Attack on synagogue in Halle: horror scenario on Yom Kippur


She came to church. Although the police have been calling for hours on the radio, television and social media, the citizens of Halle to stay at home, because the situation is still confusing. Shortly before 18 o'clock the city center of Halle is then empty. But a few scurry into the church.

Reinhard Bingener

Reinhard Bingener

Political correspondent for Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Bremen based in Hanover.

Mona Jaeger

Actually, they wanted to celebrate the peaceful revolution of 30 years ago. But they had to cancel the prayer for peace after it was clear what had happened in Halle that day. Probably several perpetrators had moved through the city and had shot around. Two people died. Apparently, a perpetrator had tried to invade the synagogue. But he did not succeed. Now has the Marktkirche, an imposing gothic building with four towers. A woman distributes songbooks. “We are here,” she says. Although citizens should stay at home, they are literally moved.

Around the altar they put chairs to be closer together. It is sung and prayed. “My god, my god, why did you leave me. I scream, but my help is far away. “Anyone can now get up, light a candle, and say what's going on inside him. One says he thinks of the victims and their relatives. Another asks, how could people believe that they can assert their views with murder? And one even speaks of gratitude. For the attack on the synagogue was at least unsuccessful, there was no need to burn a synagogue in Halle again. In between there is silence and helplessness.

Citizens of the city of Halle, on whose cell phone a disaster detector is installed, received on Wednesday afternoon at 12:48 clock the following alarm: “Firearms use in the city. Do not leave building and apartment. Stay away from windows and doors. “At that time, the police had to deal with a difficult-to-overlook operational situation: shots were fired at the synagogue in Paulusviertel, a coveted residential area with old buildings from the Wilhelminian era. A resident, who lives only a few streets away, reported on the phone that police helicopters are circling the area and sirens are heard everywhere. She left the planned trip to her work place and instead stays inside her apartment. Her employer, the University of Halle-Wittenberg, also sent a warning not to go out on the street. Reports are already circulating in the city at this time. First, about one fatality, shortly thereafter about two fatalities as well as about several attackers who are on the run.

The synagogue is part of the historic building ensemble in the Paulusviertel. In 1894 it had been built as a celebration hall for the Jewish cemetery, which had been built some years earlier a little further north. A hand grenade is said to have been thrown into this graveyard. This was also an indication that the attack was targeted against Judaism. In addition, on Wednesday the Jews celebrated Yom Kippur, the day of reconciliation and the highest holiday in Judaism. In ancient Israel, Yom Kippur was the only day the high priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies in the Jerusalem Temple.

The Jewish community in Halle is not big. It is theologically rather conservative, but is considered open and pursues a sophisticated cultural work. The community is dominated by Jews from the former Soviet Union. The chairman of the municipality is Max Privorozki. Nearly three hours after the attack, he explains in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that – due to the high holiday – at the time of the attack, 70 to 80 parishioners had been in the synagogue. However, none of them were injured or even killed.

. (tagsToTranslate) Max Privorozki (t) Police (t) Jews (t) University of Halle-Wittenberg (t) Church (t) FAZ (t) Kippur


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