2 women arrested in vandalism at German synagogue


(JTA) — Two women were arrested in connection with the damage to stained glass windows at a synagogue and JCC in the German city of Cotbuss.

The women, ages 21 and 36, were arrested early Wednesday morning after allegedly trying to vandalize the synagogue the previous evening, according to reports that said they had returned to the building to complete the job.

Two windows and one window frame were seriously damaged in the vandalism, synagogue spokesman Max Solomonik told Germany’s main Jewish weekly, the Judische Allgemeine. He said the community in the eastern German city would need help to replace the windows, which featured a Star of David and a menorah.

A local resident spotted the women and notified police around 5:30 a.m., the Judische Allgemeine reported. The women, who had high levels of alcohol in their blood when they were arrested, did not reveal a motive during interrogation, according to reports. They were released on their own recognizance and will be questioned by police in the coming days.

The synagogue and Jewish community center was dedicated in a repurposed Protestant church in January. It serves a community of about 420, the majority of whom are emigres from the former Soviet Union.

Cottbus’ original synagogue was destroyed on Kristallnacht, the anti-Jewish pogrom of Nov. 9-10, 1938.

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