Some 6,000 people demonstrated in the western German town of Hanau yesterday against hate and contempt for the human race, according to police numbers.
They carried posters with inscriptions such as “Must people be killed first for you to be outraged?” or “Human rights instead of rightists”.
The organisers had expected 2,000 participants for the demonstration from Freiheitsplatz – which translates as Freedom Square – in the city centre to the two places where a 43-year-old German shot dead nine people with foreign roots on Wednesday evening.
The marksman also killed his 72-year-old mother before turning his gun on himself.
It has since been revealed that the perpetrator had a deeply racist mindset and was mentally ill.
The Green politician Cem Ozdemir laid a wreath for the victims of the attack in Hanau yesterday.
It was difficult to find words, he said in the Heumarkt (Haymarket), where the killer shot some of his victims.
Ozdemir said he hopes “that this year will go down in history as the year in which the [German] republic gets serious about tackling right-wing radicalism”.
Hanau is meanwhile planning a central funeral service for the victims of the attack.
This will be prepared in co-ordination with the relatives and the federal and state authorities, the town authorities said.
Mayor Claus Kaminsky has convened a special session of the Round Table of Religions for tomorrow.
“We want to make sure that we always act according to the real needs of the relatives,” Kaminsky said. “In this context we will clarify how the various needs around grief can be taken care of.”
The Green party is calling on the federal government to set up a crisis team and proposed “immediate measures for a safe society”.
“Right-wing extremism in Germany is completely uninhibited,” wrote Katrin Goering-Eckardt and Anton Hofreiter, the leaders of the Green group in the Bundestag, as well as interior and integration experts in a paper seen by DPA.
In their view, an anti-racism commissioner, “reliable and lasting democracy promotion” and financial support for the protection of particularly vulnerable institutions such as mosques and synagogues are also necessary.
The Greens want ammunition to be stored only where shooting is allowed; so far it has been possible for sport shooters to store both weapons and ammunition at home.
The Hesse State Criminal Police Office (LKA) also warned of misinformation yesterday.
There is “increasing speculation about the progression of events in the attack”, the LKA said.
These emerged from various sources on social media.
“From the perspective of the Hessian police, there is currently no reason to assume any further acute danger in this connection.”
All information will be followed up meticulously, it said.
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