By Toby Axelrod
An 18-year-old Jewish man wearing a kippah in Cologne, Germany, was beaten by a group of 10 attackers in a public green space and taken to the hospital with a broken nose and cheekbone.
Police arrested two suspects in what they are deeming an antisemitic hate crime. The attack was captured on police surveillance video on Friday.
The suspects, ages 18 and 19, were released on Saturday on their own recognizance. There was no further information released about them.
Frankfurt Rabbi Avichai Apel, speaking for the board of the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference of Germany (ORD), told the Jewish weekly newspaper Juedische Allgemeine that the age of the suspects was particularly worrying.
“Young people in schools, educational institutions or other public institutions must be taught more about Jewish life,” he said.
Germany’s commissioner on antisemitism, Felix Klein, told the German Press Agency, or dpa, on Monday that he was “appalled by this horrific and cowardly attack.” He praised the police for their quick action; in the past, few perpetrators of hate crimes have been caught.
“In our city, everyone must be able to live without fear, no matter what religion you belong to, what worldview you have and how you live and love,” Cologne mayor Henriette Reker told German media on Sunday.
The victim left the hospital on Saturday.