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The perpetrator of the worst postwar anti-Semitic attack in Germany to justice

(Magdeburg) The man accused of the worst anti-Semitic attack in post-war Germany sought to expose his racist view of the world when his trial opened on Tuesday, repeatedly prompting the judge to threaten to interrupt the hearing.

David COURBET

France Media Agency

Stephan Balliet, a 21 year-old German right-wing extremist, meticulously answered questions from Ursula Mertens, president of the tribunal from Magdeburg (Saxony-Anhalt) where he is on trial for having killed two people after failing to commit a massacre in the synagogue in Halle during Yom Kippur last fall.

Addressing the court, he affirmed having “decided in 2015 not to do anything more for this company which wants to replace me by Muslims and Negroes ”, referring to the hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers fleeing the war in Syria or Iraq, who have found refuge in Germany.

Judge Ursula Mertens then cut him off, warning that he could be kicked out of the room if he continued his racist diatribes: “I will not tolerate that you commit crimes and (utter) insults. in this courtroom ”.

But Mr Balliet went on, saying he had “no problem with religions but with Semitism”, without really specifying his thinking.

Last October 9 and in the middle of the religious festival of Yom Kippur, armed to the teeth, he stormed the local synagogue filled with 52 faithful before, failing to enter, to turn his weapons against two passers-by.

The man is being prosecuted for double murder, attempted murder of 9 other people and incitement to racial hatred.

He incurs life imprisonment with a safety period of 13 years.

The Magdeburg court, in Saxony-Anhalt in the east of the country, has scheduled 18 court days for this trial which should last until mid-October.

Partial remorse

After failing to break down the synagogue door, he shot a passerby and then, further on, a man in a kebab restaurant, targeted for his immigrant clientele. The police finally arrested him after a chase.

Without expressing any remorse concerning the abortive attack on the religious building, an attack he knew to be “desperate”, he nevertheless apologized to his victims, a passerby and a man whom he wrongly believed that he was a Muslim.

Regarding the first, he clarified: “I'm really sorry to have shot him. It was really not planned or wanted, […] it was in the heat of the moment. ”

The man with an almost shaved head, arriving at the hearing with hands and feet handcuffed and wearing a dark jacket and jeans, made it clear that the Christchurch attacks in New Zealand committed some months previously against two mosques which had made 51 died, had served as a model.

He indeed filmed and broadcast live his assault in which he denied the existence of the Shoah and attacked the Jews. According to him, the “retransmission was more important than the act itself” which he considers to have failed: “I made a fool of myself to an incredible degree.”

He also posted on the Internet a “manifesto”, which appeared the next day, in which he expressed his hatred of Jews.

” Understand “

Socially isolated and living with his mother in a remote village in Saxony-Anhalt, this follower of neo-Nazi conspiracy theories had abandoned his studies and spent most of his time behind a computer.

“My clients want to understand how it went and why. They will look the author in the eye to let him know that they do not share his vision of the world, “nine civil party lawyer Mark Lupschitz said before the trial opened to the AFP.

The Halle attack comes amid a resurgence of far-right terrorism in the country.

A month ago the trial of a neo-Nazi sympathizer, the alleged killer of an elected promigrant member of Angela Merkel's conservative party, began.

In February, a man in favor of racist and anti-Semitic views killed 9 people of foreign origin in Hanau, Germany.

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