In response to the shooting in Hanau, which killed 11 people on Wednesday night (19 February) in one of the deadliest examples of right-wing violence since German reunification and the latest in a string of right-wing attacks committed in the past year, many German leaders have been quick to condemn both racism and right-wing extremism.
“Racism is a poison. Hate is a poison. This poison exists in our society, and it is responsible for far too many crimes,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a brief statement. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier travelled to Hanau to meet with local officials and also decried the violence as racist. “We must not let violence stemming from right-wing extremist motives lie. We must stand together against it,” acting CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer wrote in a tweet.
The Federal Prosecutor announced on Wednesday (19 February) that it is investigating the crime as “suspected terrorist violence,” and the Hessian interior minister has stated that there is reason to believe that the attacker had “xenophobic motives.”
This assessment comes from examinations of the alleged perpetrator’s website, where he furthered conspiracy theories about the ‘Deep State’ and expressed his disdain for immigrants from the Middle East, northern Africa, and Turkey. The website has since been taken down. (Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de)