How safe are Jewish citizens in Germany? | DW News

published on July 20, 2020

Igor matvietz is jewish and lives in the eastern german city of hala he shows us around the market square where most days a well-known neo-nazi organizes a rally as soon as he spots igor threats come over the loudspeaker

It's telling that even after the attack this kind of thing can still take place in the middle of hala i'm sad to say it's quite normal for him to insult ordinary citizens things like this just fuel conspiracy

Theories and help to radicalize the hala attacker the incitement stops just short of criminal activity but it helps to foster a climate of fear the extremist

Also targets the media accusing journalists of lying the police are keeping a low profile we ask officers off camera whether it's right the jewish citizens should have to listen to this far-right

Extremist they tell us the right-winger also hears things a reference to civil rights campaigners halla's jewish people tend to keep to themselves

And that saved lives during the attack the solid wood synagogue door protected people inside from the gunshots on october the 9th last year on yom kippur

The most important jewish holiday a heavily armed neo-nazi tried to storm the synagogue the attacker fired repeatedly at the door and threw hand grenades failing to gain entry the attacker then

Shot dead a woman passerby who challenged him he then opened fire at a nearby takeaway food shop killing one diner both of the victims are commemorated at the place where it

Happened the leader of hala's jewish community was among the fifty worshippers who escaped the attack on the synagogue with their lives

The effects however are still being felt then helicopter in the lufthansa the sound of a helicopter makes me uneasy which it never did before in the same way i never had any problem with the

Fireworks on new year's eve diesel manslaught max privorotsky recently found two swastikas in front of his office building he was further unsettled when he

Witnessed a police officer covertly clearing a swastika away it's not good to feel so insecure feel that you can't entirely rely on the police and other authorities that's really

Most of hala's jewish community are reluctant to go out in public eagle matvietts does venture out but remains cautious i think most jewish people would not be happy to walk around hala wearing a

Kippah you just mentioned it's no great surprise that hala's jewish community does not feel safe so why are neo-nazis allowed to spread racial hatred on a daily basis

In the market square since the attack last year the mayor has prioritized countering anti-semitism we wanted to ask him about this but his office said he was too busy to talk to us

With me in the studio now is benjamin knight who covered the aftermath of the hula attack for deutsche weller benjamin welcome the trial of the suspect begins tomorrow what do we know about him well he's uh

28 years old now he lived with his mother he's he's kind of a pathetic figure quite a lot i mean he in the video that he obviously filmed himself committing the thing and

Streamed it live on the internet and in the video he he sort of described himself as a loser and he's he's getting it all wrong and um his attorney is who's defending him

He said that he's the kind of person who uh blames his own misery on other people a lot of the time and what we kind of know is that he he was deliberately trying to copy the christchurch attack which happened a few

Months before in a mosque and at this time he wanted to kill as many people as possible in a synagogue that was his he was extremely anti-semitic and uh he had a there was

There was a psychological assessment of him which found that he was basically obsessed with two things which was one was building guns all the guns that he made were homemade and the other thing was anti-semitic

Conspiracy theories now you covered the aftermath of the harley attack for deutsche welle and you've also been back there recently what does the city feel like now

Well it's not like i could tell you that you know the whole city is in shock and trying to work out what they're going to do with the situation it's not that's not how people function now it's like like in

The aftermath in a few days afterwards there was like um uh you know you know there was a human chain formed a symbolic human change around the synagogue to show solidarity and thousands of people

Were out in the market square and i think but now like nine months later it's not as if there's much has changed like there's things have just settled down and and

The attitude to the far right because we saw in the clip then that there was um there's a there's a there's a local neo-nazi kind of a notorious guy who does regular uh

Anti-semitic protests there now they're not very big there's just like a two or three people there but he shouts into the street but people just kind of accept it you know that people just

Think oh he's just part of the furnish it's like there's and and the only people who show real outrage are like anti-fur activists and um it's not

Like a it's people just kind of get on with their lives you know it seems extraordinary benjamin that a man in germany can stand in the middle of a square shouting anti-semitic abuse essentially

And that is okay is that as you mentioned really acceptable in eastern germany i mean was there any political fallout in the east after this attack for example

Yeah i mean it's not as if like people don't like it people are repugnant you know there's a sort of repugnance against these this that type of thing but it's not as if there's

Thousands of people protesting anymore against anti-semitism and against uh the far right and um i think yeah i i think from a political point of view i think a lot of the the politicians are

More kind of saying oh it didn't really you know this is nothing to do with hello we don't want to impugn the people of hala and that is kind of also like a natural reaction but it's not as if there's

There's a really a big oh um i don't think i don't think the politicians really know what to do in a situation like this because this you know and they often like uh emphasize oh this is just a lone wolf

Kind of figure and but we have to kind of ask like obviously he was like a this kind of loser character but why is he then therefore anti-semitic that isn't really clear we leave it there for the time being dwa reporter

Benjamin knight thank you very much for coming in thanks you

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