Status: 02/13/2021 1:32 p.m.
The coming week will mark the anniversary of the Hanau attack. Chancellor Merkel used her weekly podcast to remember the nine victims and to call for the fight against racism.
Before the first anniversary of the racist attack in Hanau, Chancellor Angela Merkel remembered the nine people who died. The attack in Hanau was a turning point for peaceful coexistence in society and for the cohesion of people in Germany, said Merkel in her weekly video podcast. “It was a crime of hate, of racist hatred.” Everyone who wanted to live together peacefully in Germany would stand united against the hatred of the racists. “We oppose those who are trying to divide Germany with all our strength and determination.”
Merkel named all victims in her video message: “Ferhat Unvar, Mercedes Kierpacz, Sedat Gürbüz, Gökhan Gültekin, Hamza Kurtović, Kaloyan Velkov, Vili Viorel Păun, Said Nesar Hashemi and Fatih Saraçoğlu”. The killer did not know them, “he only hated them because of their looks, the origins of their families, because they were immigrants or the children of immigrants,” she said. She will never forget the funeral service and the conversations with the victims’ families.
“Racism is a poison. Hate is a poison.”
Violent acts like the murders in Hanau, the attack in Halle or the murder of the Kassel district president Walter Lübcke had shown in a terrible way what right-wing extremism could do, said Merkel. She repeated her words from the memorial service a year ago: “Racism is a poison. Hate is a poison.” The Chancellor called for a joint fight against right-wing extremism. “We have to do everything we can to break the ground for this devastating ideology.”
The federal government is already implementing a number of concrete measures, stressed Merkel. In addition to the establishment of the cabinet committee to combat right-wing extremism and racism, the security authorities would be reorganized and strengthened, victims better supported and democratic civil society promoted.
Deeply racist sentiments of the perpetrator
On February 19, 2020, a 43-year-old German shot nine people with foreign roots in Hanau. The man had previously posted pamphlets and videos of conspiracy theories and racist views on the Internet. After the fact, the man is said to have also killed his mother before killing himself.
The federal prosecutor’s office attested that the perpetrator had a deeply racist attitude. A memorial ceremony with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is planned in Hanau for the first anniversary.
Merkel condemns right-wing extremism
Uwe Lueb, ARD Berlin, 13.2.2021 · 14:48