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News: Remembering the victims of Hanau

In many places, people are paying tribute to the victims of the attack in Hanau. “All of us who want to live in peace together here in Germany stand united against the hatred of racists,” stressed Chancellor Angela Merkel. In Hanau a remembrance ceremony will be held in the evening – all the bells in Hanau are to ring.


Throughout Germany, people today are holding vigils and demonstrations or paying tribute to the victims of the Hanau murders online. On 19 February 2020 a man shot Ferhat Unvar, Mercedes Kierpacz, Sedat Gürbüz, Gökhan Gültekin, Hamza Kurtovic, Kaloyan Velkov, Vili-Viorel Paun, Said Nesar Hashemi and Fatih Saracoglu in the Hessian town of Hanau. The attacker then killed his mother and himself.

On this first anniversary of the attack, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Hessian Minister-President Volker Bouffier and Hanau’s Mayor Claus Kaminsky will be paying tribute to the victims in a ceremony staged by the Land (federal state) of Hesse and the town of Hanau.

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the official ceremony in Hanau will be on a small scale with about 50 invited guests. At the end of the ceremony, shortly after 19:00, all the town’s bells are to ring. The ceremony will be streamed live on the website of the town of Hanau.

Fighting hatred

In her most recent video podcast, Chancellor Angela Merkel looked back at the memorial service one year ago in Hanau. She said she will never forget talking to the families of those who were murdered, and their despair as to how to carry on without their loved ones. “All of us who want to live in peace together here in Germany stand united against the hatred of racists,” stressed the Chancellor.

Cabinet committee established

A Cabinet committee set up in the immediate aftermath of the attack, decided at the end of November 2020 on an extensive package of measures in the fight against right-wing extremism, racism and anti-Semitism.


Between 2021 and 2024 the German government will make available a total of over one billion euros to fight right-wing extremism and racism. After the fourth meeting of the Cabinet committee, a final report on the work of the committee and on the implementation status of the package of measures will be submitted to the German Bundestag.

Joseph Benjamin

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