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Hamburg police search for car arsonists after fiery weekend

DDP/The Local · 6 Apr 2010, 13:02

Published: 06 Apr 2010 13:02 GMT+02:00

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The fires in the Flottbek district spurred a search for the arsonists that included more than 20 patrol cars, but officers reported no trace of the perpetrators so far.

On the previous night unknown culprits lit six other vehicles on fire in the city’s Harvestehude district. There fire fighters were able to save a nearby apartment building and a carport from the flames.

In the last year, about 150 cars have been burned in Hamburg, many attributed to left-wing extremists and anarchists.

In late March daily Bild reported that the number of politically motivated offences in Germany had soared to its highest level since record began.

Citing an Interior Ministry report, the paper said there were 33,917 politically motivated crimes committed in 2009. Many of these include car burnings in Hamburg and Berlin.

Although offences committed by right-wing extremists are twice as common as those committed by the left, it is a massive jump in left-wing crime that is responsible for the new peak.

The number of left-wing extremist crimes climbed 39.4 percent to 9,375. Among those were 1,822 violent offences – a rise of 53.4 percent.

Crimes by the far right, meanwhile, fell by 4.7 percent compared with 2008, totalling 19,468. Assault is a particularly common far-right crime, the report said.

Towards the end of last year, there was a spate of far-left attacks, including incidents in which perpetrators threw Molotov cocktails, paint bombs and cobblestones at Berlin’s Treptow district Federal Criminal Police (BKA) office. Around the same time, offices for the centre-left Social Democrats and the conservative Christian Democrats were also vandalised with anti-war graffiti.

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And in Hamburg, about 10 masked perpetrators attacked a police precinct in the Schanzenviertel neighbourhood, setting a police cruiser alight, damaging other police cars and breaking windows with stones.

At the time, the head of the German Police Union, Rainer Wendt, branded the attacks a “declaration of war.”

Meanwhile the car burnings have spawned copycat crimes. According to a Hamburg police spokesperson, on Monday night an eight-year-old in Osdorf district managed to light two cars on fire using paper.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:13 April 6, 2010 by vonSchwerin
I've always wondered why German cities are riddled with leftwing social violence (car burnings, vandalism on haut-bourgeois shops) and why there is so much graffiti in German cities -- and why Germans put up with it. German inner cities (esp. Berlin) look dirty and run-down. Beautiful historic buildings get covered with tags and graffiti. Most of Toronto, New York, and Tokyo don't have this problem. What's the deal? English-speaking foreigners have a cliched notion of Germany as a country obsessed with order and cleanliness, but that's not the reality of urban life in Germany today.
17:32 April 6, 2010 by Thames
The far left is interesting: Many of the left claim to be anti war and show how much they hate war by violence.
20:40 April 6, 2010 by wmm208
Ungloublisch aber typisch Deustche...
23:33 April 6, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, it must say that Thames makes another interesting point.

Destroying your own country isn't the most logical way to express your dissent. Those arsonists are destroying the property of innocent people.

Domestic terrorism is just as immoral as all other forms of terrorism. Why attack your own country, especially when foreign enemies are trying to destroy you altogether?

The German government should seek a meeting with them, in an effort to solve this. This goal should be to not engage in war with your own people. Where are the intelligent leaders? I'm willing to become a German citizen and lead, if no one else will.
09:38 April 7, 2010 by dcgi
Who's cars were these? People who actually have a job and need to get to work the next day?

If the lefties hate the country so much, why not bugger off to China or North Korea and see how much you like it there.

Maybe one day these pricks will realise that it's far easier to destroy than create something and burning cars just makes everyone hate them even more.
11:22 April 7, 2010 by Johnne
Ok no problem, all these ´ll reduce if they stop paying people for sitting on the couch and watching tv & drinng beer the whole day, or using our hard earned tax money to finance the wrong acts of right or left extremists who ´ll either burn our cars (leftists) or attack some of us physically just because we´re black (right extremists) keep it up boys:-)!!
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