Synagogue Shooting in Germany

At least two people were fatally shot on Wednesday in the east German city of Halle, the police said, with local news outlets reporting that at least one gunman had opened fire at a synagogue... A witness to the shooting, which took place in broad daylight, told local broadcaster MDR that he had seen a gunman dressed in military gear and armed with several weapons firing at the synagogue. Other news outlets reported that a hand grenade was thrown into a Jewish cemetery nearby. Prayers for Yom Kippur, began at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and had been scheduled to continue until 8:30 p.m. It is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, and services brought many people to the temple.

The NYTimes coverage, though, is really icky. See this:

Anti-Semitic crime and hate crimes targeting foreigners have both increased almost 20 percent in Germany over the past year.

Are Jews foreigners? Is that the suggestion here? Or is the idea that these “hate crimes targeting foreigners” and anti-semitic crimes are committed by the same people? What about the hate crimes perpetrated by foreigners? Or is “a foreigner” a synonym for “victim”?

It’s very annoying that the paper can’t let any tragedy happen without trying to use it in some way to indoctrinate.

7 thoughts on “Synagogue Shooting in Germany”

  1. // Or is the idea that these “hate crimes targeting foreigners” and anti-semitic crimes are committed by the same people?

    It seems to be so in this case. The Islamic terrorists and the far right seem to be urging each other to commit more and more violence:

    // German anti-terror prosecutors are taking over the probe of a deadly shooting outside a synagogue and at a Turkish restaurant at around midday in the eastern city of Halle, a spokesman told AFP.

    A Turkish restaurant was also targeted by a grenade and gunfire. […] Police have not linked the attack to the synagogue. But the attack came as Jews around the world are celebrating the holiday of Yom Kippur, a period of fasting and praying following the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah).

    Wednesday’s shootings came three months after the shocking assassination-style murder of local pro-migrant politician Walter Lübcke in the western city of Kassel, allegedly by a known neo-Nazi.

    Interior Minister Horst Seehofer last month warned of the rising danger of the militant far right, calling it “as big a threat as radical Islamism”.

    Seehofer said that police had uncovered 1,091 weapons including firearms and explosives during probes of crimes linked to the far right last year, far more than in 2017 when 676 were found.

    At the same time, Germany has also been on high alert following several jihadist attacks in recent years claimed by the Islamic State group.


  2. NYT is not suggesting that Jews are foreigners. Anti-Semites think of Jews as the Other – perpetual foreigners. A similar mindset underlies crimes committed against Jews for being Jews, against foreigners for being foreigners, and against other groups of people for being who they are. The most obvious example is Nazi Germany persecuting the Roma and gay people in addition to Jews.


    1. By eliding the difference between Jews and “foreigners” the paper is obscuring the fact that the explosion of anti-semitism in Germany comes mostly from foreigners. In a similar way, the paper avoids mentioning that pretty much all of the anti-semitic assaults in NYC are done by black and Hispanic men.


  3. Nice post re Harari and liked the ending paragraphs re role of the thinkers :

    Юваль Харари и трудная доля гуманитариев

    Btw, he accuses Western thinkers of being unable to provide adequate solutions to the challenges of our time, and it brought to mind a book by Tony Judt I’ve just bought “Ill Fares the Land.” Have you read it? The Amazon description is promising:

    “As the economic collapse of 2008 made clear, the social contract that defined postwar life in Europe and America-the guarantee of security, stability, and fairness-is no longer guaranteed; in fact, it’s no longer part of the common discourse. Tony Judt, one of our leading historians and thinkers, offers the language we need to address our common needs, rejecting the nihilistic individualism of the far Right and the debunked socialism of the past. In reintroducing alternatives to the status quo, Judt invigorates our political conversation, furnishing the tools necessary to imagine a new form of governance and a better way of life.”


  4. I thought “Stephan Balliet, 27, a German citizen from the state of Saxony-Anhalt” targeted Jews AND Muslims because of the murdered man near a Turkish restaurant, but turns out he planned to enter a synagogue and slaughter all the Jews there. It was truly a Yom Kippur miracle he failed and then shot two people on the street out of frustration. Only Jews were targeted by this sicko who posted a manifesto blaming Jews for all the problems in the West. There are almost no Jews in Germany today in contrast to millions of Muslims, yet Jews are the first and in this case the only target of choice for neo-Nazis. Why?!!!

    See the quote below and imagine what would’ve happened had he managed to break into the synagogue. And why and how has he managed to buy weapons and special gear? I thought German laws, unlike American ones, were strict about selling weapons, but may be I was mistaken.

    A senior security official said Stephan Balliet “wasn’t previously known to authorities.”

    From Israeli news site:

    // The video circulating online showed a young man with a shaven head reciting a short statement in broken English to a camera while sitting in a parked car.

    “I think the Holocaust never happened,” he began, before adding “feminism is the cause of decline in birth rates in the West”, mentioning mass immigration and concluding: “The root of all these problems is the Jew.”

    In the video, the man drove to the synagogue, found the gates shut, swore, and after failing to force the gates open, shot several rounds into a woman passer-by.

    German magazines Spiegel and Focus Online reported that the suspect was a 27-year old German.

    Max Privorozki, Halle’s Jewish community chairman, described how the gunman tried to shoot his way into the synagogue.

    “We saw via the camera system at our synagogue that a heavily armed perpetrator with a steel helmet and a gun tried to shoot open our doors,” he told the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper. “The man looked like he was from the special forces … But our doors held.”

    “We barricaded the doors from inside and waited for the police,” he said, adding that about 70 or 80 people were inside the synagogue celebrating Yom Kippur.,7340,L-5604829,00.html


    1. German gun laws are fairly strict, but it’s pretty easy to smuggle illegal things into Germany and weapons are available if you have money and know the right people. All of Germany’s neighbors are Schengen countries, so there are zero controls at any of the land borders. The economy is also built around international trade, vast quantities of goods go in and out of Germany and through Germany on the way to other places.

      I have never been to Halle, but I have seen several new Synagogues in Germany that have clearly been built with security in mind. It’s usually disguised as modern architecture, but they are basically stone fortresses.


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