Germany honors victims of racist terror attack in Hanau
A commemoration ceremony was held in Germany on Saturday to mark the second anniversary of a racist terrorist attack in Hanau, which claimed the lives of nine people, including four Turks.
On Feb. 19, 2020, far-right extremist Tobias Rathjen attacked two cafes in the city of Hanau, killing nine young people and injuring five others. All the victims had migrant backgrounds.
The first commemoration event, which was limited to 80 guests due to COVID-19 measures, was held in the cemetery where three of the victims were laid to rest.
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, Hesse state premier Volker Bouffier, and Turkiye's Consul General in Frankfurt Erdem Tuncer attended the ceremony.
Speaking at the event, Faeser said she shares the grief of the families who lost their children in the racist attack.
"Today, we mourn the loss of nine young people," she said, adding that despite the terrorist's intent to divide Hanau, the attack had served to further unite its residents.
"I will do everything I can to shed light on this dreadful event," she added.
For his part, Bouffier said that racism was a cancer and must be fought.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also honored the victims on Twitter.
"You were a part of our country," Scholz said in a video message, naming the victims one by one.
Noting that Germany "owes" the families of the victims "the answers to questions that are still unclear," he vowed that the federal government would "resolutely fight against racism and right-wing terrorism."
More commemoration events are scheduled to be held in the city during the day.
Germany has witnessed growing racism in recent years fueled by far-right parties, which have exploited fears about a refugee crisis.
Authorities are facing criticism, especially from the human rights organizations, for underestimating the far-right threat and not seriously investigating crimes committed by right-wing extremists.