After the terror: how the families live with the loss

After the terror: how the families live with the loss

He only thought he was still asleep. How he sat there. Head resting against the backrest, arms hanging limply down, another cigarette in his hand. She no longer glowed. Thus describes Jan-Hendrik Lubcke the night he discovered his father on the terrace.

The son just came from the fair in the small neighboring town of Kassel, a lively evening. "Come on, Dad, wake up!", this sentence he throws to his father, Walter Lubcke, still teasingly to. Then he tries to wake him up. But Jan-Hendrik's father does not react. His body was quite cool.

The perpetrator: rooted in the far-right scene since childhood

The main defendant, Stephan E., has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Walter Lubcke on Thursday Life imprisonment was convicted. The State Protection Senate of the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt am Main also determined in its verdict the particular seriousness of the 47-year-old's guilt.

Stephan E. was deeply rooted in since his childhood right-wing extremist scene, many times on with violent crimes, in 2016 he allegedly rammed a knife into the back of an Iraqi refugee.

The murder, the son tells in court, according to media reports, "tore the family apart inside". Even more than a year after the crime, relatives would not understand the attack. Unable to grasp.

Halle, Hanau, Kassel – the trail of right-wing terror through Germany

The Family of Walter Lubcke is not alone. Also people in Hanau mourn for killed relatives, people in Halle. Several times violent criminals with racist or right-wing extremist motives had murdered in the past years. The right-wing terror – it never went away. But he only now returned more strongly to the public debate.

And with it Mourning of the bereaved the victim. In Halle, terror struck a woman who just happened to meet assassin and neo-Nazi Stephan B. hit in front of the town's synagogue in Saxony-Anhalt. Later, the perpetrator shot a young man in a kebab snack bar.

Tobias R. shot indiscriminately at people in the cafe

Kemal Kocak says he has lost confidence. To the German state. In the security authorities, the Fight against racism. This is how Kocak told a dpa reporter. His son runs a kiosk and cafe, the "Arena Bar," in Hanau, Hesse. In February 2020, the right-wing extremist motivated assassin Tobias R fired. indiscriminately shot people in the bar, which is frequented mainly by migrants. R. shot nine people that day at several locations in the city.

In Hesse, the rulers have now launched a "special funding program". With money from the state, the memory of the victims should be maintained. "The terrible act remains a reminder and motivation for all of Hesse in the fight against hate," Hesse's Interior Minister Peter Beuth (CDU) told dpa. With a special police unit, the state now wants to increase prere on the far-right scene.

Symbols help relatives grieve – but that's not enough

Many politicians travel after assassinations to the crime scenes, meet in a close circle with the family, relatives. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was in Hanau, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer in Halle. Victims' associations report that this sign of solidarity from the highest state authority is important to those affected.

At the same time, however, practice Victims' associations criticism again and again. Above all: The backgrounds of the acts often remain incompletely cleared up. In some cases, investigators are getting nowhere, despite great effort. Evidence missing, tracks covered, perpetrators dead, witnesses missing. All of these are challenges for the security authorities when they solve attacks.

Files shredded, information withheld

At the same time, there is growing concern among representatives of the relatives that, despite the series of murders, they are still not being solved. A deep wound has torn the processing of the murder series of the self-proclaimed "National Socialist Underground" (NSU): Files were shredded by authorities or only presented to investigative committees in blacked-out form. Information about employees of the Verfangsschutz who may have had knowledge of the course of events was covered up.

At the same time, relatives are also worried by reports of right-wing extremist groups within the police force. Thus provided individual networks for headlines, in which officials exchanged racist messages in chat groups – and even hoarded weapons for a "day X" when they wanted to be ready to strike out.

"As if it were just a car accident"

In the trial of the alleged murderer of CDU politician Walter Lubcke also said Ahmed I. out in court. He is the man from Iraq, the assassin Stephan E. who allegedly attacked Ahmed I with a knife in 2016. The evidence is thin. E. denies the crime.

Ahmed I. said after his questioning in the courtroom that he had felt "like invisible". Everything felt as if the matter was now settled. Little interest from the court, little patience – that's how Ahmed I. it felt according to an interview with the dpa. "This is how you can behave when it comes to a small accident and a car has damage. But there was an attempt to take my life," he said. (cu/dpa)

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