October 10, 2019
Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement:
“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) is horrified by yesterday’s deadly Yom Kippur terror attack in Halle, Germany outside the Humboldt Street synagogue as Jews worshiped inside. To, yet again, have a holy day — the holiest of days in this instance — shattered by a white supremacist coward attacking Jews at our house of worship is simply devastating.
“While the exact details of the shooting are not fully available, we know that the self-identified neo-Nazi terrorist murdered two people and seriously wounded several more after his attempts to enter the Humboldt Street Synagogue were thwarted. For about ten minutes, congregants barricaded the doors and watched in terror as the gunman repeatedly attempted to gain entry. Later they waited for the police to arrive as the terrorist killed an innocent woman just outside. Shortly thereafter, the terrorist killed a second victim at a kebab restaurant, just a few blocks away.
“As was the case with the terror attacks in Christchurch, Poway, and El Paso, this killer sought to make his planned massacre ‘go viral’ and inspire additional would-be attackers by posting a manifesto online and live-streaming his murderous actions. Here, the killer made his hateful intent clear by denying the Holocaust, denouncing feminists and immigrants, and declaring, ‘the root of all these problems is the Jew’ as he conducted his murderous rampage.
“The ADL’s recently published report Hate Beyond Borders: The Internationalization of White Supremacy details how this hateful movement poses a threat to communities around the world:
Global access to white supremacist ideology, and its easy dissemination across borders via various social media platforms, means many of the ideas promoted by the white supremacist movement — curtailing of non-white immigration, attacks on globalization and the accompanying conspiracies about elitist globalists — are increasingly part of mainstream political and social rhetoric.
“The JCRC continues to communicate with local, state, and federal law enforcement as it pertains to Jewish and other vulnerable communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Despite this attack happening during Yom Kippur, the JCRC updated local Jewish organizations with vetted information about this incident. In 5780, we will continue to fulfill our mission of organizing and enhancing Jewish community security.
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community since 1939, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.
Photo: People place flowers at a makeshift memorial in front of the synagogue in Halle, eastern Germany, on October 10, 2019, one day after the attack where two people were shot dead. (AXEL SCHMIDT / AFP)