Three years after the anti-Semitic attack on a synagogue in Halle in Saxony-Anhalt, numerous events were held to commemorate the victims. Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) laid wreaths together with the survivors of the dead and made it clear in his subsequent speech: Our society must take a clear position on anti-Semitism and racism.
"All people have the same right to respect and dignity," said the head of government at the memorial event in the synagogue's courtyard. The question of whether something similar could happen again should not be dismissed lightly, Haseloff warned. "The veneer of civilization is very thin. Humanity can quickly turn into inhumanity and barbarism." The shelled gate of the synagogue is "a haunting memorial".
On October 9, 2019, a heavily armed assassin tried to break into the synagogue in Halle on Yom Kippur, the highest Jewish holiday. When he didn't succeed, he shot a 40-year-old passer-by in front of it and a 20-year-old customer in a nearby kebab shop. During his escape, the assassin injured numerous other people before he was caught by the police. The 30-year-old German has admitted the crimes. The Naumburg Higher Regional Court sentenced him to life imprisonment with subsequent preventive detention in 2020.
Jewish community: "There are two people who were murdered"
The chairman of the Jewish community, Max Privorozki, who witnessed the assassination in the synagogue, emphasized on Sunday that mourning for the two people who died was the main focus on the anniversary. It is not the day for the political debate. With each passing year, the time between events increases, but there is something that always remains. "There are two people who were murdered," he said shortly before the event.
Federal politicians also called for caution against anti-Semitism and hatred. "This anniversary reminds us never to look away," wrote Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on Twitter on Sunday. "We commemorate the victims and reaffirm our determination to fight right-wing extremism in any form."
"Nothing can undo what happened, but we are learning our lessons," wrote Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) on Twitter. "We want Jews in Germany to be able to live safely and without fear, and we protect them."