A neo-Nazi Massacre of German Jews on Yom Kippur Was Averted – This Time

For anyone paying attention to the Jewish community's situation in Germany, the attempted synagogue shooting in the East German city of Halle this Yom Kippur was barely a surprise.

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In fact, the community was already on high alert following an attempt by a knife-wielding attacker to enter a Berlin synagogue a few days before. The suspect’s swift release from custody had enraged many people in the community, with the president of the Jewish community of Germany, Joseph Schuster, calling it "incomprehensible."  

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How can a man who poses an acute threat to the Jewish community be allowed to walk free just days before the Day of Atonement, when synagogues are at their most crowded?

Schuster expressed his concern that the government was not doing its work to "ensure the safety of the population." His concern was perhaps prescient.

After Wednesday's deadly attack, the community's anger and disappointment is intensifying.

A heavily-armed man, with multiple automatic weapons, dressed in military gear, tried to force his way in to the synagogue, where 60 people had gathered for Yom Kippur prayers. He hurled a grenade into the adjoining cemetery, and shot at the door, but could not get in. The assailant fatally shot two people on the street before being apprehended.