Several thousand join latest rally for victims of Hanau attack

By Oliver Pietschmann and Jenny Tobien, dpa

Four days after the deadly suspected racist attack in the western German town of Hanau, several thousand people came together there to commemorate the victims on Sunday.

“It is important for us to fly the flag – against terrorism, xenophobia and anti-Muslim racism,” co-organizer Teyfik Oezcan said. “Our message is: We are Germany. We belong together.”

An initiative made up of associations from Hanau had called for the commemoration of the victims on Sunday at a rally and a march from the crime scene in Kurt Schumacher Platz to the town’s market square.

According to initial police estimates, around 6,000 took part in the march.

Some held up signs saying: “Love for everyone. Hate for no one.”

Turkish flags and photos of those killed were also on display.

A rally was scheduled to take place later in the afternoon, at which the Turkish ambassador Ali Kemal Aydın, Hanau Mayor Claus Kaminsky and representatives of different religions wanted to speak.

A 43-year-old German is believed to have shot dead nine people with foreign roots on Wednesday evening.

The shooter is also thought to have killed his 72-year-old mother before turning his gun on himself.

It has since been revealed that the suspected perpetrator had a deeply racist mindset and was mentally ill.

The organizers had expected around 3,000 participants for Sunday’s event. On Saturday, around 6,000 people remembered the victims in a procession through the town in a separate event.

Green Bundestag member Cem Ozdemir laid a wreath in Hanau on Saturday together with representatives of the Kurdish community in Germany.

Mayor Kaminsky called for prudence in dealing with online sources about the attack in Hanau.

The origins of the speculation should be critically questioned, he said in a message published on Sunday. Kaminsky warned, among other things, of conspiracy theories spread in online video messages.

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