80 lives were saved because a German synagogue attacker couldn't figure out how to open the door
A study out of Belgium found that smart people are much less likely to be bigoted. The same study also found that people who are bigoted are more likely to overestimate their own intelligence.
A horrifying story out of Germany is a perfect example of this truth on full display: an anti-Semite was so dumb the was unable to open a door at the temple he tried to attack.
On Wednesday, October 9, congregants gathered at a synagogue in Humboldtstrasse, Germany for a Yom Kippur service, and an anti-Semite armed with explosives and carrying a rifle attempted to barge in through the door.
The suspect, known by police as "Stephen B," used every explosive device he had on his person top open the large, wooden door but it would not budge.
#Germany Synagogue Attack Brings Home Europe's Antisemitism Threat https://t.co/3oSpn9GO9o pic.twitter.com/vNjEeClxVH
— Steve Swerdlow (@steveswerdlow) October 11, 2019
"The perpetrator shot at the door several times and threw several Molotov cocktails, firecrackers, or grenades to try to get in. But the door stayed shut, God protected us," Max Privorozki, a spokesman for the Jewish community, told Der Spiegel. "The whole thing took about five to 10 minutes."
According to Privorozki, the congregants wouldn't be deterred by the anti-Semite's attempts, they continued their Yom Kippur observance while the man attempted to enter the temple.
"We barricaded our doors from inside and waited for the police," he said. "In between, we carried on with our service."
"We saw through the camera of our synagogue that a heavily armed perpetrator wearing a steel helmet and rifle was trying to shoot open our door," he continued.
"The man looked like he was from the special forces. But our doors held firm."
Realizing he wouldn't be able to get the door open, the anti-Semite ran from the temple, but was caught by German law enforcement about 45 minutes later. The impenetrable door saved up to 80 lives inside the temple.
Sadly, the man murdered two people while en route to the synagogue.
Two victims of synagogue attack in Germany identified - https://t.co/mhlwj9NiW5 pic.twitter.com/Fs7ZHnldEk
— Jewish Websight (@jewishwebsight) October 11, 2019
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that the attacker was a 27-year-old man from Saxony-Anhalt and appeared to have far right-wing motive.
Before the attack, he broadcast his manifesto on Twitch.
"Feminism is the cause of declining birth rates in the West, which acts as a scapegoat for mass immigration, and the root of all these problems is the Jew," he said while filing himself in a car.
The synagogue shooter in Germany today streamed his attack on @Twitch. pic.twitter.com/u56dUtjRru
— Jake Hanrahan (@Jake_Hanrahan) October 9, 2019
The suspect's father believes he was radicalized on the Internet. He "was on the internet too much," the man told Blid. "I tried to get to him but never got through, he always blamed others and was very unhappy with the world."
The assailant's inability to enter the door could have been because of his own stupidity. It could have been because the synagogue understood importance of having tight security. Or, could have been protection from the Almighty.
Regardless, the congregants wouldn't be deterred by hate and continued to commemorate Yom Kippur, a day dedicated to atonement and dedicating oneself to become a better person in the New Year.
With their steadfastness, the congregation provided a great example for all of us. Even though the forces of evil may exist in the world, that's no reason to be deterred from trying to make it a better place.