Today, July 21, 2020, begins the trial against a white supremacist* at the Naumburg higher regional court in the Magdeburg district courtroom. This man is accused of double murder, multiple counts of attempted murder, sedition, and other offenses.

On October 9, 2019, the accused attempted to enter the Halle synagogue with the intention of killing all Jewish community members there as well as their visitors – 52 people in total – on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur. He was armed with home-made weapons and explosive devices. While attempting to attack the synagogue, he shot and killed Jana L. in the street because she approached him. The defendant then drove to a nearby kebab restaurant and tried to murder the 5 staff and guests inside, as well as those on the street outside. There he killed a young man, Kevin S. Over the course of the attack, he threatened the lives of many more individuals with gunfire and erratic driving, injuring many seriously.

We would like to express our deepest sympathy to the bereaved families of Jana L. and Kevin S. and to all impacted by right-wing violence in Germany, whether in Halle, Kassel, Hanau or by the NSU.

The perpetrator chose his targets based on white supremacist ideology that fuses anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, homophobia, sexism, and xenophobia with conspiracy theories. His radicalization took place in online communities that reinforced and fostered these beliefs. It was there that he was incited by other acts of violence, most notably the Christchurch massacre in March of 2019. Drawing on that footage as well as similar hate crimes in El Paso, Poway, and Oslo, the accused streamed his attack live on the internet. He desired to instigate a public spectacle, and prove to others with similar ideologies that they could imitate his crimes, build their own weapons, and enact similar displays of violence.

We have joined the charge of the Attorney General to ensure that the accused’s white supremacist ideology and integration into militant right-wing structures are perceived not only in the courtroom but also by law enforcement and the public. The contempt for humanity inherent in these ideologies is cause for reflection now and beyond this trial. Perpetrators like the accused no longer need physical communities in order to receive encouragement and support from like-minded people online. It is essential that this trial serve as a reminder to politicians, law enforcement, and the general public of our continual need to actively confront the xenophobia, sexism, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism permeating our society and eradicate all right-wing ideologies rooted in bigotry. We demand that this trial serve to expose the “lone wolf” myth and build responsible policies to combat the rise of online radicalization.

We stand in solidarity with all those affected by right-wing brutality. In the last several years alone, the violence we have witnessed in Kassel, Halle, and Hanau have shown that right-wing ideologies are deadly and affect us all. As a society, we carry the responsibility of protecting all people, no matter their race, religion, gender, or ethnicity. To do this, we must fearlessly oppose the ideologies that lead to the barbarism we experienced in Halle and all those who glorify such violence in Germany and abroad.

*We implore the media to join us in refusing to name the accused because to do so reinforces his notoriety, wrongly emphasizes him as a sole perpetrator, and fails to center our voices. 

13 persons from the synagogue in Halle among them visitors and members of the Jewish Community Halle,
two people that the defendant tried to kill while fleeing,
two guests of the Kiez-Döner and its owners, the brothers Ismet and Rifat Tekin,
the father of the murdered Kevin S..