In memory of the nine victims of the racist attack in Hanau, political representatives have called for a fight against racism and right-wing extremism. There is still a lot that needs to be done here, said Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) at a memorial event in Hanau, Hesse. It is important to draw conclusions from this act "and not to rest". Relatives of the victims of the attack renewed their criticism of the lack of clarification of the crime three years ago.
The perpetrator tried to make the victims strangers, "but they weren't," said the minister, who is also the SPD's top candidate for the state elections in Hesse in October. Right-wing extremism poses the greatest threat to the basic democratic order. Regarding the criticism of the relatives, Faeser said that she knew how difficult this was, but that "there weren't always answers that one expected". The investigative committee of the Hessian state parliament is the place for clarification.
In Hanau, a 43-year-old German shot nine people with racist motives on February 19, 2020. He then killed his mother and himself.
Relatives: Need answers, not relativization
"What's left is a non-healing wound," said Ajla Kurtović, whose brother was one of the victims. She and the others affected were left behind with their questions - "and still do to this day". The relatives needed clear answers, not relativization. She will continue to fight for clarification and consequences.
The mayor of Hanau, Claus Kaminsky (SPD), also spoke against hate, racism and hate speech in his speech. "All of this is directed against people who live among us, who belong to us, to our city and our neighborhood." Democracy must "finally show its defensive face" - concretely and tangibly. Fundamental rights are valuable, but sometimes also fragile and need to be protected. "That's why we say to all racists, all anti-democrats, yes to all those who want to poison our country with their slogans: We are more! And we are stronger than your hatred!"
Boris Rhein: "What happened is still unbelievable today"
Among the several hundred guests and participants at the event was Hesse's Prime Minister Boris Rhein (CDU), who, together with Faeser, had previously laid flower arrangements for the murdered in the main cemetery. "There is no forgetting. What happened in Hanau three years ago today is still unbelievable," he explained. The fight against racism and right-wing extremism is the responsibility of the state. Confidence in the state must be restored among those affected. "I apologize that the state was not able to protect the victims," said Rhein. The results of the committee of inquiry and the measures to be derived from them are important.
At the memorial event, the discussion about the planned memorial for the victims in Hanau flared up again. Surviving relatives accused the city of opposing a location on the market square in the center of Hanau. A design had been selected for the memorial, but the location had not yet been determined.
Kaminsky made it clear that the marketplace would not be selected for this. Here the urban society has a "feeling of disturbance" with an overwhelming majority. He considers a place at the planned Center for Democracy and Diversity to be more suitable, for which Faeser handed over a grant of 3.4 million euros on the sidelines of the commemoration event.