• Germany's news in English
 
Blinded Stuttgart 21 protestor wants apology
Photo: DPA

Blinded Stuttgart 21 protestor wants apology

Published: 28 Dec 2010 11:01 GMT+01:00

Dietrich Wagner, 66, remains almost completely blind after he was hit directly in the face by a police water cannon after a protest against the controversial rail project turned violent last September.

“My independence is gone. I have to be looked after like a little child,” Wagner told Stern magazine.

He told Stern he wanted an apology from Mappus to Stuttgart's citizens.

He could no longer read or ride a bicycle as he had before. His partner had to help him with basic daily tasks such as shaving and getting dressed.

When he pours a glass of water, for example, “I hold a finger in the glass, so I know when it is full,” he said.

Soon he will start using a blind person’s cane, he said. He is blind in one eye and has about 8 percent vision in the other.

Wagner insisted he bore no responsibility for his injuries, as a police spokesman had previously suggested. He said he had expected to get wet or to “get a couple of bruises” from the water cannon “but not to be blasted blind.”

Stuttgart 21 consists of a massive construction effort, involving rebuilding the city’s main train station underground and turning it around 90 degrees, as well as laying 57 kilometres of new tracks. The aim is to make the city a major European rail hub.

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:26 December 28, 2010 by auniquecorn
Did´nt they show a video with this guy throwing sh!t at the cops?
11:54 December 28, 2010 by freechoice
why do you have to censor his eyes?
12:18 December 28, 2010 by DoubleDTown
First, I say "thanks" to The Local for censoring the photo - it's gruesome. But if you wanna see it, look here: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20101006-30295.html

Second, yeah he threw stuff at the protest. Video here: http://www.bild.de/BILD/politik/2010/10/07/stuttgart-21-opfer-dietrich-wagner-vorwuerfe-video/soll-beweisen-er-hat-selbst-gegenstaende-geworfen.html

But I think he claims they were just chestnuts. Still, though it sucks he was so badly injured I suspect there weren't any policemen sitting around plotting to hurt anyone so badly and if he had followed the police's instructions he would not have been hurt.
14:05 December 28, 2010 by jamano
Water cannons are no longer used in US. There are far more effective and safer non-lethal options for riot control. However it seems water cannons are still in use on a large scale in Germany and here are the concequences.

Collateral damage I suppose.
14:16 December 28, 2010 by freedom1776
Dear Professor: You are living proof that liberals only become conservative after they have been mugged. Herr Professor had been living in a protected world on the University where the abstract never meets the real world; and he never had to pay a real price for his ideas. Exactly like Muslim, Christian, and Communist Theorists (Karl Marx) for instance. They write the theories and the useful idiots do the dirty work, commit suicide and take the hard knocks. So Her professor went to the protest. If he used an ounce of imagination he would have anticipated being in a violent situation. But No: He did not. For he was the Great Professor! He assumed the risk by going there. He was wounded, he should have seen that as a real possibility. But No! He has learned nothing! Now he whines and demands an apology. His response is another attack from his safe and fantasy theoretical position. Quite in character for him. So he acted like a Jackass then and remains a Jackass now.
14:39 December 28, 2010 by derExDeutsche
If you throw $#!*, don't be pissed and ask for an apology if somebody throws $#!* back.

Herr Wagner got off easy. Remember the 'Peacenik' from the IMF Rally with the Fire Extinguisher?

Hippies love thinking of themselves as righteous weekend warriors, but lets face it, they just LOVE to bring the Wut and the Violence, but then with the first little scratch they run for Mommy, wondering why throwing $#!* at the Protest wasn't 'SAFE' Whaaaa!!! Man up, Kooks, its the real world. Water Cannons need to be BANNED, Whaaaa!!
14:57 December 28, 2010 by Jude the Obscure
Dear The Local,

Please stop showing us this photo. We like it when the police blinds people, and we like it when the government makes all the decisions for us without our consent. We think the police and whoever is in government deserves to be in control and we deserve to be physically abused when they do something we don't like. It serves us right.

Suggestion: instead of this gross picture, why not show us more calendars of naked girls so we can make dirty comments?

Yours sincerely,

The Local readers
17:05 December 28, 2010 by tallady
I saw the earlier photos of this man with something in his hand and his arm in a semi throwing position.he didn't look to dangerous ,but could be the photo.Water canons are very dangerous on the other "hand" and better methods of crowd control are needed here,this is tantamount to police brutality.,
06:30 December 29, 2010 by Eberhard
Clearly this is an absolute tragedy. Lessons will have to learned from this. I have never heard about anything like this happening before.

Hopefully a public inquiry is on its way..

Perhaps that will lead to a future ban of water canons?

My heart goes out to the victim.
08:13 December 29, 2010 by hOU
So if you throw a stone, a handful of gravel, a bottle at men in helmets and body armour or men sitting in what is effectively a tank - one should expect to be blasted in the face w/ a water canon?

Now if he had thrown a grenade, I'd see your point, but he didn't and the people above defending this force are shi-ts.
09:29 December 29, 2010 by tallady
Ya ,,if you live in China..
09:46 December 29, 2010 by storymann
There are much safer methods than a blast of water in the face,,tear gas ,reduced traction agents like foam and foam barriers..this could have been any ones fate ,not just the guy with chestnuts,or hand grenades. if the water cannon was so accurate as to hit this guy in the face ,then why there?, if not than why at all.
Today's headlines
Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law
Photo: DPA

Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law

The German Ethics Council said the law should not be changed to permit assisted suicide in a paper published on Friday. READ  

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin
Swan Lake. An abandoned ride in the Spreewald pleasure park. Photo: DPA

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin

The iconic ruined themepark in the centre of Berlin - a long-time favourite of hipster adventurers - needs a clean-up costing at least 14 million euros, the Berlin government has revealed. READ  

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer
File photo of Nuremberg main station: Shutterstock

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer

Officers in Nuremberg arrested a man on Thursday evening after he called in a false bomb threat against the main train station READ  

Opinion
Angela, David...and Nigel
So near...and yet so far Photo: DPA

Angela, David...and Nigel

The rise of UKIP broke up what had been a good 2014 for Cameron and Merkel. READ  

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead
Dr Gunther von Hagens. Photo: DPA

'Dr Death' corpse museum gets go-ahead

A Berlin court has said that infamous human taxidermist Gunther von Hagens can open a museum in the capital - over objections from local officials. READ  

Presented by Phorms Education
Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech
Photo: Phorms Education

Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech

As parents fret over children’s internet habits, a network of bilingual schools in Germany shows that putting computers in the classroom from an early age yields positive results. READ  

Networks scramble to patch mobile security
Chancellor Angela Merkel has herself been the victim of phone hacking. Photo: DPA

Networks scramble to patch mobile security

IT experts led by Berlin-based Karsten Nohl said on Thursday they had discovered security flaws in the mobile phone networks that would allow attackers to read users' messages. READ  

Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport
Photo: DPA

Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport

Three men suspected of being Turkish agents have been arrested by police, federal prosecutors said on Thursday. READ  

Tax take jumps 7.3 percent in November
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is having an excellent month. Photo: DPA

Tax take jumps 7.3 percent in November

Germany collected 7.3 percent more in tax in November 2014 than the same month last year thanks to the strengthening economy, the Finance Ministry said in its monthly report on Thursday, while pollsters found rising consumer confidence. READ  

Ramelow bunks off his first Bundesrat sitting
Bodo Ramelow looking low on energy at a sitting of the Thuringia state parliament. Photo: DPA

Ramelow bunks off his first Bundesrat sitting

Controversial new Thuringia minister-president Bodo Ramelow of the Left (Linke) party missed his first session of Germany's second house of parliament, the Bundesrat, to go on holiday with his family. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Willy Brandt at his inauguration in 1972. Photo: DPA
National
Willy Brandt: the man, the chancellor... the airport?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,197
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd