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ATTACK

Angry driver sprays petrol in child’s mouth

Seven-year-old Jamal was waiting for his mum at a petrol station in Cologne when a pizza guy attacked him in a shocking and disturbing way.

Angry driver sprays petrol in child's mouth
Photo: DPA

Jamal was sitting right in front of the petrol pumps when a BMW pulled up, CCTV footage of the incident shows.

Unsure of what to do, the boy got up to move, but then scared by the car sat back down and pulled his legs in.

What happened next was bizarre and apparently completely unprovoked. The 29-year-old driver got out of the car, opened his gas tank and lifted up the pump. He then grabbed Jamal and sprayed petrol in his mouth, before starting to fill up his tank.

The frightened boy ran away.

In another CCTV shot from inside the shop, the boy can be seen coming in and trying to wipe the taste from his mouth.

The driver paid for his petrol before driving off. Die Express reports that before he left he laughed at the child.

A worker at the gas station called an ambulance and the child was treated by a psychologist.

The boy’s mother Merna told the paper “What kind of person would do such a thing? Since the attack Jamal is totally different.”

The driver was quickly identified by police who are treating the incident as potential grievous bodily harm, reports the Hamburger Abendblatt.

 

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JUDAISM

Ancient Jewish settlement to be brought back to life in Cologne

No city north of the Alps has been home to Jews for as long as the Roman settlement of Cologne. A recently discovered Jewish quarter is now being brought back to life.

Ancient Jewish settlement to be brought back to life in Cologne
The site of the construction in Cologne. Photo: DPA

If you are a tourist walking through the centre of Cologne, sooner rather than later, you'll come across a construction site located in the very best position, in the middle of the town hall square.

At the beginning of this millennium, the people of Cologne dug into the earth directly in front of their historic city hall and found a treasure from another millennium: the Jewish quarter.

Complete with a dance hall, a hospital, a bakery and a synagogue, the quarter contains the ruins of a settlement from the Middle Ages. It is a city within a city, a miniature world of houses huddled together. 

Of course, all that is left is ruins – one needs a bit of imagination to picture how the whole thing once looked. But experts from Germany and abroad agree: there's nothing like it anywhere else in the world.

Ancient tradition

No other German city has been associated with Jewish history for so long as Cologne. 

The first documented Jewish community dates back to the year 321, making it the oldest north of the Alps. 

But in 1349, the neighbourhood was destroyed and its inhabitants were murdered or expelled. Local Christians blamed Jews for the outbreak of the plague.

Currently, a museum is being built over the site on the town hall square. It will be a parallel world underground: visitors will be able to relive life in the Jewish quarter in the era of knights and minstrels on a 600-meter-long trail. The trail also visits the governor's palace from Roman times, which was rediscovered in the 1950s. 

The museum is called MiQua after the name for the Jewish ritual bath, Mikveh.

Exhibits will include artifacts found during the excavations; among them is a crescent-shaped, gem-set gold earring from the 11th century. 

The researchers also discovered a tablet dating back to the Middle Ages with the inscription “yt in ys neyt anders.” This could be translated as “Et is wie et is” (It is as it is) – a classic Cologne saying. 

The museum is scheduled to open in 2024, but through the panorama windows on the third floor of the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, also located on Rathausplatz, one can already follow the progress of construction work.

This year Jewish life will be celebrated across the country – the anniversary year '1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany' will be celebrated nationwide. 

Hamburg is organising a themed week entitled 'More than Little Jerusalem'; in Nuremberg the photo exhibition 'Germany's Emigrants' will be opened; and in Herxheim in Rhineland-Palatinate the play Judas by Lot Vekemans will be staged.

READ MORE: 9 hilarious gifts Judaism gave the German language

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