NEW YORK – During a Sukkot celebration for students at the Hohe Weide Synagogue in Hamburg, an individual wearing a military-style uniform hit one of the students in the head with a shovel, gravely injuring the student who was taken to the hospital. Police providing security for the synagogue apprehended and arrested the attacker, according to the Hamburg police.
In response, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder declared:
“As we mark the one-year anniversary of the Yom Kippur attack in Halle, Germany, which left two dead, I am saddened to learn that once again, this time on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, a German Jewish community is confronting a violent, antisemitic act of terror. While thankfully, police on the scene acted quickly to stop the attacker from committing further violence, the security presence was not enough to deter this attacker from gravely injuring someone.
“We must ask ourselves, and German local and national authorities must address the question – why does this keep happening? Why is antisemitism thriving, and why does anyone believe there is room for such hate? Our young people must not learn from those who hate. The German government must take responsibility in strengthening education so that the next generation understands that hatred of any kind is never permissible. The long-term viability of Jewish life in Germany depends on it.
“It is also the responsibility of governments and law enforcement to ensure that Jewish religious and community institutions have suitable police protection to enable Jews to practice our faith and celebrate our holidays freely, without intimidation or fear. Today’s attacker must be held responsible as must all who engage in any expressions of hate or intolerance.”