None of the 30 young squatters were injured after police managed to bring everyone to safety in time. The fire was put out within an hour, but the entire building was destroyed.
Though they deny their involvement, police believe the squatters were part of the kidnapping of Bernd das Brot – a talking loaf of bread from a children's TV show, who was recently found by children playing in the area.
About two weeks ago, leftist squatters reported via Youtube video that they had kidnapped a two-metre-tall likeness of the surly orange-brown tin loaf to protest their eviction from an occupied building in the eastern German city
He went missing from his post in front of the city hall building weeks ago and a letter from a group of squatters claiming responsibility for the abduction soon surfaced. Then the leftists followed up with a video of their doughy “hostage” complete with commentary sympathetic to the squatter's plight in Bernd's own deep voice.
The award-winning loaf of bread for Erfurt-based children TV channel Kinderkanal (Ki.Ka) is known for being irredeemably fatalistic as he endures countless hardships in life, such as having very short arms.
Negotiations between city authorities and squatters known as Team 129 A broke down weeks ago after the building occupants rejected an offer for alternative housing. Their eviction was postponed on Friday until February 15, according to the group's website. Their squat wass to be converted into apartments and office space.