The door to the synagogue in Halle, Germany, riddled with bullet holes after an attempted attack on Yom Kippur, October 10, 2019. by the Forward

German court convicts Halle synagogue shooter

Stephan Balliet, the 28-year-old neo-Nazi who opened fire on a German synagogue on Yom Kippur in 2019, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison by a German court on Monday.

During his trial, Balliet acknowledged that his intent was to murder the 51 Jewish worshippers inside Halle’s synagogue, ABC reported. However, he was unable to open the building’s heavy doors. Instead he turned his attention to a nearby kebab shop, where he killed one man and wounded several others.

German court convicts Halle synagogue shooter

Balliet also killed a woman from Halle on his way to the kebab shop.

Before the attack, Balliet published a manifesto online announcing his goal was to “Kill as many anti-whites as possible, Jews preferred.”

Balliet was unrepentant during his trial and used his closing statements to go on an antisemitic tirade, during which he engaged in Holocaust denial and accused Jews of ruining Germany.

Balliet only apologized to the court for killing the German woman, saying that “I didn’t want to kill whites.”

Balliet was found “seriously culpable” for his crimes by the court, meaning he would likely not be eligible for early parole after 15 years, something that is often offered to those given life sentences in Germany.

“The verdict makes clear that murderous hatred of Jews meets with no tolerance,” Josef Shuster, head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, said in a statement. “Up to the end, the attacker showed no remorse, but kept to his hate-filled anti-Semitic [sic] and racist world view.”


David Ian Klein

David Ian Klein

David Ian Klein covers breaking news and international Jewish communities for the Forward. You can reach him at and on Twitter @davidianklein.

German court convicts Halle synagogue shooter

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