Würzburg a year after the knife attack: The shock is still deep

Wuerzburg. One year after the knife attack on Barbarossaplatz, Würzburg commemorated the victims and those injured in the attack. “365 days have passed since then, but today it almost seems to me as if the terrible act only happened yesterday, the shock is so deep, the memories are so vivid and the feelings associated with it so intense,” recalled Mayor Christian Schuchardt during the ceremony ecumenical memorial service for the deed.

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Many citizens, representatives of the emergency services, the security authorities, but also victims and people who had shown civil courage on this day a year ago, who had confronted the perpetrator and tried to distract him from other victims, came to the victims’ day on this day commemorate On June 25, 2021, a few hundred meters from the Marienkapelle, a man indiscriminately stabbed unsuspecting and defenseless people with a knife who happened to be customers in a shop and passers-by on the Barbarossaplatz in front of it. Three women died and six people were seriously injured. “The relatives of the killed women, the partners, the children, they have suffered a loss that is irreparable. I have no words that can make this easier for you,” said Schuchardt. The act is also a deep cut in the lives of those who were seriously injured and are still suffering from the physical and mental consequences.

Stand up for humane values

Even if he can understand that such a crime triggers disgust and anger, it is absolutely unacceptable if entire population groups are put under general suspicion and attacked as a reaction to the crime. Schuchardt appeals to stand together against the enemies of an open society: “Let’s not allow June 25, 2021 to divide our urban society. Let’s stand up for our humane values ​​together, let’s defend our peace and our freedom together, as citizens of Würzburg.”

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Schuchardt also thanked the police, fire brigade and rescue services, who were on the spot within a few minutes: “You all did an exemplary job. It fills me with great gratitude that we can rely on immediate and absolutely professional help, even in such a dramatic situation.”

In view of this terrible act, one was shocked, said Dean Dr. Wenrich Slenczka in his speech during the service: “We were not prepared for this senseless act.”

He understands that it is difficult to deal with the perpetrator, “but evil is not punished with the same,” appealed Slenczka during the service, which he organized together with canon Stefan Gessner.

June 25, 2021 is not only associated with images of violence, but also with images of impressive civil courage and humanity. That is why, after the wreath-laying ceremony at Barbarossaplatz, in the Behr Hall of the town hall, Schuchardt awarded the mayor’s medal of honor to the people who had shown civil courage during the attack.

Great respect

“I have the greatest respect for what these courageous women and men have done. It is extremely unusual for people to put themselves in danger, to put their health at risk, even to risk their lives in order to protect other people who are completely unknown to them and to save them from mortal danger,” stresses Schuchardt. A woman stood protectively in front of a girl and was then injured herself. Men tried to distract and disarm the perpetrator from other potential victims. Others have given first aid to seriously injured people. A sense of responsibility for one another, selfless helpfulness and courageous commitment – without these values, no community can exist and function.

“The men and women who didn’t look away a year ago, who looked, who didn’t run away but intervened, put these values ​​into practice in an exemplary manner,” emphasizes the Lord Mayor. Locals and immigrants, Christians and Muslims – they all showed what constitutes urban society in Würzburg and at the same time made it clear: “Würzburg, that’s all of us, regardless of skin color, origin or religion.”

Awarded Medal of Honor

As a sign of recognition and gratitude, Schuchardt presented the mayor’s medal of honor to Gabi M., Husein Alsamkari, Ahmed Hirsi Mohamed, Hossein Moradi, Oliver Mosinski and Chia Rabiei. “I know you don’t see yourself as a hero. But in my eyes you are!”

In the evening, the memorial concert with the Bavarian police orchestra took place in the Congress Center in Würzburg.

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