Germany: Neo-Nazi kills two people near synagogue and kebab place, motivated by antisemitism and right-wing extremism
Yesterday in the eastern city of Halle, Germany there were at least two shooting incidents with fatal consequences. The target of the first attack was a local synagogue where people were celebrating the most important Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement).
The target of the subsequent attack was a fast-food kebab place of the kind that are frequently run in Germany by people with Arab or Turkish roots. The perpetrator, whom police arrested shortly thereafter, was 27-year old Stephan B, a German citizen, according to Der Spiegel magazine.
Based on the video that the shooter filmed while perpetrating the attack, police believe he was motivated by antisemitism and right-wing extremism, and a "manifesto" posted online which the perpetrator likely authored also gives that impression. Using explosives and firearms, the attacker did his best to force his way into the synagogue, which held as many as 80 people at the time of the attack.
"The perpetrator fired twice into the doors and threw multiple Molotov cocktails, explosives and shells to get inside. The doors remained closed, though, God protected us," the president of the local Jewish community, Mr Privorozki, said.
"The entire thing lasted maybe five to 10 minutes," he said. He described to the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper how the congregants reacted when they realized the suspicious man was approaching the synagogue: "We barricaded the doors and waited for the police."
The attacker was wearing a steel helmet and Privorozki said he looked like a member of a special forces unit. The perpetrator attempted to break into the cemetery, firing at its gates as well.
He then shot one woman dead outside the synagogue who was apparently a random passer-by. The congregants hiding in the synagogue did not exit the building until the early evening, accompanied by special police units.
Police officers first had to deal with the explosives the perpetrator had apparently manufactured himself and laid at the door to the synagogue. The Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported that a 36-minute-long video recording, made by the perpetrator, shows him shooting a woman at point-blank range after his attack on the synagogue fails, and some time later shows him shooting a man in the fast-food place nearby.
According to the public television station ARD, the perpetrator broadcast the video through the Internet, just as the shooter in Christchurch, New Zealand did in March when he murdered 51 people in two different mosques. In the video from Halle, the attacker speaks English with a German accent.
He alleges, among other things, that the Holocaust - the murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany for which today's Federal Republic of Germany also feels responsible - never happened. He also claims in the video that feminism has led to a declining birth rate, which is why immigration is happening in what he calls a massive scale.
The shooter also says he believes Jews are behind all of these problems. Other video footage of the attack filmed by eyewitnesses shows a masked attacker wearing a helmet who calmly gets out of a car and begins firing a weapon that he has to reload after each shot.
Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that the attacker apparently either made the weapon himself or adapted one for use. From the shooter's own video it is apparent that his equipment breaks down after he fires at a police vehicle.
"I have finally shown how worthless improvised weapons are," he declares in his own video. "All the weapons failed."
Rita Katz, the head of the SITE Intelligence Group which monitors the Internet activities of jihadists and right-wing extremists, tweeted that the author of the "manifesto" posted online wrote that he wanted to kill as many "enemies of the whites" as possible, whom he mainly identifies as Jews. Other possible targets mentioned in the "manifesto" are Muslims and left-wingers.
That document includes photographs of firearms, munitions and explosives that are partially homemade and were actually used by the gunman in Halle. Der Spiegel reports that the document, which was apparently created on 1 October, was assessed as authentic by detectives upon their initial review of it because of those photographs.
Many German politicians have responded to the attack with outrage. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted: "Our hearts are broken that somebody shot at a synagogue on Yom Kippur."
"Everybody in our country must stand up to antisemitism," Maas tweeted. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer also called the attack antisemitic.
- Germany: Vandals cut down tree honoring victims of neo-Nazi terrorists
- German media report that attacks on immigrants last year in Chemnitz were planned by the radical right
- Germany: 9.5 year sentence for murder that sparked demonstrations last year, convicted suspect insists he did not do it
- Austria, Germany on track to employ half of the refugees who arrived during the migration crisis four years ago
- Germany charges neo-Nazis with conspiring to commit terrorism
- Germany: Alcohol banned at neo-Nazi festival, some locals also bought up all the beer to keep it out of neo-Nazi hands
- German police raid homes of online haters in wake of political assassination
- German Police take action against Islamist and right-wing extremists
- German neo-Nazis are training for street battles on "D-Day", hoping to take power
- German investors into sausage museum want to move it to a former concentration camp site
- Czech Republic becoming a favorite destination for German neo-Nazis to practice target shooting
- German counter-intelligence examines whether to investigate xenophobic opposition party as a whole
- German MP who recently visited Czech President met with South African racists on official visit
- German Police arrest four neo-Nazis
- Hundreds of convicted German neo-Nazis evading custody, some may be in the Czech Republic
- Germany: More than 200 000 people protest discrimination, neo-Nazism and racism
- Germany: Extremist group in the AfD party says it is dissolving
- Irena Biháriová on developments in Slovakia: Who is really being ostracized?
- Czech and Slovak extremists do their best to profit from the COVID-19 pandemic, attacking the EU and public broadcast media
- Czech lower house committee suspends discussion of stripping ultranationalist MP of immunity from prosecution for xenophobic remarks
- Czech court returns to case of hate speech online targeting non-"white" first-graders
- Slovak elections: Opposition OLaNO wins, no growth in votes for fascist party
- Czech Interior Ministry: Hate speech increased in intensity last year
- Another victim of the German terrorist attack, a young man from Romania, is also from the Roma minority
- Czech Police investigating racist video posted by fanclub of ultranationalist party
- German Interior Minister: Hanau terrorist attack motivated by racism, neo-Nazis have attacked three times in just a few months
- Young Romani woman was a victim of German shooting spree
- German shooting spree is being investigated as a terrorist attack