Great Dane attacks girl in Lower Saxony

An 8-year-old girl has been attacked by a Great Dane in Wolfenbüttel, Lower Saxony police reported on Saturday, the third such incident in the northern German state this week.

Great Dane attacks girl in Lower Saxony
Germany already has muzzle laws for so-called attack dogs. Photo: dpa

The little girl was bitten several times by the dog, which was running free on Friday. Its owner’s whereabouts are still unknown. The child only escaped more serious injuries because her 15-year-old sister managed to chase the Great Dane away. After being treated by a pediatrician the child was able to return home.

The incident is the third dog attack on children within the last few days in the Lower Saxony. On Thursday, a pit bull seriously injured a two-year-old girl in Ovelgönne. The child and her mother were visiting her godmother when the godmother’s dog suddenly attacked the child. The toddler is now in intensive care, according to a police spokeswoman.

And a few days ago a Rottweiler attacked another 8-year-old girl in Bad Fallingbostel, when the child and her mother walked past a farmhouse. The child sustained serious bite wounds in her face and on her arms.

Following the spate of attacks German politicians are demanding more stringent controls and tougher punishments. Social Democratic parliamentarian Karl Lauterbach went so far as to demand that dog owners take full responsibility for any injuries.

“Attack dog owners are well aware of the risks their dogs pose to children and therefore should be punished with all severity as if they themselves had injured the children,” he told Bild newspaper on Saturday.

Georg Ehrmann, chairman of children’s charity Deutsche Kinderhilfe in Berlin, demanded that all dangerous races of dogs be put on a national list so that these animals be forced to wear muzzles and be on a leash at all times.


Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.