Bells and white roses commemorate victims of terrorist attacks
Created: 2022-12-19Updated: 2022-12-19 9:36 p.m
Candles stand on a staircase on the edge of the commemoration event for the terrorist attack on Breitscheidplatz in 2016. © Christophe Gateau/dpa
Silence at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin - like back then after the terrorist attack.
13 bells commemorate the victims.
Even six years later, the grief of the relatives remains - and the mental scars of many of the injured have not healed.
Berlin - Six years after the Islamist terrorist attack on the Christmas market at the Memorial Church, Berlin remembered the victims.
Wreaths were laid and candles lit on Monday evening to mark the anniversary.
At a service in the church on Breitscheidplatz near Ku'damm, they prayed together.
In addition to victims and relatives, rescue workers and Berlin's Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) and other politicians took part.
On December 19, 2016, an Islamist terrorist drove into the Christmas market in a hijacked truck.
A total of 13 people died as a result of the crime, one of them years later as a result.
About 70 people were injured, some seriously.
The assassin fled to Italy, where he was shot dead by police.
The Protestant Bishop Christian Stäblein assured the victims and their relatives that they would never forget their suffering.
"We will not forget that, nor the solidarity that was newly created at that moment - for the wounded, for the murdered, for those who have had to live with the loss ever since.
Berlin doesn't forget," said Stäblein.
Astrid Passin, who lost her father in the terrorist attack, spoke as a spokeswoman for the bereaved.
"We still need dedicated help," she explained.
In the intercessions, General Superintendent Ulrike Trautwein also recalled a new incident near Breitscheidplatz: the alleged rampage of a 29-year-old on June 8, in which a woman was killed and, according to the public prosecutor, 32 people were injured.
"Suddenly everything was there again," says Trautwein.
After the service for the victims of the terrorist attack, people gathered at the memorial at the back of the church where the attack took place.
Relatives laid 13 white roses and lit candles where the names of the 13 victims are written on the steps.
The names of the victims were read out by Trautwein.
The commemoration ended with 13 chimes at the time of the attack at 8:02 p.m.
During the commemoration event, the Christmas market was closed.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) wrote on Twitter on Monday evening that the victims were not forgotten.
"Our thoughts are with them and their families today." Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) said December 19 was a day of mourning for people who had been killed or injured in body and soul.
“In their fanaticism, terrorists think their victims don't count.
You are wrong.
Everyone counts,” Faeser said on Twitter.
"We need to reach out - in all government agencies - with more empathy and more support to the people whose lives were dramatically changed by such a terrible attack."
Berlin's Prime Minister Giffey followed the commemoration quietly.
She tweeted: "In addition to the physical injuries, there are deep emotional scars.
We are particularly aware today that it could have affected any one of us.
Berlin will never forget this act and this day.”
The federal government's victim representative, Pascal Kober (FDP), had assured on Sunday: "Those affected can rest assured that we will continue to be there for them."