Politicians and church associations have sharply criticized the attack on a synagogue window in Hanover. “I condemn him in the strongest terms,” said the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster. The Jewish community in Germany was shocked. It is shameful that Jews in Germany in 2022 will not be able to go to prayer without fear. The fact that something like this happened shortly before the state elections in Lower Saxony must be a renewed signal to politicians never to neglect the fight against anti-Semitism and radicalism of any kind. Schuster added: “We are encouraged by the many expressions of solidarity from civil society and state institutions.” Representatives of the Catholic and Protestant churches as well as Muslim representatives made similar statements. Politicians also condemned the attack.
According to previous investigative findings, a stone or hard object was thrown into a window in a synagogue in Hanover on Wednesday evening. People were not injured. Around 150 people were praying in the building at the time and celebrating the highest Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur. State security is investigating. So far, no information on possible perpetrators, a motive or the course of the crime is known.
Remembering the attack in Halle
Israel’s ambassador to Germany, Ron Prosor, tweeted that whoever throws a stone does not hesitate to “fire a bullet”. He recalled the attack on a packed synagogue in Halle (Saale) three years ago on Yom Kippur. “Jews must feel safe in Germany, especially in their places of worship,” Prosor demanded, writing: “I’m sure the authorities will arrest the perpetrators quickly.”
Lower Saxony’s Interior Minister Boris Pistorius emphasized: “Any form of violence against Jewish life is an attack on our free, open and solidary society in Lower Saxony.” Hanover’s Lord Mayor Belit Onay tweeted that he was appalled, angry and sad. “Hannover stands by our Jewish fellow human beings,” assured the Greens politician.
The regional dean of the Catholic Church in the Hanover region, Christian Wirz, said it was unbearable and unacceptable “that our Jewish sisters and brothers are being threatened in the practice of their faith in their holy place”.
The evangelical regional bishop Ralf Meister expressed his horror and shame. “Our Jewish siblings saw their Yom Kippur celebrations violently disrupted.” It is unbearable that Jews are being threatened in their religious practice.
Three years ago, on Yom Kippur, a right-wing extremist attacked the synagogue in Halle. On October 9, 2019, the armed man tried to enter the building to cause a massacre there. At the time, more than 50 people were gathered there. When the perpetrator failed, he shot a passer-by and a man in a kebab shop. In December 2020, the Naumburg Higher Regional Court sentenced the 28-year-old German Stephan B. to life imprisonment with subsequent preventive detention for two counts of murder and attempted murder in numerous other cases.
kle/se (dpa, kna, epd)