It has been a year since the extreme right-wing attack on a synagogue in Halle, with two dead. Minister Maas calls on the population to take active steps against racism instead of looking the other way.
A year after the attack on Yom Kippur, the highest Jewish holiday in Halle, Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas described the right-wing terror as “the greatest danger to our country”. “There is now a right-wing extremist motivated crime in Germany every 24 minutes. These are not isolated cases, but rather the bitter right-wing extremist reality in Germany,” the SPD politician told the German news agency.
Stand up against racism and right-wing extremism
Maas called on everyone to stand up against racism and right-wing extremism. “Just saying ‘never again’ is not enough. We are all called to do our part to make sure everyone in our country feels safe – no matter what they believe in, what they look like, their name, life or love, ”he said.
It is the state’s job to ensure that everyone who lives here is protected. But it is also the job of every individual to speak loud and clear against racism in everyday life. “I firmly believe that the vast majority want Germany to become an open and democratic country. This majority must not remain silent.” It takes courage and moral courage to speak loud and firm for democracy, freedom and respect. “It depends on all of us, because only our silence makes the agitators loud.”
A year ago: Attack on the synagogue in Halle
On October 9, 2019, the heavily armed right-wing extremist Stephan Balliet tried to storm the synagogue in Halle and cause a massacre of 52 visitors. When he failed, he shot a 40-year-old passer-by and a 20-year-old guest in a kebab shop. During his escape, the German injured several people, some very seriously. The trial of the 28-year-old from Saxony-Anhalt is underway at the higher regional court of Naumburg.
On Friday, the victims of the attack will be commemorated with events, prayers and wreaths. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, are expected. From 12:01 am, life in the city of Saale should rest for three minutes. Exactly a year ago on the day, the first shots rang out right now.