Family of Solingen attack victims calls for stronger unity against racism
Germany marks 29th anniversary of racist attack in Solingen which saw killing of 5 members of Turkish family
The family of the 1993 Solingen arson attack victims has called for stronger unity against racism and right-wing extremism in Germany.
Kamil Genc, who lost his two daughters and two sisters in the racist attack, called on people to join the commemoration events on Sunday, in the western city of Solingen.
“If more people come here, we would be able to demonstrate our unity in a stronger way,” he told Anadolu Agency.
The house of the Turkish immigrant family was set ablaze on May 29, 1993, by four far-right extremists, who were later arrested and sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison.
Genc said although many pledges are made in the past years to combat racism, far-right remains a serious problem in the country.
“I very much hope that one day we’ll get rid of racism. But as long as Nazi groups continue to exist even within the state, I don’t think that this will easily come to an end,” he said.
Mevlude Genc, who lost her two daughters, two grandchildren, and a niece in the attack, said that their pain will never go away.
She underlined the importance of solidarity between the Turkish and German communities, in order to prevent similar racist attacks in future.
“Let’s put an end to describing people as native Germans, and foreigners. We are part of this country,” she stressed.
“Let’s support each other, embrace each other, share each other’s pain,” she added.
At least 218 innocent people have been killed in Germany by the neo-Nazi violence since 1989, according to the Amadeu Antonio Foundation.
The country has witnessed growing racism in recent years fueled by far-right parties, which have exploited fears over the refugee crisis and terrorism.
Right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis carried out 1,042 violent attacks last year targeting immigrants, refugees or political opponents, according to the German Interior Ministry. At least 590 people were injured in those attacks.
German state authorities have long been under criticism for underestimating the far-right threat and not seriously investigating crimes committed by right-wing extremists.
*Mesut Zeyrek contributed to this report from Cologne.
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