Shooting Rampage Exposes German Racism
21 February 2020, 16:20
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says “everything will be done” to investigate the killings of the nine people killed in a Frankfurt suburb earlier this week, VOA news reports.
Merkel said Thursday there are many indications that the suspect acted on “right-wing, extremist, racist motives.”
Germany’s federal prosecutor, Peter Frank, confirmed the suspect had placed extremist videos and inflammatory rhetoric online that have since been taken down.
In the posts the gunman said Germany now has “ethnic groups, races or cultures in our midst that are destructive in every respect,” He called for a “rough cleaning” followed by a “fine cleaning” that he said could cut the world’s population in half.
Merkel pledged “everything will be done” to investigate the killings.
“The German government and all state institutions stand for the rights and the dignity of each individual human being in our country. We do not differentiate citizens based on their origin or religion. We will vehemently and decisively confront all those who are trying to divide in Germany.
“Racism is a poison,” the chancellor said. “Hatred is a poison and this poison exists in our society and it is to blame for already far too many crimes.”
Most of the victims were of Kurdish or Turkish descent, and were shot Wednesday at two hookah (shisha) bars in Hanau. The suspected gunman, 43-year old Tobias Rathjen, was later discovered dead in his home along with the body of his mother.
A police spokesman said witnesses identified a vehicle used in the shooting, which led investigators to the suspect’s home.
Kadir Kose, who operates a cafe near one of the shootings, told the Associated Press he was shocked by the bloodshed. “This is a whole other level, something we hear about from America,” Kose said.
Law enforcement officials said they were trying to determine if Rathjen was associated with any groups and were not looking for other suspects.