Jewish restaurant owner injured, restaurant vandalized during German neo-Nazi riots

Toby Axelrod

(JTA) — Jewish groups are incensed that an attack on a Jewish restaurant and its owner in Chemnitz during last month’s riots in that former east German city went unmentioned for several days.

According to Die Welt newspaper, during anti-migrant demonstrations that turned violent on August 27, about 12 masked neo-Nazis injured Uwe Dziuballa and vandalized his Schalom restaurant.

The attackers allegedly threw stones, bottles and a sawed-off steel pipe at Dziuballa  and shouted, “Get out of Germany, you Jewish pig.” A window in the restaurant was broken and Dziuballa was injured when a stone hit his shoulder. Dziuballa has filed charges, according to the State Criminal Investigation Office in Saxony.

Dziuballa reported that the police arrived quickly to the scene after he called them, but took a few days to secure evidence and record damage. The incident  was confirmed by police on Sept. 6.

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Local news media already had reported the incident. The Berlin-based Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Anti-Semitism learned of the attack on Sept. 5 through these reports and obtained photographs of alleged attackers dressed in black in front of the establishment.

Germany’s new commissioner against anti-Semitism,  Felix Klein, told the newspaper that the incident appeared to represent a turn for the worse in anti-Semitic crimes. “It is reminiscent of our worst recollections of the 1930s,” he said.

Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish community of Munich and Bavaria, said in a statement on the eve of the Jewish New Year that the violent anti-migrant demonstrations in Chemnitz were already a wake-up call for the government and society.

“The fact that there was also a violent attack on the restaurant Schalom and its owner is shocking and underscores the urgency of resolute action against anti-democratic forces,” added Knobloch, who survived the Holocaust in hiding with a Christian family in Germany.

Dziuballa told die Welt he has often been subjected to anti-Semitic incidents, such as having swastikas painted on his storefront and pig heads left at the door. He nevertheless continues to keep the restaurant open.

Levi Salomon, JFDA speaker, said in a statement that it was “outrageous that a masked mob in Chemnitz is attacking the city’s only Jewish restaurant, shouting anti-Semitic slogans, and we are not hearing about the case until days later.”

The JFDA added that the Saxony  state office of criminal investigation assured them that “nothing was concealed” and that they did not always publicize individual cases under investigation.