Europe

Germany: Victims terrorized by father of extremist

One year after deadly Hanau terror attack, victims’ families living in fear due to threats by Hans-Gerd Rathjen

Mesut Zeyrek   | 26.01.2021
Germany: Victims terrorized by father of extremist

COLOGNE

Nearly one year after a far-right terror attack in Hanau, families of the victims and immigrants in the German town are living under constant fear because of threatening behavior by the dead assailant’s father. 

“We have asked for police protection, told authorities that we are not safe here as long as he lives in this town,” Cetin Gultekin, whose brother was killed by far-right extremist Tobias Rathjen, told Anadolu Agency, adding that residents have not yet received a positive response.

He said Rathjen’s father, Hans-Gerd Rathjen, sent various letters to authorities in which he made racist comments about immigrants and talked about getting rid of foreigners.

“This man is a danger to the community. He might not have a gun, but can use his car as a weapon, ramming it into the people,” he said.

Rathjen has patrolled neighborhood streets with his German Shepherd dog and targeted immigrants with verbal assaults, according to Gultekin.

The younger Rathjen attacked two cafes in Hanau last February and killed nine people with migration backgrounds, before killing himself and his mother in their home.

His father, who is known to authorities as a follower of conspiracy theories and racist and xenophobic views, has not condemned the deadly attack and has argued his son is innocent.

The 73-year-old asked authorities to return the gun and ammunition seized from his son and has tried to bring his son’s blocked propaganda website back online.

He also petitioned the town council to demolish memorials built for the victims of the terror attack.

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