Assassins murdered out of hatred for Jews

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The assassin from Halle filmed the crime with a helmet camera. The video is a right-wing extremist confession. He also left an anti-Semitic manifesto.

The example of the perpetrator of Halle was probably the right-wing extremist assassin of Christchurch in New Zealand. According to initial information, Stephan B. had loaded a car full of explosives and weapons and wanted to go on a self-proclaimed crusade. His destination was the Jewish synagogue in Halle, where the congregation was celebrating the highest Jewish feast day, the Yom Kippur Day of Reconciliation. Stephan B. wanted to kill people indiscriminately in the synagogue and probably die himself in the process. Like the murderer of Christchurch, B. also filmed his deeds.

The perpetrator uploaded the video on the Internet, a video he had filmed himself with his helmet camera. It shows his actions in all details and is available to ZEIT ONLINE. It indicates that Stephan B. built all his weapons himself. And that it was pure luck that no more people died in Halle – because his weapons failed several times and because the doors of the synagogue were firmly locked.

Like the assassin from Christchurch, he filmed the first part of the video in his car before he even left. It’s a kind of right-wing extremist confession. At first, he talks to himself in German but then changes to English. He turns the camera on his face and says: “Hi, my name is Anon, and I think the Holocaust never happened.” He is Anon – a pseudonym spread among right-wing extremist conspiracy theorists on the Net – and he is convinced that the Holocaust never took place. He describes feminism as the reason for low birth rates in the West, which led to mass immigration. And explains that “the Jew” is the reason for all these problems.

He then turns on the music and drives to the synagogue.

The pictures were discovered by researchers from the renowned International Centre for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) at London’s King’s College. ICSR founder Professor Peter Neumann told ZEIT ONLINE that the assassin’s actions in Halle were similar to those of the assassin in Christchurch: “Although a different target – Jews, not Muslims – the perpetrator’s statements point to someone who was intensively on the move in right-wing extremist message forums on the Internet and there, just like the Christchurch assassin, had put together an ideology.

The second part shows the attack on the synagogue. The church is housed in a former burial building on the Jewish cemetery of the city. The perpetrator tries to enter through the entrance at Humboldtstraße 52, but the door is locked. Frustrated, he throws self-made explosives over the wall of the cemetery. He has many of them with him. In the car, you can see several bags with explosive devices and incendiary bottles. Also ammunition. At three places he tries to enter the synagogue but fails every time at locked doors.

During one of these attempts, a 40-year-old passer-by in a red T-shirt walks down the street towards the scene. She says, “Does it have to be when I walk this way?” The perpetrator points an automatic weapon at her and shoots her with several bursts of fire. He also kills one of the tires in his car. Frustrated and obviously under stress, he continues to try to get into the synagogue, but finally gives up. When another passer-by approaches him, he also wants to shoot him, but his automatic weapon has jams, the man can escape.

In the third part, B. is looking for an alternative target. He got into his car and turned left from Humboldtstraße into Schillerstraße. He insults himself as a failure but reaffirms that he wants to kill. At the end of Schillerstraße, which leads to the wide Ludwig-Wucherer-Straße, he discovers a kebab bite. He gets out and throws one of his explosive devices. It bounces off the door frame and detonates in front of an older woman on the street. Then he shoots into the snack bar. The people inside flee up a small staircase, seek shelter in the toilet, and behind two drinks refrigerators. Two men crouch behind them. B. tries to shoot at them several times, but his weapon is repeatedly jammed. The men behind the lockers keep asking for mercy. In the end, a gunshot is fired, and the shop becomes quiet. Apparently this scene shows the second murder.

Afterward, he drives his car again, turns around, stops near the snack bar again, and shoots at passers-by. Then he goes into the snack bar back. The last picture of the video shows a view between the two refrigerators. A man is lying motionless.

There is no doubt about the authenticity of the pictures. They suggest that Stefan B. was an individual right-wing extremist perpetrator, one of those lone wolves that security authorities are afraid of because they are so hard to recognize from their actions. Just recently, the Federal Attorney General, Peter Frank, had warned of such perpetrators in an interview with ZEIT.

The video also shows the scene filmed by an observer and broadcast by several news channels. The perpetrator gets out of his car on Ludwig-Wucherer-Straße and fires four shots from a shotgun. Then he gets back in the car, and it looks as if bullets are hitting him. The perpetrator’s video proves this; he is hit in the neck. When he flees by car, he bleeds on his neck. In the last shot, he tells the camera that he wants to get rid of the cell phone and throws it out of the car window.

It is the escape to Wiedersdorf, where he threatened the owner of a garage and continued to flee in a taxi. The police finally arrested him at Zeitz.

Manifesto documents the hatred of the Jews

In addition to the video, the assassin also left a kind of manifesto. He also follows his presumed role models Breivik and the Christchurch assassin. The letter is available to ZEIT ONLINE. Like the video, the researchers at London’s ICSR discovered it.

The document holds detailed pictures and descriptions of his homemade weapons arsenal. It also provides information about his intentions and plans.

It is imbued with extreme antisemitic. He had chosen the synagogue in Halle as his destination because it was the closest place where he could find Jews. His writing, written in English – presumably to reach a global audience – shows that he believes in a Jewish world conspiracy.

The assassin further writes that he had initially intended to storm a mosque or an Antifa center because they were less well guarded. But he was mainly interested in murdering Jews. If he only killed one Jew, it was worth the attack, the text says.

He also wanted to prove that improvised weapons were effective. It is explained in detail how he built the shotgun and two fully automatic guns and produced the ammunition for them.