The door that prevented a massacre

A day after the anti-Semitic attack in Halle, the head of the community recalls the moments of terror.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Police officers at site of shooting in Halle, Germany
Police officers at site of shooting in Halle, Germany

The chairman of the Jewish community in the German city of Halle, Max Privorozki, on Thursday visited the local synagogue for the first time since Wednesday’s shooting attack, in which a neo-Nazi terrorist tried to break into the synagogue and murder worshipers during Yom Kippur prayers.

Privorozki, who was in the synagogue at the time of the shooting, saw the entrance door to the synagogue which the shooter was unable to penetrate and thus could not break into the synagogue and murder more people.

“Yes, I'm standing here in front of this door for the first time since the incident,” Privorozki told Antonia Yamin, Chief Europe Correspondent of Kan 11 News. “I didn't see the results of his shooting and now I can see…And I really pray to God, to Hashem, that he made the door so strong. I can hardly believe it. [The shooter] fired a very powerful weapon and it is truly a miracle that this door withstood that.”

“A miracle truly happened here. The terrorist, a 27-year-old German neo-Nazi, documented the entire event live and circulated it through the Amazon service around the world. In the shocking video, you can see how he tries to enter the synagogue and, when he fails to do so, shoots a bystander,” he added.

Privorozki and Yamin were the first to enter the synagogue since Wednesday’s shooting attack.

“You can see what we saw yesterday. He was standing here shooting at the door and where the police car is now standing was his vehicle and he shot this woman and we saw it,” recalled Privorozki.

“The security guard sits here watching and he immediately called us [when the shooting started]. I was sitting over there somewhere. The Torah was open and we prayed, we were reading from the Torah [when the shooting started] and of course there was panic because we heard the shots from outside,” he added.

Upon hearing the shots, the worshipers inside the synagogue fled upstairs to the kitchen, which is located on the second floor of the synagogue building. The worshipers hid in the kitchen for several minutes and once things calmed down, they came back downstairs and continued to pray.

The worshipers had to remain inside the building for several long hours as per police orders. During this time, the terrorist continued his killing spree, entering a shawarma stand in the city and opening fire, killing a second person. Two hours later, the police arrested the shooter after he crashed into a truck outside the city.

“First of all, we blocked this door from the inside. We brought tables and chairs and everything possible and fortified the door in case he managed to enter the courtyard,” said Privorozki.

“For me, it doesn't matter if it's a neo-Nazi, an extreme leftist or a Muslim terrorist. What matters is that they do not fight it or do not fight it enough,” he added.

Meanwhile, the synagogue is preparing for the holiday of Sukkot, which begins at sundown on Sunday evening.

Stella Kornblum, secretary of the Jewish community, told Kan 11 News, “And this Sunday we have our children and parents coming to decorate our sukkah. We will decorate it with fruits and decorations. And will people come? I hope so, I hope so.”