In response to a parliamentary question by the German Left Party (Die Linke), the German government recently reported that German synagogues were targeted in at least 82 incidents during a five-year period. The incidents include 30 instances of property damage, as well as 29 cases where symbols from constitutionally banned organizations were used.
Background data reveal that the perpetrators had varied motivations, ranging from right-wing extremism to fanatical anti-Israeli views that are also found on the far left and within the Muslim diaspora.
In 2009, for instance, the synagogue in the eastern German city of Dresden was desecrated with swastikas, just ahead of the Kristallnacht anniversary, and in spite of regular round-the-clock police surveillance. In 2010, a synagogue in Worms, near Frankfurt, was attacked by arsonists. They left a note – in what was described as “awkward German” – connecting their torching of the synagogue with the Israel-Palestinian conflict.