A man screamed antisemitic abuse at a rabbi and his children as they walked home from synagogue in the German city of Offenbach on New Year’s Day.
Witnesses to the “traumatic” verbal assault on Rabbi Mendel Gurewitz called police and kept track of the assailant. Police officers later arrested a 46-year-old man for offences including hate speech and displaying symbols of far-right organisations that are banned under the German Constitution.
German-born Rabbi Gurewitz, who has faced antisemitic abuse on previous occasions, described the experience as “traumatic” but praised his fellow citizens for coming immediately to his aid. In a post on Facebook he wrote that people “intervened from every window” to “shout at the aggressor” while “some left their homes” to follow him. Rabbi Gurewitz described it as “a sudden explosion of love and support”.
Uwe Becker, the Antisemitism Commissioner for the Hesse region, condemned the attack as a worrying indication “that Jews cannot openly display their faith in public.” Mr Becker added that those who came to the rabbi’s aid gave “an important sign that everyone can do something against antisemitism.”