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Germany to improve safety of Jewish sites after Halle attack

Announcing 22 million euros to step up security at synagogues, Interior Minister Seehofer says country will do everything to provide ‘necessary protection’ to community

Carpenter Thomas Thiele, front, removes the bullet hole-ridden door of a synagogue in Halle, Germany, July 28, 2020. (Hendrik Schmidtpa/dpa via AP)
Carpenter Thomas Thiele, front, removes the bullet hole-ridden door of a synagogue in Halle, Germany, July 28, 2020. (Hendrik Schmidtpa/dpa via AP)

BERLIN — Germany announce Thursday that it will provide 22 million euros ($26 million) to improve security of synagogues and other Jewish sites in the country following an anti-Semitic attack last year.

The government pledged to step up security after a right-wing extremist tried to force his way into a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle on Judaism’s holiest day, Yom Kippur, killing two passers-by after he failed to get in.

The botched attempt at carrying out a massacre caused alarm in Germany, which has sought to protect its Jewish population in response to the genocide of 6 million Jews perpetrated during the Nazi era.

“The Jewish community can rely on the German government to do everything to ensure their necessary protection,” Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said. “We’re aware of our responsibility.”

The head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, Josef Schuster, said the new funds would help Jewish communities that are struggling with the financial burden of security measures.

“The attack in Halle drastically [shows] us that Jewish life needs massive protection,” he said.

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