Berlin police arrested two teenagers suspected of attacking a van carrying Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Yehuda Tiechtel and several students of the local Lubavitch yeshiva.

According to news reports, the 16- and 18-year-old men confessed to the crime, which saw a car abruptly reverse in the direction of Tiechtel’s van the night of Nov. 1. The two occupants of the car, the rabbi told police, then shouted anti-Semitic insults and threw a flaming object at the van.

News of the attack made headlines throughout the country, and spurred denunciations from the Rabbinical Centre of Europe and the American Jewish Committee. Following the arrest, Tiechtel struck a hopeful note.

“We thankful that the German government responded so quickly,” said Tiechtel, who directs Chabad-Lubavitch of Berlin. “The Jewish community here is developing by leaps and bounds, and it is very encouraging that people take anti-Semitism seriously.”

Later this year, Chabad-Lubavitch of Berlin – which saw a host of politicians and German leaders attend the 2007 grand opening of the Szloma Albam House and Rohr Chabad Center – will unveil a brand new Jewish ritual bath, as well as a yeshiva for new immigrants.

“Our approach is to answer darkness with light,” said Tiechtel. “To not only strengthen Jewish pride, but to increase awareness and to continue to develop Jewish identity.”

The incident came just days before the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the day that Jewish shops and residents were attacked en masse throughout Germany at the encouragement of Nazi leaders.

On Wednesday, the German parliament passed a resolution calling anti-Semitism a “problem in German society that still demands serious attention,” JTA reported.