A Jewish student was seriously injured in an attack outside of a synagogue in Hamburg, Germany, on Sunday, days before the one year anniversary of the Halle synagogue attack last Yom Kippur.
According to a police report, a 29-year-old man dressed in military garb hit the Jewish student, who was wearing a kippah, over the head with a folding spade shovel outside of the Hohe Weide Synagogue in Hamburg. The student was preparing to enter the synagogue, where he was marking the Jewish holiday of Succot.
The victim was taken to the hospital with what was described as a serious head injury. He was “given first aid by passers-by until rescue workers arrived,” the police report states.
Synagogue security personnel were able to overpower the attacker and hold him until he was taken into custody by Hamburg police, the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.
The newspaper called the incident an “anti-Semitic attack,” though it reported that nothing else is known about the attacker. Police told Reuters that the attacker’s motive is unclear.
On Oct. 9, 2019, a heavily armed gunman attempted shoot his way into the synagogue in Halle, in eastern Germany. He left the synagogue and killed two people. During the trial, which is currently underway, some of those who were in the synagogue at the time have complained about what they say was a slow police response to the attack.
The Community Security Trust said its “thoughts are with the community in Hamburg, Germany, after a Jewish student was attacked outside a synagogue yesterday, on the festival of Succot. Thankfully, the attacker was stopped by security, and is a reminder to us why the work we do with police is so important”
World Jewish Congress’s President, Ronald S. Lauder, said: “As we mark the one-year anniversary of the Yom Kippur attack in Halle, Germany, which left two dead, I am saddened to learn that once again, this time on the Jewish holiday of Succot, a German Jewish community is confronting a violent, antisemitic act of terror.”
While thankfully, police on the scene acted quickly to stop the attacker from committing further violence, the security presence was not enough to deter this attacker from gravely injuring someone.”
He called on the German government to “take responsibility in strengthening education” to prevent hatred”, saying “the long-term viability of Jewish life in Germany depends on it”.
- Read more: Special Report: One year after Halle