by Gil Ronen Arutz Sheva February 27, 2007
(IsraelNN.com) Berlin police are trying to track down neo-Nazis who hurled a smoke bomb into a Jewish kindergarten over the weekend and covered the building with Nazi graffiti. The attack took place at a time when no one was in the building. The smoke bomb failed to ignite and a police spokesman said the attack did not cause serious damage or endanger children or staff at the school.
Nazi symbols and anti-Semitic phrases including â€œAuschwitz,â€ â€œJuden Rausâ€ [Jews, Out!] and â€œSieg Heilâ€ and were spray painted on the building’s outer walls.
Nazi symbols and anti-Semitic phrases including â€œAuschwitz,â€ â€œJuden Rausâ€ [Jews, Out!] â€œSieg Heilâ€ [Hail Victory â€“ the common Nazi salute to Hitler], and “Weg hier” [Get away from here] were spray painted on the building’s outer walls, as well as on toys that had been lying around in the schoolâ€™s playground.
Berlinâ€™s Interior Minister Ehrhart KÃ¶rting visited the nursery in Berlin’s western Charlottenburg district Sunday and told reporters: “We’re doing all we can to protect the building and catch the perpetrators.” He condemned the attack as “particularly brutal” and a “cowardly act.”
Gideon Joffe, who heads Berlinâ€™s Jewish community, called the attack â€œa natural development resulting from last yearâ€™s election of several extreme right wing politicians to Berlinâ€™s local parliament.â€
Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal of Chabad Lubavitch in Berlin told the Bild newspaper: “This is a new dimension of anti-Semitism in Berlin. I’m shocked that people have gone this far.” He said the attack on a children’s nursery showed a “particular malignance on the part of the perpetrators.”
Although individual Jewish children have occasionally been victims of anti-Semitism, it is reportedly the first time in recent years that an entire school had been targeted in Germany. So far, no suspects have been found. Police are still investigating exactly when the attack took place and appealed for witnesses to come forward.
The attack may have been planned to coincide with the inauguration of a new Torah scroll which took place on Sunday, several kilometers away, at the Chabad Lubavitch synagogue of the Jewish Family and Education Centre, which runs the nursery school.
Because the location had only been considered as temporary, the property was not secured in the same way that other Jewish buildings are. Instead of round-the-clock police protection, security guards only came by at hourly intervals.
The attack happened exactly three months to the day after a Croatian national broke into the Lauder Chabad School in Vienna, Austria, smashing windows and porcelain with a crowbar. The man later admitted that he had been driven by anti-Semitic sentiments.
Stephan Kramer, Secretary General of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, accused the Berlin State Senate as well as Berlinâ€™s local Jewish community of not having taken the necessary precautions to help divert such an attack. â€œIn todayâ€™s world,” he said, “we know that such attacks are possible and could strike at any timeâ€¦ It is beyond me how security could have been so lax.â€