A Jewish-Israeli man was beaten to death beyond recognition in Berlin over the Passover holiday, German police stated on Wednesday.
Berlin police said that during their investigation, they found the passport of a 22-year-old Israeli man in the back pocket of the victim’s body. Police said that the man’s body was beaten so badly that it was rendered unidentifiable, and that they were for some time unable to confirm that the body was indeed the remains of the person identified in the passport.
“The man’s face was destroyed beyond recognition,” police told German paper Bild.
The Israeli embassy in Germany confirmed with the media that the man was a native of the Jewish State.
The Israeli man to whom the passport belonged was scheduled to celebrate the Jewish holiday at a Chabad (Orthodox Jewish) House on Friday, but never arrived at the location, a Chabad rabbi in Berlin told Israel’s NRG news.
Local Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal said he was a “man in his early 20s who came to us during the day last Friday and didn’t have a place to sleep and didn’t have anything to eat.” He said that they arranged sleeping quarters for the man at a community center that was located less than a kilometer from where his body was found.
“We arranged everything for him, but then he didn’t show up again,” the Rabbi told the AP.
The body was found at 6:20 a.m. local time on Sunday morning near the ruins of a Berlin monastery, the Times of Israel reports. The site is said to be a popular spot for the city’s homeless population, the report adds.
Berlin has become an increasingly popular tourist destination for Israelis. The Washington Post reports that an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 young Israelis have moved to Berlin in the past few years.
Police have asked witnesses to come forward if they have any information related to the brutal crime.