Nine months after the death drive on Berlin’s Ku’damm, those affected are still struggling with the significant psychological consequences of the crime. Some have reported on this in written statements to the Berlin district court. These were read out in the trial against the alleged perpetrator.

For example, a 16-year-old writes that she suffers from panic attacks, insomnia and anxiety. A 17-year-old reported that he was almost completely healed physically, but had developed an eating disorder and kept waking up during the night. Another victim wrote: “My life has stopped for a long time.”

A teacher was killed

A school class from Bad Arolsen in northern Hesse was the hardest hit by the death trip. A 51-year-old teacher died at the scene, a 53-year-old teacher and eleven 10th graders were injured, some critically. A 14-year-old who was visiting Berlin with her grandparents was also one of those affected. Other victims were a 32-year-old, who was seven months pregnant, and two 29- and 31-year-old men.

The accused, an Armenian-born man with German nationality, is said to have driven a car on Kurf├╝rstendamm (Ku’damm) and Tauentzienstra├če intentionally into pedestrian groups on June 8, 2022. The 29-year-old is said to have been in an acute psychotic state. In a so-called security procedure, the public prosecutor’s office is now seeking permanent accommodation of the man in a psychiatric hospital.

If possible, the court wants to spare the young people affected and other victims who are at risk of re-traumatization as a result of the proceedings additional psychological stress through another hearing of witnesses. In order to be able to take their experiences into account in the process, earlier statements are read out, according to the court.

A student at the time stated that he felt the situation “very unreal” at first – “as if a film was running”. Another young person from northern Hesse had described: “From one moment to the next, the car was suddenly there.” He was thrown onto the hood and injured. In the meantime he is doing relatively well physically, “but I have nightmares from time to time”. The trial continues on Thursday.