German police officer allegedly sent fan mail to the Halle synagogue gunman
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

German police officer allegedly sent fan mail to the Halle synagogue gunman

Unnamed officer has been suspended pending a further investigation into fawning letters to Stephan Balliet, who is currently serving a life sentence for killing two on Yom Kippur

A person with a flag of Israel stands next to flowers and candles in front of a synagogue in Halle, Germany, following a terror shooting on Yom Kippur (AP Photo/Jens Meyer via Jewish News)
A person with a flag of Israel stands next to flowers and candles in front of a synagogue in Halle, Germany, following a terror shooting on Yom Kippur (AP Photo/Jens Meyer via Jewish News)

A female police officer allegedly wrote fawning letters to the imprisoned gunman who attempted to attack a synagogue in Halle, Germany on Yom Kippur in 2019.

The unnamed officer, a police commissioner in the Dessau-Roßlau district, has been suspended pending a further investigation, according to the German news agency DPA. The gunman, Stephan Balliet, is currently serving a life sentence for the attack, in which he killed two people near the synagogue.

Tamara Zieschang, interior minister for the state of Saxony Anhalt, where Halle is located, said she would provide the state legislature with details on the case this week. According to German news reports, the officer had no connection to the arrest of Balliet and was not guarding him, nor was she ever involved in investigations into hate crimes or the protection of Jewish institutions.

She reportedly wrote admiring letters over a period of months to the right-wing extremist, expressing sympathy for his crime. The case came to light after colleagues overheard the commissioner express admiration for Balliet, and reported it to their supervisors.

More than 10 letters from the officer were found in his prison cell; she reportedly had used a pseudonym, which was why prison officials had not noticed them earlier. Other correspondence he received is now being reviewed.

The chairman of the Jewish community in Halle, Max Privorozki, told the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that he trusted the police, “despite this insane case.” He added, “Unfortunately, there seem to be such lunatics everywhere.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments