A Jewish student seriously injured in an attack outside the Hamburg synagogue

A Jewish student has been seriously injured in an attack on the Hamburg synagogue starring a man dressed in a paramilitary way and that he could be immediately detained by the police officers guarding the religious temple. Both of them, attacker and victim are 29 years oldreported the police of the Hanseatic city. The student “is seriously injured but his life is not in danger,” said the police spokesman. He added that the attack took place this Sunday around 4:00 p.m., when a man “in military clothing” and “in the vicinity of the synagogue” struck with a ‘blunt object’, apparently a shovel, his victim in the head. The attack occurred when a religious service was beginning in the synagogue. As soon as the events occurred, “many visitors to the synagogue” were taken to safety, police said.

The attack took place a few days before the anniversary of the attack on the synagogue in Halle starring a neo-Nazi activist in which two people were killed. On October 9, 2019, Stephan Balliet went armed to the teeth to the Jewish temple in the East German city with the intention of assaulting and killing as many people as possible. The robustness of the temple door, which withstood the shots and the firing of explosives by the attacker, prevented a massacre among the 52 people who were inside at that time and who were celebrating Yom Kippur, the most important Jewish holiday . Seeing his attack thwarted, Stephan Balliet shot and killed a woman who happened to be passing by the place and who reprimanded him for the noise he was making, before starting a getaway in his car that lasted for more than an hour and a half and in which he also shot and killed a customer in a Turkish fast food restaurant. The two dead were German citizens and casual victims of the attack.

Balliet broadcast his attack and murderous career live for more than half an hour with a video camera through social networks. “My name is Anon and I believe that the Holocaust never took place,” said the neo-Nazi at the beginning of the broadcast. The 28-year-old neo-Nazi activist has been indicted since July 21 by the Naumburg High Court for double murder and 68 assassination attempts, as well as Holocaust denial, neo-Nazi agitation and serious injuries, among other charges.


Attack in front of the synagogue in Hamburg: no acceptance of anti-Semitism

You can’t give in to anti-Semitism. Children and young people are not allowed to grow up in a society that can accept it.

The synagogue in Hamburg: A 29-year-old was seriously injured here on Sunday Photo: dpa

The attack in Halle on Yom Kippur, the most important Jewish holiday, in which two people died, was just a year ago. The fact that a Jewish community in Germany is again exposed to an anti-Semitic terrorist act on Sukkot makes me sad and angry at the same time.

We are grateful to the security forces on site for acting quickly and preventing the attacker from further violence. But it must also be stated that the security presence was obviously not sufficient to protect a person from serious injury.

We have to ask ourselves, and local and national security agencies have to ask, why does this keep happening? Why does anti-Semitism keep growing, why do these people think that there is room for their hatred in this society?

When it comes to anti-Semitism, you shouldn’t give in a foot, anti-Semitism shouldn’t be accepted as normality that just happens. Children and young people are not allowed to grow up in a society that has come to terms with anti-Semitism. They must not experience on their social media such as Tiktok every day that anti-Semitism is something that can be imagined and said.

The federal government must take the lead and step up the education so that the next generation understands that any kind of hatred is unacceptable. It is about nothing less than the long-term existence of Jewish life in Germany.

It is also the task of governments and judicial authorities to ensure that the facilities of the Jewish communities, synagogues, schools and meeting places have sufficient police protection so that Jews can freely live out their faith and celebrate their holidays without fear and harassment. The attacker from Hamburg must be held accountable, like everyone who cultivates hatred and intolerance.


Attack in front of the synagogue in Hamburg: With military clothing and swastika

The attack in front of the Hamburg synagogue on Sunday is said to have been anti-Semitic. So far, there are no indications of accomplices.

The day after the attack: Policeman in front of the Hamburg synagogue Photo: Jonas Walzberg / dpa

HAMBURG taz | Late on Sunday evening dozens of police officers patrolled the streets around the Hohe Weide synagogue in Hamburg’s Eimsbüttel district. Meanwhile, investigators in white overalls were still securing traces directly at the entrance to the synagogue. The first candles placed there flickered in front of the flutter tape with which the synagogue was cordoned off. “Anti-Semitism has no place here,” was a handwritten note on a slip of paper next to it.

Right in front of the synagogue entrance, a man attacked and seriously injured a 26-year-old on Sunday evening. He wore a kippah. “How can that happen again, one year after Halle?” Asked the Hamburg regional rabbi Shlomo Bistritzky in the evening after the attack. The young man was about to go to an event in the synagogue in the late afternoon when a man who was wearing clothing similar to the Bundeswehr hit him from behind – with a shovel on the head. Then the alleged perpetrator, a 29-year-old, was arrested by the security guards who were approaching without resistance.

It is hardly surprising that comparisons to the anti-Semitic attack in Halle were made on Sunday. According to Rabbi Bistritzky, the officers found a note with a swastika in the perpetrator’s pockets. Last year on Yom Kippur, the highest Jewish holiday, a right-wing extremist tried to break into the synagogue in Halle, killing two people. In a few days, on Friday, it will be the anniversary of the attack. Sunday was also a Jewish holiday, the Feast of Tabernacles ended.

“It was an anti-Semitic act – I can’t find any other explanation,” said Bistritzky. During the deed, many of the believers were already in the synagogue, because afterwards the service was to begin. Bistritzky arrived at the synagogue a few minutes after the crime and, above all, had to do pastoral care: “Everyone is in shock.”

Where did the Bundeswehr outfit come from?

The Hamburg police initially let little of their investigative findings through. The only thing is that the perpetrator, who lives in Berlin, makes an “extremely confused impression”. On the night of Monday, however, the officers searched an apartment in the north of Hamburg, where the perpetrator had apparently been staying for a long time. Data carriers have been secured, and there has been no evidence of accomplices to date.

“Based on the current assessment of the overall circumstances, the act of an anti-Semitically motivated attack can be assumed,” said the spokesman for the Hamburg police, Holger Vehren, then on Monday afternoon. The police confirmed that they found a note with a hand-painted swastika in the pockets.

The Central Office for State Protection of the Hamburg Public Prosecutor’s Office has therefore taken on the investigation. So far, she has rated the act as attempted murder. The alleged perpetrator has not yet appeared to the police. “Where the 29-year-old got the army uniform he wore – and whether it is a real model – is still being checked,” says Nana Frombach, spokeswoman for the public prosecutor’s office. He is to be brought before a judge on Monday.

The Hamburg interior authorities announced that the Jewish facilities were particularly protected on Sunday because of the holiday. Nationwide there has been horror since the crime became known. Jewish representatives call for better protection of Jewish life in Germany.

Because the alleged perpetrator is said to have “Kazakh roots” according to media reports, the Hamburg FDP has already raised the question of whether the legislation on naturalization should be reformed.

The attacked 26-year-old was still in hospital on Monday. She suffered a serious head injury, but was not in mortal danger and was available on Monday.


Synagogue in Hamburg: Attack on Jewish students

IIn the vicinity of the synagogue in Hamburg there was an attack on Sunday afternoon in which a 26-year-old man was seriously injured. The police in the Hanseatic city confirmed this in the evening at the request of the German press agency. The “Süddeutsche Zeitung” had previously reported on an anti-Semitic act in which a man in military clothing allegedly attacked a Jewish student with a shovel.

A 29-year-old man hit the victim on the head with a blunt object and seriously injured him, but not life-threateningly, said a police spokesman. According to Süddeutscher Zeitung and Tagesschau, the victim is said to have been taken to hospital. According to the information, the 26-year-old was able to get to safety and received first aid from passers-by until rescue workers arrived. According to the Süddeutscher Zeitung, he was recognizable as a Jew because of his kippah.

Officials who were on site to protect the synagogue and observed the incident arrested the attacker. The background would now be determined. The state security had also been switched on. According to dpa information, the man had a piece of paper with a swastika in his pocket. According to the police, the 29-year-old makes an “extremely confused impression”. It was very difficult to question him, said a police spokeswoman for the German Press Agency on Sunday evening. The attacker is German with Kazakh roots. It is unclear where he got the military camouflage suit that he wore during the crime in the afternoon. The spokeswoman was initially unable to provide any further information on the background to the crime. The investigation continued.

Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) sharply condemned the attack on Twitter. The attack is not an isolated incident, but “disgusting anti-Semitism”. He wishes the student a good recovery.

Around two weeks after the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the attack brings back memories of the Halle attack a year ago. There the right-wing radical Stephan B. tried to attack the believers gathered in the synagogue on the highest Jewish holiday. Because he could not gain entry, he instead killed a passer-by and a guest in a takeaway. The military dress of the alleged perpetrator in Hamburg is also reminiscent of the attack.

The so-called Feast of Tabernacles, Sukkot, has been taking place since October 2nd, which lasts for a week and follows Yom Kippur.


One year after the attack in Halle: Länder protect synagogues better

Almost a year has passed since the anti-Semitic attack in Halle. Today more money is being used to protect Jewish institutions. But is that enough?

October 10, 2019: Police officers in front of the New Synagogue in Berlin Photo: Christian Mang / reuters

BERLIN taz | A year ago Naomi Henkel-Gümbel was in the synagogue in Halle on Yom Kippur, the highest Jewish holiday, when a right-wing extremist tried to storm the building. Henkel-Gümbel was a guest in Halle, actually she lives in Berlin. She feels pretty safe here, she says, but the city is an exception. Small Jewish communities in particular often lack the money to effectively protect their institutions.

Henkel-Gümbel, who is also a joint plaintiff in the trial against the alleged assassin from Halle, is sitting in the New Synagogue in Berlin, the media service has invited to a press conference. “One year after Halle: How well are synagogues protected?” Is the question to be discussed.

The media service asked all federal states what they had changed since the attack. The result: Jewish institutions are more closely guarded in almost all federal states. In addition, almost all countries have made additional funds available to better protect synagogues, daycare centers or schools – for example with bulletproof doors, fences or sluices at the entrance. Bavaria has pledged eight million, Hesse four, and Saxony-Anhalt 2.4 million euros. In addition, there are 22 million from the federal government.

The litmus test is whether there is really construction going on, says Ronen Steinke, lawyer and journalist whose book “Terror gegen Juden” has just been published. For far too long, the Jewish communities had to rely on themselves to implement the police’s safety recommendations, and some communities would have to bear up to 50 percent of the costs themselves. Before the attack, not a single euro of tax money flowed into the synagogue in Halle for the protection of the building, said Steinke. “That was clearly a failure of the state.”

A double dark field

“Avoidance of danger is the task of the state”, emphasized the author. That is why the police must see it as their duty to counter this danger. Less than one hundred percent financing of security measures is not acceptable. “If we don’t ensure that, the right to practice one’s religion is not worth much.”

“The protection of Jewish communities has become better, but it is not yet good across the board,” admitted Jürgen Peter, Deputy Head of the Federal Criminal Police Office. “A lot more dialogue” between the Jewish communities and the police is also necessary. In the past year, the security authorities established 2023 anti-Semitic crimes, most of which are right-wing motivated, said Peter. “More than five crimes per day, that’s unbearable.” In addition, there is a double dark field: The police do not recognize anti-Semitic crimes as such – or they would not even report the offenses.

This was confirmed by Sigmount Königsberg, anti-Semitism commissioner for the Jewish community in Berlin. Incidents are often only recorded by the police as bodily harm, but not the anti-Semitic background of an act. In addition, according to an EU study, only every fifth anti-Semitic crime is reported.

Steinke emphasized how “perverse” the situation is that Jewish institutions have to be guarded and spoke of a state of siege. “So that we can go to school or to church services, the police are standing at the door.”

Henkel-Gümbel – the survivor of the Halle attack, had also sharply criticized the behavior of the police after the attack and the investigations in the past. On Tuesday, however, she emphasized that, despite everything, Germany was the country in which she would continue to live in the future. “I can’t leave the people here alone,” said the budding rabbi. One should not leave room for right-wing extremist ideologies and show solidarity. “I have to do my part.”


Blues roumain – Culture / Next

“You cannot take your country with the soles of your shoes. But we always keep something in the heel. “ Talion, Achilles heel? What is hiding in that enigmatic sentence – perhaps a Yiddish saying – that the old American Joe Bernstein throws at his thirty-something stepdaughter. These two adore each other. A flow of affection and understanding runs between them. And yet what did Suzy and the “Rabbi of vintage products” which spreads its concept of “Story clothes” on several continents?

The young Romanian goy married Ben, one of the three Bernstein sons, a little for love – she was ecstatic at his alluring little nose like a cute potato ready to be devoured – but especially for the opportunity he offered her to escape a blocked future. We are then at the beginning of the 90s. As for the mother-in-law, on the other hand, it is a relational failure. Suzy had it all during her childhood in Ceausescu Romania, and sees Dora as the prototype of the spoiled, rich old woman. No tender feelings here, but ready-made US phrases and a typical American egocentricity, the exiled daughter-in-law thinks she understands.

In an atmosphere à la Woody Allen, this Washingtonian story then continues its march, infusing a humorous lightness in the novel by Catalin Mihuleac, Romanian writer born in 1960 and former geologist. Yet the overall tone of the book is terribly dark. Another story runs parallel to the success story Bernstein. Sixty years earlier, in Romania, the Oxenbergs suffered the anti-Semitism of a regime subservient to the Nazis, which culminated with the pogrom of June 1941 in the city of Iasi. This massacre – it caused nearly 15,000 victims, killed in the streets, at execution sites, in or at the exit of death trains – is a taboo in contemporary history in Romania. For a long time the Communist regime disguised the facts, claiming that the killings had been committed by the Germans. Even today talking about the Iasi pogrom can be difficult.

Catalin Mihuleac features a family from the city’s Jewish bourgeoisie. Jacques, the father, is a renowned obstetrician, specialist in Caesarean sections, the nationalists call him “The vagina doctor” and call for a return to traditional home births. The mother, Roza, is an elegant, emancipated and literate woman, she is preparing the German translation of an anthology of Romanian short stories. Their son Lev is a schoolboy with a sense of the playground business, and their daughter Golda a delicate child author of stories, one of which told to a German soldier will save her from the pogrom.

Very well documented, the novel shows how discrimination against Jews began in the 1920s. For the medical student Jacques Oxenberg, it started with absurd regulations. Example: Jewish rifles can only dissect Jewish corpses “Otherwise they will be fired”. Beatings, inflammatory statements … “Hatred smolders, hatred swells”. And shifting the point of view to the bellicose “on” side of fascist students, announcing the anonymous one of the greedy pogrom mob, Mihuleac writes: “We dream of the moment when hatred can cry out: ‘Hooray!’. ” Full of tumult, the book sees growing fear on the Jewish side until the terrible scenes of killing in the middle of the street on June 29, 1941. The realism is chilling: to the jubilation of the Romanian populace, who tears their clothes from the dying, the panic of the victims is opposed, sliding on the paving stones glistening with blood, begging in vain, dying at the hands of those who were perhaps their neighbors.

The history of the Bernsteins and that of the Oxenbergs will come together in a moving way at the end of the book, but already find in Suzy a bridge. The young woman who follows a teaching at the synagogue discovers a historical passion for this period. Furious that her husband indulges in a life dedicated to business and oblivious to the past, she organizes a horrible conjugal ambush. This is one of the disturbing moments in this book in an unstable balance between burlesque and gravity, but with undeniable force.

Frederique Fanchette

Catalin Mihuleac

The Oxenbergs and the Bernsteins

Translated from Romanian by Marily Le Nir Editions Noir sur Blanc,

304 pp., € 22 (ebook: € 14.99).


Trial of the Nazi attack in Halle: The pain of the victims

In the trial of the attack in Halle, the father of the shot Kevin S. reveals how the act changed his life. A statement leads to applause.

Painful memories: photos of the victims of the Halle attack in front of the Magdeburg district court Photo: Jan Woitas / dpa

MAGDEBURG taz | Nothing is processed. Karsten L. stops, trembles, fights back tears, then he can no longer. “I tried to call Kevin. 20, 30 times. He didn’t answer. Nothing, nothing, nothing. ”In the evening, after six hours of anxiety, he placed a missing person ad on Facebook. Then a friend wrote to him that he would send him something. It was the video in which Kevin, Karsten L.’s son, is shot. “I looked at it.” Then he can no longer speak, the tears overwhelm him. He cries for several minutes, and several co-plaintiffs also cry. The judge must interrupt the questioning.

The man who took his son Kevin S.’s life is sitting diagonally across from Karsten L. in the Magdeburg district court on Tuesday: Stephan B., charged with two murders and 68 attempted murders. On October 9, 2019, B. tried to storm the synagogue in Halle and posted the crime on the Internet. The 28-year-old failed, but he shot and killed Jana L. Then he drove to the nearby “Kiezdöner” to murder migrants. There he murdered Kevin S., who was having lunch there.

The attack is a beacon to this day, negotiations have been taking place in Magdeburg since July. On Tuesday Karsten L. is now a witness. It will be the only appearance by a bereaved of the two murder victims in the trial. Jana L.’s mother also takes part in the trial as a joint plaintiff, but according to the court she asked not to have to make a statement. Karsten L., however, wants to talk.

The scaffolding builder reports how his first son died shortly after he was born. His second, Kevin, was diagnosed with mental and physical disabilities. But Kevin fought. He finished the special school, completed internships at a painting company in Halle and finally started an apprenticeship there. “His dream job. He really blossomed. ”And Kevin became a passionate fan of Halleschen FC, built up a circle of friends there, traveled to games, and stapled every ticket. “He built it up himself,” says Karsten L. “He was extremely proud.” And so was the father, the witness appearance leaves no doubt about that.

One life – destroyed

But then came October 9, 2019, nine days after Kevin’s training began. The father reports that he spoke to his son on the phone that morning. Then he heard about the attack in Halle and tried to reach his son, his mother did too. Without success. “That wasn’t normal. I was hoping he lost his cell phone. But that was unlikely. ”Then he got the video of the fact. Saw his son still hiding behind a refrigerator, how he shouted: “Please don’t!”. The 20-year-old had no chance.

For Karsten L., life has been destroyed since then. Kevin’s mother and he are still receiving psychological treatment, partly inpatient, he reports. Three times he thought it couldn’t go any further, called the police. “It’s difficult, we need extreme help.” Stephan B. stares at the fighting father, motionless. A victim attorney points out to the judge that the defendant rolled his eyes. He says no. At the beginning of the trial, B. had regretted killing Kevin S., mistaking him for a Muslim. He shows no more remorse in the process.

Ismet and Rifat Tekin’s lives have not been the same since the attack. The brothers have been living in Halle for twelve and five years, working in the Kiezdöner, now as owners. Now they too are witnesses to the trial. Rifat stood behind the counter during the attack.

At first he thought a soldier was coming into the shop, he says. Then shots were fired, he was hiding behind the counter. When the perpetrator turned his back on him, he ran out of the store. Ismet had left the shop shortly before, and a pavement bullet shot past him too. He hid behind cars. When Stephan fled and he came into the shop, Kevin S. was already dead.

“We want to stand firm”

He still suffers from insomnia today, says Rifat Tekin. Ismet adds that his brother used to make everyone laugh that it was over. “It pains me to see him like that.” He has also been telling lies to his mother in Turkey for months so that she doesn’t worry.

He doesn’t actually want to go to the store anymore, says Rifat Tekin. But his brother wants to keep it running. “That’s why I support him. We want to stand firm, we want to stay here, we want to stand up for this country. ”Ismet Tekin does not want the assassin to win either:“ We will not go away and we will not give up our shop. ”

Photos of the murdered people and shirts from Halleschen FC are still hanging in the Kiezdöner. The snack bar is now also a memorial, says Ismet Tekin before the day of the trial. And sales have collapsed. Fewer and fewer guests are coming, after the Corona outbreak, the snack bar had to close completely for three weeks. The support promised by politicians also failed to materialize. “It is very difficult.”

In the meantime, a fundraising for the Kiezdöner is underway – initiated by the Jewish Student Union and a group of young Jews who were in the synagogue during the attack and celebrated Yom Kippur there. “We believe in a multicultural society in this country,” it says in their appeal.

One last message

Jeremy Borovitz, one of the believers from the synagogue, appealed: “Please donate”, Ismet Tekin is “an extremely decent man in a world gone mad”. A good 6,400 euros have been raised so far. Ismet Tekin is touched by the solidarity. He wants to use the money to expand the snack bar to include a breakfast café, he says. Maybe things will look better again.

Ismet Tekin has traveled to the trial almost every day of the trial. On Tuesday he spoke to the accused directly, calling him a “coward”. Stephan B. smiles. “Nobody deserves to die like that. Can you imagine how much strength it takes a mother to raise a child? What kind of pain does it mean when it loses its life in this way? “

Ismet Tekin said he couldn’t believe that no one was aware of the bomber’s plans. Even though he chatted so much on the internet and made guns at home with his parents. “It is not an act of an individual.” He also does not understand the hatred. All people are foreigners somewhere in the world. Stephan B.’s defense attorney intervenes, believes the execution is too dissolute, but the judge lets Ismet Tekin continue to speak.

And he announces a final message to Stephan B. “You didn’t win. You have failed all along the line. The result is even more solidarity and love. We won’t go away. And guess what? I’m going to be a father, I’m having a child. And I’ll do my best to raise it here. ”Applause breaks out in the hall. The judge lets it go.


Trial of the Nazi attack in Halle: Fled in fear of death

In the trial of the attack in Halle on Wednesday it was about what was happening in the “Kiez-Döner”. Here the defendant shot and killed one of his victims.

Candles at the crime scene in front of the Kiez Döner in Halle on October 11, 2019 Photo: Felix Abraham / imago

MAGDEBURG taz | In the trial of the right-wing terrorist attack in Halle on Wednesday, it was for the first time what was happening around the Kiez-Döner snack bar. It was the assassin’s second target, after the synagogue, in front of which he had killed a passerby and a planned attack had failed. Full of anger, he drove to the nearby diner, where he shot Kevin S. and injured other people.

Five pieces of stuff: inside were invited for Wednesday, three of them finally appear, plus a spontaneously called up witness – an LKA commissioner who secured the crime scene. Ismet and Rifat Tekin, the new owners of the Kiez-Döner, should also testify. However, the court was unable to provide them with a translator, so they could not testify.

The eleventh day of the negotiation is primarily about how people experienced the crime who narrowly escaped the attacker at the Kiez-Döner. It starts with a 78-year-old pensioner from Halle, who was only a few meters away from the perpetrator when he threw a self-made explosive device at the snack bar. A nail about four centimeters long hit her on the foot, another got stuck in the shoe.

“I thought: why isn’t anyone calling the police?” Says the witness. On the day of the act, she wondered why it was taking so long. She was able to flee from the assassin unnoticed: “He didn’t say anything, I didn’t say anything either. That was certainly my great luck, otherwise I would have felt like the woman at the synagogue. “

Witness data passed on to the press?

The second witness is a professor from Göttingen who was also in the Kiez-Döner during the attack. He appears as a joint plaintiff, speaks of the rule of law and moral principles of society. The perpetrator listens carefully to him. The witness speaks slowly, in detail, describes the process meticulously – and leaves little doubt as to the authenticity of his description.

He describes the attack on the snack bar and how he escaped through a window in a storage room. Like many other things: inside before – especially the survivors – he also reports psychological problems after the crime. And from a visit to the press just three days after the attack. The judge Ursula Mertens wonders how the press knew his address. “There is only one way. Someone must have had access to the investigation file or the police statement, “says the witness and judge Mertens confirms:” Someone must have passed on the address. “Neither of them know who that was.

A survivor who was on his way to university is invited as the last witness. He is the only migrant witness of the day and says the perpetrator shot him. “When I heard the shots, I just thought: Away, away,” says the witness. He fled in fear of death, but he no longer knows exactly what happened.

In addition to the witness statements, a video of the crime is shown again – this time, however, not filmed from the helmet camera, but from the perspective of the camera that the perpetrator had attached to his body. When photos of the crime scene are shown, the court turns off public screens. The photos show, among other things, the body of Kevin S. Not again, says a lawyer, if the survivors and relatives are to be confronted with these pictures.

In the trial, 43 people appear as co-plaintiffs, including relatives of those killed, from the synagogue, the area around the kebab shop, stuff and police officers. The charges in the trial for the racist and anti-Semitic attack are: double murder and attempted murder in 68 cases.


Suspect arrested after attacks on Jewish community

NAfter the attacks on the Jewish community in Graz, the Austrian police arrested a suspect. The man was made responsible for a total of seven crimes, including the assault on the mayor and property damage to the synagogue by stone throwing and graffiti, said a police spokesman on Sunday evening for the Austrian news agency APA.

According to initial information from the Ministry of the Interior in Vienna, the arrested person confessed, the agency reported. The Austrian authorities did not initially disclose any details about the suspect. Almost 200 people took part in a solidarity rally for the Jewish community in Graz on Sunday evening. According to the APA, people moved from the main train station to the synagogue and sang: “Shoulder to shoulder against racism”.

Attack with a wooden stick

The President of the Graz Jewish Community, Elie Rosen, was attacked by a man with a wooden stick in front of the community center on Saturday evening. Rosen was unharmed. On Saturday night, one window in the community center was smashed and several others were damaged. The synagogue in Graz had already been smeared with pro-Palestinian slogans on Wednesday.

Rosen told Austrian media that Graz was increasingly dealing with left-wing and anti-Israel anti-Semitism. Austria’s Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen condemned the attack on roses and the synagogue. “Hatred of Jews and anti-Semitism have no place in our society. My solidarity goes out to all Jews living in Austria, ”he wrote on Twitter. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was “shocked”.

Last year 550 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in Austria. The Jewish synagogue in Graz was destroyed by the Nazis in the pogrom night from November 9th to 10th, 1938. After more than 70 years, the rebuilt synagogue was reopened in November 2000 on the remaining walls at the original location. The Jewish community in Austria’s second largest city has 150 members.


Process of the attack in Halle: the silence of the family

The family of the assassin from Halle is silent in court. A friend’s testimony shows that everyone looked away when the accused radicalized.

Danger of escape: Halle’s assassin is shackled in the courtroom Photo: Ronny Hartmann / Pool via Reuters

MAGDEBURG taz | This Wednesday, the father, mother and half-sister of the Halle assassin sit in the hall of the Oberlandesgericht Naumburg in Magdeburg – just long enough to exercise their right to refuse to testify. They do nothing to clarify the question of how it could have happened that their son and brother tried to storm the Halle synagogue, heavily armed, on 9 October 2019 and, after this plan failed, killed two people.

The fourth day of negotiations in the Halle process therefore begins with silence. The statements of the family would be of particular interest to the co-plaintiffs. According to lawyer Kristin Pietrzyk, they want to know the structures in which the perpetrator moved, whether and how his right-wing extremist ideology was expressed, which ultimately led to the attack on a synagogue and a snack bar. According to current knowledge, the accused’s social life was largely restricted to his family.

The fourth witness to this trial day is the former partner of the accused’s sister. Used too far to refuse to testify, and close enough to have an insight into the family, he answers the questions of the judge and the attorney for almost four hours. About the relationship with the mother, about the father, in whose shed he made the weapons used in the attack. About the sister, who never got as much attention as the accused.

He was calm and reserved, the witness says and confirms the prevailing picture. However, it also shows another side. There was regular talk at the mother’s lunch table. 2015 about the “refugee crisis”, about whether Chancellor Merkel was able to govern. The witness often finds it difficult to give concrete statements. But he remembers one of the accused’s statements: “The Jews are to blame.” He “kept out”, says the witness.

Even after “the thing” there is silence

He also stayed out when the defendant loudly approached two people in a supermarket because they did not speak in German. He also stayed away from unemployment. He said nothing about a knife, a helmet, a sword, empty cartridge cases and a model tank decorating the accused’s children’s room. He didn’t ask why the defendant was paranoid about location systems and account creation. He examined a metal press made by the accused and answered technical questions about metal processing, but stayed out of the question of what the accused was doing in his father’s shed.

Even today, after “the matter”, the family kept silent. “Nobody wants to address it.” The mother was too unstable after attempting suicide, the father was displaced. In all of his descriptions, the witness appears to be passive. Even when it comes to his own involvement in the extreme right-wing scene, which was “very long” and also “only took half a year or less”.

But it was just such passivity that made the assassination possible. This is emphasized by several lawyers: in the secondary lawsuit. A co-plaintiff addressed the witness himself: “The scene in the supermarket already showed that the perpetrator would become who he became. Given that it’s a process, how would you stop your son from becoming what the accused is like? ”His answer: He didn’t know.