‘Miracle’ Door That Prevented Yom Kippur Massacre at German Synagogue to Become Work of Art
The enormous door at the entrance to the main synagogue in the central German city of Halle that withstood the neo-Nazi gunman who attempted to massacre worshipers on Yom Kippur this year is to be turned into a symbolic art object, the head of the Jewish community announced on Friday.
More than 50 people were attending services on Oct. 9 to mark Judaism’s holiest day when the gunman — Stephan Balliet — tried to break into the building, in an attack that was livestreamed on the internet.
Foiled by the heavy security door to the synagogue, Balliet subsequently murdered a 40-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man who were in the vicinity of the building.
The transformation of the door into an art work was announced by the head of Halle’s Jewish community, Max Privorozki, who added that the exact nature and location of the project was still to be determined.
“Maybe we will put the door in the courtyard outside, so that when you come to the synagogue, you can see how this door saved us,” Privorozki said.
The door had previously been hailed as the “miracle of Halle” by Bishop Friedrich Kramer of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany. But other observers took a more critical perspective, arguing that the security door’s effectiveness had masked the failure of German law enforcement agencies to properly protect the country’s Jewish communities.
“Only one door prevented the death of 50 Jews in the middle of Germany on the most holy day of the Jewish calendar,” Israel’s ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff, commented in the wake of the attack.
According to the German news outlet Zeit on Friday, Halle’s Jewish community is now working with the police “to coordinate new security measures” for the synagogue.