Krav Maga: This man is preparing Berlin’s Jews for emergencies

theLiver Doron Hoffmann takes four rubber knives from a drawer and places them on the floor of the training room at his Krav Maga school in Berlin-Wilmersdorf. Eight women and men split into teams of two and know exactly what to do now.

“Drops!” Hoffman shouts, and pop music reverberates from the speakers. Athletes pounce on the training knife and try to snatch it from their opponent. They train defense techniques against knife attacks. Realistic and injury free.

Oliver Doron Hoffmann runs the Krav Maga school and has a security firm to protect Israeli and Jewish institutions and other clients.

Source: Marilyn Gaurich / the world

Hoffmann has taught Krav Maga for nearly 25 years, and his school at the Street Wise Academy in Berlin is the first of its kind. Krav Maga is not a martial art as it is not subject to any restrictive rules. It is a melee combat method that includes both defensive and offensive elements. The most important principles: speed, surprise and aggression.

The origins go back to the Jewish population of the British Mandate of Palestine in the 1930s. It was about protecting against anti-Semitic attacks. As many people as possible should be able to survive in the shortest possible time. Krav Maga soon became part of the training in underground Zionist organizations, and all soldiers had been learning the system since the founding of Israel.

For Oliver Hoffman, these assets are not just history. He is also interested in arming his students against attacks. A large part of them are Jewish like him, they train with Hoffmann because anti-Semitic violence is not a thing of the past that you can only read about in history books. This is how it sometimes looks on days of remembrance, such as Holocaust Victims Day, which is celebrated on Thursdays. But anti-Semitic violence is still a reality 77 years later, to which Jews are exposed again and again, especially in big cities.

Oliver Doron Hoffmann runs the Krav Maga school and has a security firm to protect Israeli and Jewish institutions and other clients.

Source: Marilyn Gaurich / the world

The Federal Criminal Police Office recorded 57 incidents of violence on an anti-Jewish background in 2020. According to this, the police in Germany became aware of a new case every week in which a Jew is attacked because he is a Jew.

Arming women against sexual violence

Anyone who wants to become a member of Hoffmann’s Krav Maga School must first conduct an admission interview with the 45-year-old German-Israeli. He wants to make sure not only potential violent criminals are trained, but those who want to defend themselves. “It should be morally flawless,” Hoffman says. Whatever he shows his students he should use only to help themselves or others.

Oliver Doron Hoffmann runs the Krav Maga school and has a security firm to protect Israeli and Jewish institutions and other clients.

Source: Marilyn Gaurich / the world

His students are not only Jews, but also people who use legal means against right-wing extremism or Islamism or who act as scholars on these subjects. He calls it “Our Society.” When Hoffmann noticed that one of his students was an activist from the German Identity Movement (IBD), he promptly expelled him. Because the IBD is a far-right association, you can read about it in the Protecting the Constitution report.

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Then there are girls and women, many of whom come in because they don’t want to be defenseless when faced with violence. “It should be our social goal that men in particular deal with sexual violence and borders,” says the Krav Maga school’s website. “But for us to reach that goal, there is a need for women to speak out against assault and harassment.”

Oliver Doron Hoffmann runs the Krav Maga school and has a security firm to protect Israeli and Jewish institutions and other clients.

Source: Marilyn Gaurich / the world

Oliver Doron Hoffmann runs the Krav Maga school and has a security firm to protect Israeli and Jewish institutions and other clients.

Source: Marilyn Gaurich / the world

Many police officers are also with Hoffmann – because they don’t feel well trained. At least not in the areas of Krav Maga, shooting, tactical training or tactical medicine, ie emergency medical care in special circumstances such as acts of violence or attacks. These police training courses are held every week. Not on behalf of the state, which often thinks it can provide the best training on its own. But it is paid by individual officials.

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Hoffmann often recognizes them during his second job as head of a security company. Therefore, he specialized in the protection of Jewish and Israeli institutions throughout Germany. And when he asks police officers how they would react during emergencies such as attacks or persistent attacks, he sometimes hears the following sentence: “Report. I don’t even have a VGBS course.” These are the conditional terms for a training course on how to deal with armed criminals. This is how Hoffman tells it in his office before training.

“This should also apply to Jews, right?”

With his broad arms and bald head, he seems to be someone you’d rather not mess with. Maybe that’s fine, because Hoffman is a protector. Many children and young people who attend Jewish nurseries and schools in Berlin know him as a kind man who takes care of them.

One of these schools, an elementary school, was shot last year. The painting with the bullet hole hangs on the wall in Hoffmann’s office. Not as a souvenir, but as a reminder of why he did all this. And because he is sometimes asked what Hollywood movie he’s living in when he says that Jewish primary schools in Germany should be protected by armed men.

Bullet hole framed window pane

Bullet hole framed window pane

Source: Marilyn Gaurich / the world

Some Jewish institutions in Berlin do not have enough funds to fund adequate security. During the far-right terrorist attack on the Halle Synagogue in October 2019, a solid wooden door prevented the mass murder of the Jewish community. The community purchased the door with its own money, and the video surveillance system was funded by a donation from the Jewish Agency, a Jerusalem-based charitable organization.

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Since then, the state’s protection of Jewish institutions has improved in some places. But Hoffman could still report daycare centers where the facility had to collect money from parents so windows could be covered with anti-theft foil. Hoffman believes the state will have to pay for it. After all, no citizen of Germany should fear being killed. “This should also apply to Jews, right?”

“It’s about the topic,” Hoffman says. If you ask him how it happened, he tells a story from his childhood. He was six years old when his family decided to immigrate to Israel – that is, to exercise the right to immigrate to Israel as a Jew. However, in his first school year, in 1981, Hoffman spent only half of that in class. He had to spend the other half of the year in an air raid shelter. Missiles are raining from Lebanon.

Oliver Doron Hoffman (photo) runs the Krav Maga school and has a security firm to protect Israeli and Jewish institutions and other clients.

Source: Marilyn Gaurich / the world

Hoffman says that when you experience your first terrorist attack in the first instance, it shapes you. With the mother on one side and the sister on the other. “You just don’t accept that.” His family returned to Germany at that time, and Hoffmann started school again.

Later he returned to Israel, the anti-terror unit of the State Security Service trained him as a Krav Maga and shooting instructor. There he learned how to behave in the event of hostage taking, attacks and attacks. He transmits this knowledge to today.

Everything should be thrown to the offender, as Charlie Citron Walker did with a chair last week, the rabbi of the synagogue in the US state of Texas, where the hostage-taker managed to hold four people for hours. Citron Walker had previously attended security training for Jewish institutions. He rehearsed the script he had to try later.

Hoffman is convinced that this training saved the hostages. “If you practice it, you can do better,” he says.

Young journalists publicize daily anti-Semitism

Journalists from FreeTech – Academy of Journalism and Technology have launched an interactive video project on Jew-hatred in Germany. “One in four” opposes looking the other way.

Source: WELT / jedervierte.com

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