German official cautions on wearing Jewish skullcaps

BERLIN (AP) — The German government's top official against anti-Semitism says he wouldn't advise Jews to wear skullcaps in parts of the country.

Felix Klein was quoted in an interview with the Funke newspaper group published Saturday as saying that "my opinion has unfortunately changed compared with what it used to be" on the matter. He said: "I cannot recommend to Jews that they wear the skullcap at all times everywhere in Germany." He didn't elaborate on what places and times might be risky.

Germany's main Jewish leader said last year that he would advise people visiting big cities against wearing Jewish skullcaps.

Government statistics released earlier this month showed that the number of anti-Semitic and anti-foreigner incidents rose in Germany last year, despite an overall drop in politically motivated crimes.

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