Synagogue firebombed in Germany

Politicians condemn attack on shul in Oldenburg


The Oldenburg synagogue (Photo:Wikimedia / Joachim Kohler HB)

POLICE IN northern Germany are intensifying efforts to track down those who carried out a firebomb attack at a synagogue in Oldenburg.

The synagogue in Oldenburg, near the historic northern city of Bremen, came under siege on Friday afternoon when unidentified individuals hurled an incendiary device at the main door.

Fortunately, caretakers from a nearby cultural centre swiftly extinguished the flames, preventing any casualties. However, the attack left the door damaged, stirring concerns within the Jewish community and prompting an immediate police response.

Law enforcement agencies have formed a dedicated investigation team to probe the incident, although details about potential suspects or motives remain scant.

Oldenburg Police Chief Andreas Sagehorn said: "The police will do everything they can to clarify the background to this cowardly act and identify the perpetrator or perpetrators."

In a display of solidarity, hundreds of people converged in Oldenburg to denounce the attack and express support for the Jewish community.

Here Claire Schaub-Moore, chairwoman of the Jewish community in Oldenburg, expressed her gratitude, saying: "We feel this strength and it is much greater than what happened on our doorstep, on the doorstep of the synagogue."

Meanwhile Josef Schuster, President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said: "We will not let it get us down. Jewish life belongs to our country, to Germany."

And Michael Fürst, President of the State Association of Jewish Communities in Lower Saxony, raised concerns about the pervasiveness of antisemitism, and called out for increased funding for educational initiatives to combat bigotry.

Political figures and religious leaders alike have made efforts to condemn the attack in unequivocal terms.

Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser labelled it a "disgusting" and "inhuman attack on Jews," while Lower Saxony's Interior Minister Daniela Behrens pledged decisive action by the state.

Culture Minister Julia Willie Hamburg also said there was a collective responsibility in combating anti-Semitism, urging support for Jewish institutions.

Oldenburg's Lord Mayor Jürgen Krogmann echoed the sentiments, declaring, "Attacks on synagogues are attacks on us all."

As investigations proceed, attention has turned to surveillance footage that may have captured the perpetrators in the act.

Though CCTV is rarely used in Germany due to the country’s extremely strict privacy laws, the synagogue is equipped with video surveillance, and authorities are analysing the footage for potential leads.

Last October, a similar firebomb attack occurred at the Jewish community centre, the Kahal Adass Jisroel (KAH) association.

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