- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
BERLIN (EJP)--- A tragedy was avoided on Sunday after a smoke bomb, thrown through a window of a Jewish kindergarten in Berlin, failed to ignite.
However, the school, located in a northwest neighbourhood of the German capital, was not spared by the spray painting of swastikas, other Nazi symbols and anti-Semitic phrases, such as Auschwitz, Juden Raus (Jews, get out) and Sieg Heil, on its outer walls, as well as on toys that had been lying around in the schools playground.
A police spokesman said the attack did not cause serious damage or endanger children or staff at the school.
Berlins Interior Minister Ehrhart Körting condemned the attack as a "cowardly act" and called it a particularly brutal one one that had taken anti-Semitic acts to a new dimension.
Although individual Jewish children have occasionally been victims of anti-Semitism, it is the first time that an entire school had been targeted in Germany.
So far, no suspects have been found. Police are still investigating when exactly the attack took place and appealed for witnesses.
However, it seems as if it was planned to coincide with the inauguration of a new Torah scroll which took place on Sunday, several kilometres away, at the Chabad Lubavitch synagogue of the Jewish Family and Education Centre which runs the school.
It was a miracle that the smoke bomb did not get off, Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal of Chabad Lubavitch in Berlin, said.
The school is located in a villa, in a quiet park of the citys Charlottenburg district.
Because the location had only been considered as temporary, the property was not secured in the same way that other Jewish buildings.
Instead of round-the-clock police protection, security guards came only in hourly intervals.
Three months after Vienna
The attack happened exactly three months to day after a Croatian national broke into the Lauder Chabad School in Vienna, Austria, and systematically smashed windows and porcelain with a crowbar.
The man, who called himself Adolf Hitler, later admitted that he was driven by anti-Semitic sentiments.