Immediately after the shooting, television footage showed police officers wearing helmets and carrying automatic weapons as they patrolled streets around the synagogue that had been sealed off with red-and-white tape. Other officers used a ladder to climb over a high brick wall surrounding the cemetery.
Anti-Semitic crime and hate crimes targeting foreigners have both increased almost 20 percent in Germany over the past year, according to official figures
Many Jewish institutions in Germany, including synagogues, schools and other cultural centers, are guarded by the local police. In Berlin, which has the country’s largest Jewish population, the police have also provided security to cafes, restaurants and shops that are owned and frequented by Jews.
Earlier this year, the country’s top official for efforts against anti-Semitism warned that Jews should not wear their skullcaps everywhere in public.
Halle, with a population of 230,000, is 100 miles southwest of Berlin and is the largest city in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt. It boasts Gothic and Renaissance architecture, but today is a regional seat of trade and commerce.
As news of Wednesday’s shooting spread, condemnation and concern flowed in from across Europe. In Brussels, the president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, expressed his condolences and called for a moment of silence for the victims. The Anti-Defamation League in New York called the attack “heartbreaking” and “devastating,” and thanked those in law enforcement for keeping “our houses of worship and communal institutions safe and secure on this day and every day, in the U.S. and around the world.”
The United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, said in a statement that he regarded the events in Halle as “yet another tragic demonstration of anti-Semitism — perpetrated on the holy day of Yom Kippur — which needs to be fought with the utmost determination.”