Iris Hefets is a 56-year-old psychoanalyst living in Berlin. On 14 October, she stood alone in a public square in the German capital and held up a sign.
On it, she had written: “As an Israeli and Jew, stop the genocide in Gaza” – on one side in English, and the other in German. Very quickly, police officers stationed nearby arrived. They told Hefets that she was not allowed to do this and must take the sign down. A crowd formed and started filming.
Hefets, who’s lived in Germany for the past 20 years, politely argued with authorities, saying that she wants to stand alone with her sign and that she's not causing any trouble. As she stood her ground, the police decided to take her away.
She was detained for over an hour. Berlin Police threatened to arrest her, but, according to Hefets, they released her after realising they had little legal basis to keep her.
Her detainment that day was one of the many repressive actions taken by German authorities against pro-Palestinian voices – including Israeli Jews – since Israel’s war on Gaza was launched around two months ago. Here she tells us why she believes Germany’s historical “guilt” is a “cover-up”.