Just before noon on the 9th October 2019, a German alt-right extremist posted a Manifesto of hateful ideology against Jews, feminism, and immigrants in online chat rooms and began a livestream of his attack on a Jewish community in Halle on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. He was equipped with homemade firearms and explosives.  After failing to infiltrate the synagogue, he murdered a woman walking by. Her name was Jana Lange. He then shifted the focus of his attack to other minority groups by targeting a nearby kebab shop where he killed one man. His name was Kevin Schwarze. Before being apprehended by state police, the attacker had shot and killed two people and harmed countless others both physically and mentally. 

This blog and its connected visual resources have been carefully assembled, written, and published by lawyers in dialogue with co-plaintiffs and activists who are involved and were impacted by the Halle attack. It provides detailed and daily accounts of the trial – due to commence 21st July 2020.

This blog also strives to frame this attack within a much wider context: that of the rise of far-right extremism and white supremacy globally as well as locally within Germany following recent events such as the assassination of Walter Lübcke in June 2019 and the devastating shootings in Hanau in February 2020. 

The Halle shooter is undeniably connected to the online alt-right communities that are responsible for instigating other acts of terror like those in Christchurch, Poway, El Paso, and Oslo, and the countless other attacks that have been encouraged and attempted on a global level against Jews, Muslims, BIPOC, and women. These attacks continue to be celebrated and encouraged by these online communities through varying social media platforms that we hold equally accountable for the spread of bigotry and hate. 

The Halle shooting is only one example of the more than 22,000 politically-motivated crimes in 2019 attributed to right-wing extremists in Germany. Right-wing crimes equate to well over half of those committed –last year (based on preliminary data requested by Irene Mihalic). 

While the trial carries a narrow focus on the specific crimes of the right-wing terrorist in Halle, the role of online radicalisation alongside the burgeoning reach and impact of right-wing extremism has far larger and graver implications. We must force our politicians and our law enforcement to see it as such.

This blog will include posts from lawyers, activists, academics and co-plaintiffs. It must therefore be acknowledged that no one post can be said to capture the collective viewpoint of the entire co-plaintiff group.