Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser sees a great need for action in the fight against racism and right-wing extremism in Germany. At a commemoration event for the nine victims of the racist attack three years ago in Hanau, the SPD politician said it was important to draw conclusions from this act “and not to rest”. The perpetrator tried to make the victims strangers, “but they weren’t,” said the minister, who is also the SPD’s top candidate for the state elections in Hesse in October.

Right-wing extremism poses the greatest threat to the basic democratic order, said Faeser and also referred to the corresponding action plan. Education is also an important form of prevention. Children didn’t discriminate where someone came from, Faeser said.

At the commemoration event, relatives once again criticized the lack of clarification of the attack by politicians and authorities. Faeser explained that there are “not always answers that one expects”. The investigative committee of the Hessian state parliament is the place for clarification. In Hanau, a 43-year-old German shot nine people with racist motives on February 19, 2020.

Hanau Mayor: Democracy must “show a defensive face”

The mayor of Hanau, Claus Kaminsky (SPD), called for a fight against hate, racism and hate speech. “All of this is directed against people who live among us, who belong to us, to our city and our neighborhood,” said Kaminsky on Hanau’s market square.

Kaminsky said that democracy must “finally show its defensive face” – in a concrete and tangible way. “Let’s accept the responsibility that we all share and stand up when individuals or minorities in our country are deprived of their dignity,” he said. Fundamental rights are valuable, but sometimes also fragile and need to be protected. “That’s why we say to all racists, all anti-democrats, yes to all those who want to poison our country with their slogans: We are more! And we are stronger than your hatred!”

A rally and demonstration are planned for the afternoon and a joint commemoration of the crime scenes in Hanau’s city center and in the Kesselstadt district in the evening.