Arson attack against synagogue in Germany

| May 17, 2010

BERLIN (EJP-AFP)—Unidentified vandals mounted an arson attack against a synagogue in Worms, western Germany, on Monday but the building was not damaged, authorities said.
Police said in a statement that they received a call overnight after unidentified assailants set alight a flammable liquid at several sites around the synagogue.

"The fire brigade was able to extinguish the blaze so the building was not damaged. Its walls, however, are black with soot," the statement said.

Police in Worms – a city southwest of Frankfurt – said they had joined forces with departments in neighbouring towns to investigate but had not yet produced any leads.

State prosecutors have opened a probe. Although the perpetrators are yet to be identified, the possibility of neo-Nazi sympathizers' involvement is not ruled out.

The attack drew fire from the state officials with State Premier Kurt Beck saying, "We will not tolerate such an attack on a synagogue."

"The perpetrator should know that such an act against a Jewish house of God is a travesty that we will pursue with all legal means," Beck was quoted by DPA as saying.

The first synagogue on the site dated from the 12th century but Nazi thugs set it ablaze on the Night of Broken Glass pogrom on November 9, 1938. Then, synagogues, Jewish businesses and property were targeted by the forces of the Third Reich.

The Worms synagogue's ruins were later completely flattened during the years of Nazi terror against Jews.

After World War II, it was rebuilt using recovered parts from the original structure and reopened in 1961.

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security