The atmosphere in Berlin is one of “total shock,” the rabbi of the German capital’s Jewish community told The Algemeiner on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after 12 people were killed and dozens of others wounded — among them an Israeli — in a truck- ramming attack at a popular outdoor market.
“People are trying to come to terms with what happened, take the necessary security precautions and understand that there is a new reality,” Chabad-Lubavitch movement Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal said. “The primary concern right now is to take care of those who were injured.”
Several hours before speaking with The Algemeiner, Teichtal visited the Israeli man, reportedly in his 60s, who was gravely injured in Monday’s attack.
“His life is not in danger, but he did have serious wounds,” Teichtal said. “He had a long operation and now the recovery process starts.”
The wounded man’s wife, however, is still missing.
“We are working very hard right now to see if we can find her at one of the many hospitals the wounded were taken to,” Teichtal said. “We are in touch intensively with the police and are praying for the best. We hope we will find out she’s alive and she’s ok.”
Teichtal — a self-described “proud New Yorker,” who has lived in Berlin for more than two decades — said Monday’s attack was an unprecedented event in the city.
“There has never been something this close,” he said. “So it has really thrown people off balance.”
“Of course, we hope this will never happen again,” he continued. “But the situation in the world all over today, not just in Berlin, is concerning. So there is a need for extra alertness.”
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday issued a condemnation of the Berlin attack.
“We send our condolences to the families of the people that were killed and, of course, to the government of Germany, and we wish a speedy recovery to the wounded, including an Israeli citizen,” he said in a statement. “This attack joins [other] reprehensible attacks; terror is spreading everywhere and can be stopped only if we fight it, and we will defeat it, but we will defeat it much quicker if all free nations under attack unite.”