NEW YORK – Today, a German court concluded the five-month trial of the attacker who attempted to break into a synagogue on Yom Kippur in the town of Halle and then shot two bystanders. The perpetrator was sentenced to life in prison.
The World Jewish Congress is gratified that the German justice system appropriately brought the assailant, a far-right extremist and Holocaust denier, to justice.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said:
“I commend the German justice system for imposing the harshest possible sentence on a heartless, vicious antisemite who attempted to murder Jews in a synagogue on the holiest day of the Jewish year, and took the lives of two innocent people who happened to be in his way.
“Federal Prosecutor Kai Lohse appropriately emphasized to the court and the world that the assailant attacked ‘Jewish life in Germany as a whole,’ and that the rampage was a product of his ‘racist, xenophobic and antisemitic ideology.’
“The speed, follow-through and decisiveness of this trial is a definitive example of how the judicial system must respond to such horrific violence, making crystal-clear there is no place for such hateful, harmful rhetoric or behavior in society.”
A year after the fatal shooting, the day after Yom Kippur this year, the World Jewish Congress convened Jewish leaders at the synagogue in Halle, to mourn the deaths of Jana Lange and Kevin Schwarze and to push for concrete action to fight antisemitism.