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Only a Locked Door Stopped a Massacre at a German Synagogue


But Mr. Seehofer, the interior minister, said he would assess whether the county needed an updated security concept for synagogues in view of the recent rise in anti-Semitic attacks. Germany experienced at least 1,800 anti-Semitic crimes in 2018, a 20 percent increase over the previous year, according to German officials.

“We vowed, never again,” Mr. Seehofer said. “This government will do everything possible so that Jews can live again in this country without threat or fear.”

But the expansion of a more globalized, digitized version of right-wing extremism is challenging a system that has long been accustomed to monitoring local neo-Nazi networks. German authorities have been slower to respond to the growth of right-ring extremist channels online.

German security officials’ response has been weaker “when it comes to message forums like 4chan and 8chan and this new, more diffuse and ideologically more promiscuous far-right extremism,” said Peter R. Neumann, a professor of security studies at King’s College.

Schimon Meyer, 31, who was inside the synagogue with his wife, Luba, said safety was not his main concern on Wednesday, although he knew it was Yom Kippur. “Historically it’s the day when the Jewish people have been most targeted,” he said.

When worshipers were finally escorted out of the synagogue and onto a bus, they continued their songs, surprising the bus driver, Ms. Meyer said. At the hospital, they finished the service, even blowing the shofar, or ram’s horn, to mark the end of Yom Kippur at sundown, she added.

“We wanted to show that we weren’t defeated,” Ms. Meyer said, “but that we defeated the situation.”


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