German city of Halle holds solidarity rally for Hanau victims

Around 350 people in the German city of Halle demonstrated their solidarity and sympathy with the relatives of the victims of the violence in the town of Hanau with a minute’s silence and a rally on Thursday.

The attack in Hanau, in western Germany, came four months after a heavily armed right-wing extremist tried to kill more than 50 people in a synagogue in Halle on October 9, 2019.

When this failed, the German attacker shot an uninvolved 40-year-old woman on the street and a 20-year-old customer in a nearby kebab snack bar. The man remains in custody.

Initiatives such as the Alliance Against The Right had called for the rally on Thursday evening in the town’s market square.

“We are shocked and deeply affected, not least because of the similarity to Halle,” a spokeswoman said.

The chairman of the Jewish Community in Halle, Max Privorozki, told dpa on the sidelines of the rally that the Hanau attacks had ideologically the same cause as Halle, hatred and far-right ideas.

At the same time, several speakers in Halle criticized politicians.

Despite all the announcements, too little is being done to protect people from acts of the kind that were committed in Halle just four months ago, they said.

“We are angry because those affected have been talking about the dangers of right-wing extremism for years and have not been taken seriously,” a spokeswoman said.

The dangers of the National Socialist Underground (NSU) were also underestimated, they said.

The NSU is linked to 10 murders of people of Turkish or Greek origin between 2000 and 2007, along with other crimes.

In the attack in Hanau, a German shot dead nine people with foreign roots on Wednesday evening. Subsequently, the 43-year-old marksman is said to have killed his 72-year-old mother and himself.

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