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Guards under suspicion after Rabbi attack

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Photo: DPA
10:35 CEST+02:00
Security guards at a shopping centre in Offenbach, western Germany, have been accused of forcing a rabbi to delete photos he took as evidence after being attacked by a group of youths.

Rabbi Mendel Gurewitz said he was verbally abused, followed, and physically attacked last Sunday in the KOMM-Center shopping arcade in Offenbach by a group of around ten boys, aged around 15 or 16.

According to a report in Die Welt, security personnel demanded that the rabbi delete photos he had taken of his attackers, as did a police officer on the phone. The officer has since apologised.

Gurewitz also said the guards had left him to leave the centre on his own, and had been followed by the attackers until he was picked up in a car by an acquaintance passing by chance.

Police in Darmstadt confirmed to Die Welt that an investigation into suspected abuse and bodily injury had been started.

Though the police put out a statement on Monday about an "incident" involving six to eight youths and a "39-year-old complainant," a Jewish community organization drew attention to the anti-Semitic nature of the attack.

"We want all people, churches, and mosques to counter anti-Semitism and show that Offenbach is a tolerant city," the organization's board member Henryk Fridman told the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper.

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The centre's manager Frank Middendorf said that the actions of security personnel would be "thoroughly investigated." He added that he had apologized to the community organization and would meet representatives in the coming week.

The Local/bk

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