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Germany: Police offer €5,000 for tips after synagogue attack

April 11, 2024

German police have offered a cash reward for information about an arson attack on a synagogue in the northern city of Oldenburg last week.

German police van outside the synagogue in Oldenburg
Police in Oldenburg are offering a cash reward for information regarding an attack on a synagogueImage: Hauke-Christian Dittrich/dpa/picture alliance

Police in northern Germany are offering a €5,000 ($5,360) reward for anyone who can provide them with information regarding an arson attack on a synagogue last week.

Last Friday, at about 1:10 p.m., an unknown individual threw an incendiary device at the door of a synagogue in the northern city of Oldenburg, causing a small blaze and minor damage.

Two caretakers from a neighboring cultural center discovered the fire and extinguished it. Nobody was injured but the perpetrator fled.

"The heinous act last Friday has caused nationwide bewilderment, but also great solidarity with the Jewish community," Andreas Sagehorn, chief of the Oldenburg Police, said in a statement.

"We are now relying on the cooperation of the public to help us solve the case."

"Against all antisemitism" - solidarity demonstration in Oldenburg
'Against all antisemitism': Residents of Oldenburg came out in solidarity after the attack Image: Fabian Steffens/Eibner/IMAGO

Police have set up an online portal to which members of the public can upload images or videos in the hope that security or car dashboard cameras may have captured the perpetrator on the way to or from the synagogue.

"Every hint counts," said Sagehorn. "Anyone can be the person who makes a difference."

Antisemitism in Germany has increased

For Claire Schaub-Moore, chair of the Oldenburg Jewish Community, the attack didn't come as a surprise.

"We've been preparing ourselves for a potential attack for a long time," she told German newspaper taz on Wednesday.

"So, when I heard from the caretakers that we've just had one, I thought: the time has come to put everyone we've trained for into action. Unfortunately, that is Jewish reality."

Germany has seen an increase in antisemitic crime since Hamas' attacks on Israel on October 7 and the ensuing war in Gaza.

In October, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a synagogue in Berlin.

On Sunday, about 400 people took part in a rally in Oldenburg organized by a local alliance against antisemitism.

mf/wmr (dpa, AFP)