Press Release

ADL Urges German Authorities to Investigate Failure of Law Enforcement to Protect Halle Synagogue

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New York, NY, October 11, 2019 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) today called on federal authorities in Germany to investigate the failure of local law enforcement to adequately protect the synagogue in Halle, as well as the slow response time to the attack. Two people were killed after a suspected right-wing extremist attempted to attack the synagogue on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jewish people.

“We appreciate the statements of Germany’s leaders that they stand with the Jewish community, but it’s more important that law enforcement stands in front of the community,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “There is absolutely no reason for this synagogue, on the holiest of holy days, to be left to defend itself, alone, for 10 minutes, against an armed, right-wing extremist hell-bent on killing Jews.”

Since Wednesday, ADL has been in direct contact with German government officials, expressing deep concern over the security failure, which left the synagogue almost totally unprotected both prior to and during the attack.

ADL joins the assessment of Dr. Joseph Schuster, President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, who called the absence of police at the synagogue “scandalous,” and that of Max Privorozki, chairman of the Jewish community in Halle, who said that, “Had there been police here [Wednesday], this would have ended differently.”

An ADL staff member was in Halle when the shooting took place Wednesday and has been working with the local Jewish community since then to offer assistance and support to those who were targeted.  ADL, along with the Central Welfare Board of Jews in Germany, has provided funds to establish  a psychological help hotline in German, English and Hebrew for victims and the community to discuss their trauma and experience, and to offer support through the High Holidays.