As the Germans or German-speaking readers probably know today, the 19th of August 2021, marks the one and a half year anniversary of the Hanau shootings . So I wanted to spread some awareness for those of you who don’t know about it.
A year and a half ago Hanau, a small city in the German Bundesland (state) of Hesse, became the scene of a horrible terrorist attack in which a far right racist extremist murdered nine people and injured others before killing his mother and himself. All victims were of migrantic or Romani descent.
Said Nesar Hashemi
Vili Viorel Păun
The locations of the Hanau shootings were two shisha bars and a kiosk that were predominantly frequented by migrants and Germans of migration background. Only months after the attack it became public that the emergency exits if the bars were blocked by the police so that guests couldn’t flee in case of a razzia.
While memorial demonstrations for the victims of the Hanau shootings were cancelled in summer 2020 due to Corona restrictions, Covid deniers, conspiracy believers and right extremists were allowed to protest all year even after hundreds of them tried to storm the Reichstag building (the seat of the German government) in Berlin.
The perpetrator of the Hanau shootings posted about his racist beliefs, extremist ideologies, paranoia, misogynistic attitude and conspiracy theories prior to the attack. He wrote letters about it to officials and he was able to obtain a gun license despite his schizophrenic psychosis which enabled him to commit his racist attack. Even today more than a thousand known rightwing extremists in Germany have a legal gun license.
Only a few months prior in 2019 in Halle (Saale) a perpetrator tried to enter a synagogue on Jom Kippur and then after failing to enter went to a kebab place to kill people in another racist and antisemitic attack. A few months before that conservative politician Walter Lübke was murdered by yet another far right extremist because of his pro-refugee politics. See a pattern? These are not isolated cases.
Racism kills. Antisemitism kills. White supremacy kills.
See this post as your reminder that sharing political stuff on social media is nice and fair but that we also need to fight for a radical change of our societies outside of our comfortable filter bubbles.
Sign petitions, educate, donate, protest, get active — do something.
An older version of this text was published on Instagram on the 19th of February 2021 to remember the one year anniversary of the Hanau shootings. Click here to see the original post. Since the shootings and its one year anniversary there have been further developments that I haven’t covered in this post. The Initiative 19. Februar Hanau has compiled a list of press reports about the topic (in German). You can find it here.