German police arrested two men in a verbal attack on students at Berlin’s Jewish high school.
Five students were attacked by four men near the school on Wednesday, according to school director Barbara Witting. None of the students, aged 15 to 17, were injured physically.
“But they are shocked, and counselors and teachers are talking with them,” Witting told JTA. She said such incidents are rare.
Hearings for the two alleged assailants were scheduled for Thursday,according to police spokesman Klaus Schubert. He said the hearings would determine whether the men, aged 27 and 31, would be held in jail or released during a pre-trial investigation.
Witting said the attackers, who were described as “punks,” used crude anti-Semitic curses including “Jewish pig” and demanded to know if the students were circumcised. They then raised their arms in the Hitler salute, which is banned in Germany.
“They threatened them, saying, ‘We know enough Arabs who will get rid of you,’ ” Wittig said. “And then they sicced the dog on one of the students, who ran into a nearby bakery.”
Witting said police came immediately and apprehended two of the men. The other two assailants apparently fled, Schubert said.
Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said the incident showed that left-wing extremists could be as threatening as Muslim extremists and neo-Nazis.
“It is well known there is a high level of potential anti-Semitic violence among some members of the punk scene, nourished by anti-Israel sentiments,” Knobloch said in a statement Thursday. “But the attack on schoolchildren makes this case particularly reprehensible.”