At a memorial service after the racist attack in Hanau, leading politicians called for a fight against the division of society. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called the act an "attack on the basic understanding of our coexistence". Hesse's Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) said in front of relatives and friends of the victims and politicians: "We will not be split and we stand together."
In the Hanau attack on February 19, nine people with a migrant background were killed. Hundreds of people now watched the funeral service of the State of Hesse and the city of Hanau in the Congress Park on large-screen screens. 650 guests came to the event, including Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), who made no speech. She wrote in the condolence book for the victims.
The sister of one of the killed, Ajla Kurtovic, said that she herself felt no hatred. "I would like to make it clear at this point that hate drove the perpetrator to do his racist act. This means that hate and racism are very close together. I want us all to differentiate ourselves from hate." They want to be together instead of against each other. Kurtovic called on the politicians present to ensure that the crime was fully cleared up and lessons learned from it so that there was no repetition. "We owe that to the murdered."
In his speech, Federal President Steinmeier called on the entire society to defend democracy. At the same time, he urged the state to do more to ensure that everyone in Germany was safe. "The vast majority of people in Germany are against exclusion and resentment, against hatred and violence. But knowing that you are in the majority is not enough. The silence of the many must not encourage the few," said Steinmeier .
The crime has a "history", said Steinmeier. "A history of exclusion and discrimination against people with a migration background, Muslims, and supposedly foreigners." In the current climate, agitators are becoming more and more shameless, acting more openly, no longer hiding. "It is this climate in which terrorists take up arms, some even feel justified to murder."
"The racist attack in Hanau is forever connected to the city"
Volker Bouffier recalled the pain of the relatives that people lost in the attack. "The victims weren't strangers," he said. "Hesse and Hanau had become their home." He knew that sadness and uncertainty had also led to fear. "I can understand this fear well, but this fear must not prevail." Everything has to be done so that everyone can live without fear.
The Hanau racist attack will be connected to the city forever, said Mayor Claus Kaminsky (SPD). "It hurts immensely. Even if this pain is not comparable to the suffering of the victims and the pain of their relatives," said the politician. The city has proven in its history that it can master difficult situations. "Hanau is strong because it stands together," said Kaminsky.
On the evening of February 19, a 43-year-old German shot nine people with foreign roots. More people were injured. The marksman is also said to have killed his mother before taking his own life. According to current knowledge, the alleged perpetrator had a racist outlook and was mentally ill.