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Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser in Hanau: “We are at your side”

Photo: Patrick Scheiber / IMAGO

On February 19, 2020, a man murdered nine people in Hanau. On the fourth anniversary of the racist attack, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) called for a determined fight against right-wing extremism. Since there are again fantasies of right-wing extremists that they want to take people away from Germany simply because of their origin, it is all the more important to oppose this, said Faeser on Monday in Hanau. Instead, you have to stand in front of the victims' relatives and tell them: "We are on your side."

"No one in Germany should have to feel that way that they think about leaving this country," she said after the end of the official memorial event for the victims of the attack. "We as a state are the guarantee that all people are protected, no matter where they come from."

Refrain from political speeches “at the express request of the victims’ relatives”

Faeser, together with representatives of the Hessian state government and the city of Hanau, had previously honored the victims with wreaths at a silent memorial in the city's main cemetery. According to the city, political speeches were refrained from "at the express request of the victims' relatives."

Before the official event began, an imam prayed for the dead at the graves of three victims buried in the cemetery. Relatives and friends of the victims also gathered there. In the evening, vigils were planned at the two crime scenes, which are in the city center and in the Kesselstadt district.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) also remembered the victims: “Four years ago, a right-wing extremist brutally murdered nine people in Hanau. His motivation was hatred, his motive was racism," he wrote on X, formerly Twitter. »Right-wing extremists are attacking our democracy. They want to exclude citizens and even drive them out. We will never allow that!” Scholz continued.

Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) also wrote on X: “Racism is a poison that must never spread in our society. We are all called upon to oppose misanthropy." Hesse's Prime Minister Boris Rhein (CDU) called the attack in the short message service a "cruel event" that will "never be forgotten" - "neither for the relatives nor for us as a society."

In Hanau on February 19, 2020, a 43-year-old German shot nine people for racist motives. He then killed his mother and himself.

Thousands of people in Hanau had already remembered the victims on Saturday. According to the police, around 5,000 demonstrators took to the streets. Many participants had signs with the photos and names of those killed. After a protest march through Hanau, a rally took place on the market square in the afternoon.