the Munich-based Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported. The six were apprehended, asked for identification and charged with incitement to hate and insulting passengers. Reportedly none of them were known members of a right-wing radical group.

Bavaria has seen a rise in anti-Semitic criminality, with 176 anti-Jewish crimes reported in the state in 2016, a 33 percent increase over the previous year.

In Munich, the increase was 50 percent, to 37 incidents last year from 24 in 2015. All the perpetrators in those incidents came from a far-right extremist background.

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