German Jewish community ‘sad and aghast’ at rape-murder of Jewish teen

The Jewish community of Mainz, Germany, reacts with shock and horror to the news that a 14-year-old member of the community is found dead Thursday near the city of Wiesbaden.

“I am as shocked, sad and aghast about the violent death of Susanna as one can be,” says Rabbi Aharon Ran Vernikovsky, who leads the Mainz Jewish community. “I am shocked and speechless,” he tells the Juedische Allgemeine weekly, adding that the community will do everything in its power to help and support her family.

Susanna F.’s case has preoccupied German media for several days. News of her body’s discovery Thursday, and police confirmation that she was raped and murdered, allegedly by two Muslim asylum seekers, made headlines nationwide, though most newspapers did not initially mention the fact that she was Jewish.

On Thursday afternoon, the Central Council of Jews in Germany confirms that the victim was Jewish and expresses its condolences to her friends and family.

“A young life was ended in a gruesome fashion,” the statement reads. “Our deepest sympathies are with family and friends. Susanna was a member of the Mainz Jewish Community.”

— Raphael Ahren

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