A Jewish student was badly injured on Sunday after a man attacked her with a shovel outside a synagogue in the northern German city of Hamburg, police said.
The man swung a foldable shovel, injuring a 26-year-old before the synagogue’s security personnel were able to restrain him. He was later taken into custody by Hamburg police. Germany’s DPA news agency reported the 29-year-old suspect was carrying a piece of paper with a swastika in his pocket.
The victim, reported to be a Jewish student, suffered serious injuries to the head and was admitted to a local hospital for treatment, according to the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. His injuries are serious though not life-threatening.
Police said the attacker, a German with Kazakh roots, was accused of causing grievous bodily harm and appeared to be acting alone. A police spokesperson said the motive for the attack was still under investigation and that the suspect was “extremely confused” leaving investigators unable immediately to question him.
Members of the city’s Jewish community were at the synagogue celebrating Sukkoth.
‘Why does this keep happening?’
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas denounced the attack as anti-Semitic and called on people to show more civil courage.
“This is not an isolated incident, this is disgusting anti-Semitism and we must all oppose it!” Maas wrote in a tweet.
“As we mark the one-year anniversary of the Yom Kippur attack in Halle, Germany, which left two dead, I am saddened to learn that once again, this time on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, a German Jewish community is confronting a violent, antisemitic act of terror,” World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said in a statement.