A 45-year-old man has been arrested after a rabbi was allegedly spat on and accosted in an antisemitic attack in Hamburg.
Shlomo Bistritzky, regional chief rabbi in Hamburg, and Eliezer Noe left a meeting with Mayor Peter Tschentscher in Hamburg city hall on Thursday when a passerby allegedly threatened them and spat on them, German media reported.
Bistritzky told the Hamburg Abendblatt that the man had first said “Shalom” to them. “Then he said something that sounded threatening. We faced him and asked him what he had said,” he said. “He then reached under his shirt and pulled out [a lighter] … and began to threaten us verbally.”
Bistritzky claims the man held out the open flame while spewing insults and spitting at them and speaking in Arabic and German.
Officers reportedly attempted to speak with the man, who tried to flee, but later made an arrest placing a “spit protection hood” on the suspect.
Bistritzky told the Abendblatt that he “never thought something like this could happen in Hamburg, let alone in this spot. We took it as a bad sign, too, that the attacker was released after two hours.”
State police have taken over the investigation.