• Germany's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3
Cologne police 'fail to act' as anarchy breaks out at school
Police outside the Humboldt-Gymnasium. Photo: DPA

Cologne police 'fail to act' as anarchy breaks out at school

The Local · 16 Mar 2016, 17:49

Published: 16 Mar 2016 17:49 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

It was supposed to be the annual tussle between pupils at Cologne's top high schools, where water pistols and flour bombs are deployed to attack rival school yards.

Instead on Monday evening, fireworks and glass bottles were thrown into the crowds of students and dangerous homemade weapons were used, leading to two pupils being brought to hospital with severe head injuries.

Pupils at the school say the police were slow to react despite the severity of the situation.

'Abi Krieg'

About 11 classes from different Cologne high schools descended on the Humboldt school with the intention of attacking it on Tuesday evening, police report.

According to the Cologne police, 60 pupils from the Humboldt-Gymnasium tried to defend their school property.

This so called “Abitur-Krieg” has been a tradition for a few years in the Rhineland city.

Young students, who are about to graduate, try to hang posters and stickers from their schools at other schools.

But normally the teenagers arm themselves with water pistols, water bombs and flour bombs to fight each other.

This year, things were different.

As well as the usual weapons, the attacking pupils threw firecrackers, eggs, sticks and even bottles.

 

#eskannnureinenköniggeben #LDVrules #leonardoübernimmt #venividiVINCI

A photo posted by LEONARDOS ÜBERNEHMEN!! (@leonardosdenippes) on

An Instagram post from one of the participants.

Two 18-year-olds were taken to hospital after one had a skull fracture, and the other had a bone in his face smashed by a bottle.

Weapons seized by law enforcement included a self-made spear and a weapon made out of a bicycle-chain.

In a Facebook post, pupils from the Humboldt-Gymnasium accused their rivals from other schools of “applauding as some of us lay on the floor bleeding”.

The post described “a guy in the third row who thought it would be a good idea to throw huge firecrackers into the crowd” and a girl in a black jacket who threw glass bottles at other people.

According to Spiegel the rivalry between the Cologne high schools has been brewing for some time, leading to several police action over the days leading up to the fight.

Attacks on students outside school grounds with banned weapons have occurred, and last Friday teenagers even turned on police, hurling objects at them and threatening them.

Police in spotlight

The pupils also accuse the police of being slow to react.

“When we asked you for ambulances and help you replied by saying ‘we need to make a judgement on the situation', even though it was clear to everyone that the situation had descended into anarchy.”

A parent of one of the pupils told Spiegel that “the police only intervened after my son and the other boy were injured. Before that they stood to the side and spoke through a megaphone even though it was clear that their mere presence was doing nothing to stop the attacks.”

Police say they arrived at the scene at around 10pm and put an end to the violence by 11pm. They have been investigating since Tuesday cases of aggravated bodily harm.

Criticism of the police response comes after Cologne authorities were accused of failing to act decisively enough when groups of young men attacked revellers at New Year's celebrations in the city this year.

Police then apparently covered up the fact that the attacks had taken place publishing a report the following day that made no mention of them.

Over 1,000 police reports were filed since, many relating to sexual assault.

The police chief Wolfgang Albers lost his job in the wake of the scandal.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Today's headlines
Berlin vs Munich: whose newborn polar bear is cuter?
Berlin's (left) and Munich's (right) newborn bears. Photos: Tierpark Berlin / DPA

Both city zoos welcomed baby polar bears into the world in November, with Berlin zoo its releasing first photos on Friday. But which one is more adorable?

Learn how to speak German like a silver screen icon
Dirty Harry. Photo: DPA

We all agree that there is no other option than to learn irregular German verbs by rote. But when you want a bit of downtime, why not learn from your big screen heroes?

Stolen Dachau 'Work will set you free' gate found: police
The entrance to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Photo: DPA

An iron gate from the former Nazi concentration camp in Germany's Dachau with the slogan "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work will set you free") has been found two years after it was stolen, police said Friday.

Mystery flight path artist draws new message in sky
Photo: DPA

A pilot who likes to draw patterns in the sky using his flight path has returned with his greatest artwork yet.

Berlin 'abusing power' to stop Snowden coming to Germany
Edward Snowden. Photo: DPA

Opposition parties have accused the coalition government of overstepping its authority in its attempt to block American whistleblower Edward Snowden's trip to Germany.

Germany gains record number of Michelin-star restaurants
Head of the Michelin Guide, Michael Ellis (centre) with Michelin-star chefs at a presentation in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Germany had a slew of newly minted Michelin-star restaurants this year, and its top-rated establishments held onto their prestigious three stars.

At last: Germany passes major disabled rights reform
People in wheelchairs watch as the German parliament deliberates on the new disability rights reform. Photo: DPA.

For years people with disabilities in Germany have called for legislation to provide them with better benefits and opportunities in life and work. On Thursday the German parliament passed such a reform - but is it enough?

How new German rules are holding refugee families apart
Children wait for food in Jarablus, Syria. Photo: DPA

Germany, trying to staunch the flow of Syrian refugees, has placed high hurdles for them to be reunited with their families, creating a Kafkaesque nightmare in the courts.

10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Photo: DPA

Fire up your ovens and get ready to bake - here are ten festive German cookies and pastries that'll send your senses into paroxysms of yuletide joy.

5 things we learnt reading Germany's first Charlie Hebdo
Photo: DPA.

The very first German edition of Charlie Hebdo hit the shelves across the country on Thursday. So what can Germans expect if they buy it?

Lifestyle
10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Sponsored Article
The key to launching your international career
Lifestyle
Our 10-step guide for doing Christmas just like a German
National
Here's why so many Germans vote for the far-right AfD
National
7 events in Germany that'll make December unforgettable
Lifestyle
7 frosty German sayings to make you a winter wordsmith
National
This is how unequal German society has become
National
Six things you should know about the Lufthansa strike
National
9 ways living in Germany will make you a better person
National
These 10 German Christmas markets cannot be missed
Features
8 German words that unlock amazing secrets in English
Culture
10 German words with simply hilarious literal translations
Lifestyle
7 things Germans do that make foreigners feel awkward
International
Why Donald Trump's grandad was booted out of Germany
National
This is what is really inside your Döner kebab
National
Rejoice! Christmas markets start opening across Germany
Education
These German universities are best at landing you a job
Travel
Why Heidelberg is Germany's most inspiring city
Lifestyle
This soppy German Christmas ad will bring you to tears
National
Here's where Germans speak the best (and worst) English
Culture
10 German books you have to read before you die
Culture
U-Bahn train found filled with autumn foliage in Berlin
Features
Seven German words that unlock amazing secrets about English
Travel
Germany's ten most beautiful towns you've never visited
6,633
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd