Halle synagogue shooter denies the Holocaust in closing statement of his trial


(JTA) — The perpetrator of a terrorist attack on a synagogue in Halle, Germany denied the Holocaust during his closing statement in court.

Stephan Balliet, a far-right extremist, has confessed to killing two people outside the synagogue last year on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. Earlier in the day, he had tried and failed to break through the synagogue’s front door. Balliet said he carried out the attack because he believed “Jews were ruining Germany.”

Balliet used the first three minutes of his statement Wednesday at a court in the town of Naumburg to fulminate against Jews and immigrants, the German publication Zeit reported. He denied the Holocaust several times, ignoring the judge’s warning that doing so was illegal.

Reports in the German media did not include direct quotes from Balliet’s statement, describing them as conspiracy theories. After he ignored the judge’s third warning about denying the Holocaust, she interrupted him again. He declined to continue his monologue following that interruption, Zeit reported.

The verdict on Balliet as well as his sentence are due to be given on Dec. 21.

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