• Germany's news in English

German school massacre sparks call for consequences

DDP/DPA/The Local · 11 Mar 2009, 17:33

Published: 11 Mar 2009 17:33 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“I’m horrified and stunned. It’s hard to put into words what happened today,” said Merkel at a hastily arranged press conference in the Chancellery on Wednesday afternoon. “It’s a day of sorrow for all of Germany.”

A teenage gunman shot dead 15 people, including ten students and three teachers at his former school in Winnenden near Stuttgart in southwestern Germany. He was later killed during a shoot-out with police after murdering three other people after fleeing the scene of the bloodbath.

She said it was “incomprehensible” that “within seconds, students and teachers could fall victim to such an unspeakable crime.”

The massacre in Winnenden matches the death toll of another school shooting in the eastern German city of Erfurt in 2002. That incident sparked considerable soul-searching in a country largely unfamiliar with US-style gun violence.

But on Wednesday, politicians and civic leaders were quick to call for consequences to the latest killing spree.

Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen said there needed to be “educational partnerships” between schools and parents in order “to recognise and avoid such horrifying incidents before they happen.”

Wolfgang Bosbach, the interior affairs spokesman for the conservative Christian Democrats, said he expected parliament to investigate the matter. “We now have to uncover the exact causes and background of this deed,” he told daily paper the Rheinischen Post.

However, he warned against making German schools “high-security compounds” as that wasn’t what educators wanted. Bosbach also pointed out that parliament improved youth-protection measures and tightened the country’s laws for firearms following the shooting in Erfurt.

Story continues below…

The head of the GdP police union Konrad Freiberg called for electronic locks on school doors during classes to “keep anyone from walking into a school.”

But Josef Kraus, the president of the German teachers association, rejected locking down students.

“You can't just put the responsibility on the schools though. Society needs to start watching each other again and taking note when something's wrong,” he told The Local. “The media has to stop glorifying violence and we need tighter controls on weapons and on violent media and games.”

DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd