Synagogue fire 'horrific'

GERMANS expressed shock yesterday after presumed right-wing extremists set fire to a synagogue in the northern city of Lubeck, writes Steve Crawshaw in Bonn. Two offices in the building were destroyed. Half a dozen people living in upstairs rooms escaped unhurt.

The arson was officially described as 'attempted murder'. The general secretary of the ruling Christian Democrats, Peter Hintze, spoke of a 'horrific act' that would shock 'all morally thinking people in Germany'. In Lubeck, churches issued a joint statement of protest, saying: 'We Christians cannot be silent, as in 1938 . . . When synagogues burn, churches burn, too.'