Lower Saxony: State security is investigating an arson attack on a synagogue in Oldenburg

After the arson attack on the synagogue in Oldenburg, the police want to solve the case "under high pressure".

Lower Saxony: State security is investigating an arson attack on a synagogue in Oldenburg

After the arson attack on the synagogue in Oldenburg, the police want to solve the case "under high pressure". The police announced on Saturday that an investigation group had been set up under the direction of the police state security agency. The Oldenburg public prosecutor's office was also immediately involved. “The investigative group is conducting the intensive criminal investigation under high pressure,” it said. So far there is no information about the perpetrator or perpetrators. On Friday afternoon, unknown people threw an incendiary device against a synagogue door.

According to the police, nothing was initially known about the background to the crime or the motivation. Investigations are being carried out in all directions. According to the information, security measures for the Jewish community in Oldenburg have been strengthened. Among other things, a permanent police presence was established. The police are still looking for witnesses to the attack.

No one was injured in the attack, the deputy chairman of the Jewish Community in Oldenburg, Michael Stahl, told the German Press Agency on Friday afternoon. The community is shocked that there are people in Oldenburg who live out their hatred in this form of violence and crime. “But we will not let this approach hinder our path,” said Stahl. “We will continue to hold our church services and our events as planned, this weekend and also on the coming weekends, we will not deviate from that.” The community wants to remain visible in Oldenburg.

There had already been a vigil in front of the synagogue on Friday evening. The Alliance Against Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism Oldenburg called for a demonstration in Oldenburg on Sunday. Since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7th and the start of the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip, the danger situation for Jews has increased massively, the call said. Anti-Semitic crimes have reached record numbers. “A highlight of the attacks is now the arson attack on the synagogue in our city,” said the alliance’s spokeswoman, Johanna Faber.

The Central Council of Jews praised the reactions in Oldenburg. “The support from the city community is good,” explained Central Council President Josef Schuster. "The quick action by the security authorities is an important sign for which we are grateful." Schuster emphasized that everything points to anti-Semitic motivation. He added: "We will not allow ourselves to be defeated. Jewish life belongs to our country, to Germany. Anyone who does not want to accept this must bear all the legal consequences for their actions." He hopes that the background will be clarified quickly.

The attack triggered nationwide reactions. Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser commented on the X platform (formerly Twitter) on Friday evening. “This arson attack is a disgusting, inhumane attack on Jews in Oldenburg,” wrote the SPD politician. The perpetrator or perpetrators must be identified and held responsible.

Only the synagogue door was damaged in the attack. A caretaker team from a neighboring cultural center immediately discovered the fire and extinguished the flames.

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