Thousands march against anti-Semitism in Berlin

About 10,000 people protest against anti-Semitism in German capital, days after Halle synagogue attack.

Ben Ariel, Canada ,

Thousands march against anti-Semitism in Berlin
Thousands march against anti-Semitism in Berlin

Thousands of people in Berlin on Sunday protested against anti-Semitism, days after the attack on a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle.

About 10,000 people participated in the march through the German capital, reported The Associated Press. Several thousand others protested Saturday in other cities including Hamburg and Marburg, according to the news agency.

Two people were killed in the attack which took place on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, outside the synagogue in Halle.

Stephan Balliet, a 27-year-old loner, was arrested for killing two people after trying to gain entry to the synagogue as dozens of worshippers were marking Yom Kippur.

Though he failed to batter his way into the building, the assailant, armed with four apparently home-made rifles and grenades, killed a female passer-by and then shot dead a man who tried to take refuge in a kebab restaurant.

Police eventually captured Balliet -- who had four kilos (nine pounds) of explosives in his car -- after a gun battle that left him wounded.

Balliet on Friday admitted to the shooting rampage and confessed that it was motivated by anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism.

Given the range of weapons he had on his person, the death toll could have been far higher had Balliet managed to force his way inside the synagogue.

The chairman of the Jewish community in Halle said Balliet tried to break into the synagogue during prayer, but was blocked by security guards, preventing a larger death toll.

Sunday’s march began at a symbolic landmark, Berlin's Bebelplatz square, where the Nazis burnt thousands of books by Jews, Communist and other opponents, weeks after Adolf Hitler took power in 1933.

The marchers carried Israeli flags and banners with slogans like "No Nazis" or "Far-right terror threatens our society", according to AP.

The rally was organized by the civil rights group Unteilbar, or "Indivisible," under the slogan "We stand united" and ended at the city's New Synagogue with its famous golden dome topped by a Star of David.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer warned on Friday that there is an "elevated" risk of more far-right attacks in Germany following the Halle attack.

Seehofer said there are an estimated 24,000 far right extremists in Germany. He added that half of them are considered potentially violent with "a very high affinity for firearms."

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Sukkot in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)