Heavy Security at Funeral of Jewish Denmark Terror Victim Dan Uzan; Leader Says ‘He Did Not Die in Vain’
Dan Uzan, the Jewish volunteer security guard who was brutally murdered by an Islamist terrorist outside a Copenhagen synagogue early Sunday morning, was laid to rest on Wednesday amid heavy security.
Over 100 Danish policemen as well as marksmen and sniffer dogs were enlisted to secure the funeral, which was attended by many members of the Jewish community. Political and community leaders in attendance included Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and Justice Minister Mette Frederiksen.
“I’m on the way to a very tough experience,” Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, leader of the local Jewish community, told local tabloid Ekstra Bladet as he headed to the memorial service.
“Dan’s family should know that he did not die in vain. He prevented a major disaster, and this must give them some strength,” he added, referring to the bat-mitzva that was taking place inside the synagogue at the time of the attack.
“The whole Jewish community is in shock that this could happen in Denmark but we are also very touched by all the support we have received,” Rosenberg Asmussen said.
Both Rosenberg Asmussen and Denmark’s Chief Rabbi Jair Melchior spoke at the funeral. According to the report, Uzan was laid to rest in front of the most distinguished memorial in the Jewish cemetery: a monument to the victims of the Theresienstadt Ghetto. Uzan’s coffin was carried by friends from his Danish basketball club, the Hoersholm 79’ers.
“He was such a kind, kind person. He was always helpful, a real joker, two meters high, a huge guy and such a teddy bear,” said Mette Bentow, who hosted the bat-mitzva that was under Uzan’s watch.
Flemming Voetmann, Uzan’s cousin, told Danish news agency Ritzau that Uzan cared deeply about his community and always volunteered to help.
“It was very symptomatic of Dan that he had offered to help out last night,” Voetmann said. “He was the warmest person I knew.”
Peter Dam, a member of Uzan’s basketball club, said of Uzan, “Involved and happy. He played with Muslims, Arabs and all nationalities. It is so unreal that he had to die in this way.”
Uzan was talking to police outside the house of worship when he was shot from close range by the assailant, according to authorities. He was the second victim of terror in Copenhagen over the weekend along with filmmaker Finn Noergaard, who was killed in a previous attack on a free speech event at a cafe. Three police officers were also injured in the attacks.