Statement on the report by tagesspiegel.de on February 7, 2024
In the online edition of the Tagesspiegel (tagesspiegel.de, February 7), two Jewish students from the University and the Kunsthochschule Kassel report on their experiences of fear on campus. The underlying events were already in the public domain, but it was still upsetting to read how the students suffered as a result. The University of Kassel and the Kunsthochschule are actively working to ensure that no one feels marginalized or even threatened because of their identity.
We oppose anti-Semitism just as resolutely as racism or other forms of discrimination. The university management and Senate have repeatedly made this clear in statements, and two banners on campus also make this unmistakably clear:
- Dealing with the Middle East conflict: Visible appeal on the Kassel campus
- Statement on the relationship between university and politics (2/2024)
The university management, the Rectorate of the Kunsthochschule and many professors are personally involved time and again; for example, the President herself was present at the information stand mentioned in the Tagesspiegel for an hour to defuse the heated discussion. In addition, the university management had the information stand secured by security staff and in cooperation with the police.
The rectorate of the Kunsthochschule is also in regular contact with the Jewish university group. The supervising professors have made intensive efforts to provide the student in distress with backing and long-term support.
Above all, however, we have always been in close contact with representatives of both Jewish and Palestinian students and have not closed our minds to the current discussions about definitions of anti-Semitism. The situation at German universities and in German society is challenging for everyone. In times of escalating violence in speech and action, we are committed to a form of dialog that aims to promote understanding and respect for others.