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German Media Roundup: Removing weapons from the home

The Local · 21 Sep 2010, 12:35

Published: 21 Sep 2010 12:35 GMT+02:00

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On Sunday, 41-year-old lawyer Sabine R. killed her ex-partner and five-year-old son, then headed to a nearby hospital where she murdered an orderly and injured a police officer before being shot dead by another officer.

The incident came only days after a court in the nearby state capital Stuttgart began proceedings against the father of Tim Kretschmer, the Winnenden teen who shot dead 15 people before killing himself in March 2009. The businessman faces charges of weapons law violations for not keeping his weapon properly secured.

German newspapers on Tuesday tried to glean insights from another senseless tragedy.

The Badische Zeitung, based in Freiburg some 80-kilometres from Lörrach, expressed the region’s sense of shock and helplessness in the face of such incidents.

“Along with the speculation that comes after the fact there's another question which we can’t spare the countless weapons lovers living in peace,” the paper said. “When there is a firearm at hand, is there not a threat that difficult psychological conflicts will escalate faster than without them? To this day the weapons lobby still hasn’t been able to convince us that the two have nothing to do with the other.”

Baden-Württemburg's capital daily, the Stuttgarter Zeitung, warned against knee-jerk weapons law reforms, but said Sunday’s shocking events renewed questions about whether current regulations are adequate.

“Once again a weapon that should have been used for recreational sport shooting was used to kill, and this time the perpetrator was a markswoman herself,” the paper said. “She would not have been able to commit the crime if she had faced tighter weapon regulations.”

While stronger laws for such weapons may not prevent every crime, they would hinder at least a few, the paper said.

“After the most recent crimes we must be allowed to weigh the freedom of sports shooters against other people’s right to life. In this society people’s freedom is encroached for petty reasons. Is it really unreasonable then if marksmen only have a right to reach for their weapons when they are practising the sport? Stricter weapons law won’t make disturbed people better. But in individual cases it could soften the consequences of their behaviour.”

Hannover daily the Neue Presse agreed with this view, lamenting: “Why on earth do sport shooters bring their weapons and pistols into their homes at all? There is no plausible reason.”

These guns are meant only for use within sporting clubs, where they should be stored with the appropriate security precautions, the paper said.

“Clearly if the woman intended to kill the man and child she would have done it despite a strict weapons law. States of madness cannot be totally avoided, but sometimes they can be made easier for someone.”

The centre-left Süddeutsche Zeitung complained that insidious pressure from the gun lobby had politicians running scared. Trade-offs in favour of public safety needed to be made, the paper urged, even if that inconveniences law-abiding gun owners.

“The abuse of legal guns has claimed more lives than the terrorism of the Red Army Faction,” the paper said. “Yet instead of changing weapons laws, politicians freeze – out of fear of the shooting associations and the gun lobby.”

Very few people who legally own guns really need them, as opposed to hunters, forest rangers, and people who need a weapon for self-defence, the paper said. The majority of the 10 million legal guns in the country belong to sports shooters such as Sabine R.

Story continues below…

But the fact that most of them were perfectly respectable people was scant comfort for grieving relatives of shooting victims, the paper said. At the very least, there should be a ban on keeping lethal sports weapons at home. Instead, these could be stored with the police, in a secure place with assigned supervisors.

“For it is the quick access to a pistol that allows murders like those in Lörrach,” the paper concluded.

But regional daily Leipziger Volkszeitung pointed out that the features of the crime were so inconsistent with the normal criminal patterns that the murders simply could not be used to justify further regulation.

“How can a community protect itself against mass murderers? Know-it-alls offer well-meant advice. People should keep an eye on young, male loners. Internet threats should be taken seriously. The state, it is often heard, must control how sports shooters secure their weapons, so that they do not mistakenly fall into the hands of their children,” the paper said.

“But since the bloody crime of Lörrach, it is clear that mass-murderers do not stick to regulations. Not only can they be over 40, they can even be women and have a job as a lawyer. She did not announce her murder. People … die even from a completely unmenacing, small-calibre sports pistol. Serious explosions can be brought about with petrol or spirits. The message from Lörrach is simple: there is no safe protection against maniacal murderers.”

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:14 September 21, 2010 by Mike Jennings

through the nineties, handgun killings in Britain increased from approx. 20 a year to their highest ever, 26, in 1996, the year of Dunblane. All private handguns were confiscated in 1998 and by 2001, the number of killings had quadrupled to over 100 per year. The police then started tackling use of guns by criminals and the numbers dropped by half to about fifty a year-which is still roughly double what it was.

Guns are not just made to kill- modern target pistols are designed specifically to be very accurate, are very expensive and are designed purely for target shooting. They can be abused, like anything else. As G.K. Chesterton said, if you want to prevent a boy throwing stones, there are two alternatives; either teach the boy not to, or pick up every stone in the country and throw it into the sea.

A possible solution might be to remove a critical part of the gun and store it at home, with the removed part stored at a gun club. Alternatively, there are computerised owner identity controlled locks available.

To those who would push for a complete ban, obvious solutions don't always work, it's easy to have a knee jerk reaction and regret it afterwards. Unsurprisingly, many who used the 'if it saves one life it's worth it' argument went very quiet after the number of killings skyrocketed. Nowadays, the only owners of hanguns in Britain are government forces - and criminals.

Regards, Mike Jennings
15:00 September 21, 2010 by ReaderX
Breaking News from the land of Cowboys, and wild Indians.


The actual references


While it is a tragedy that anyone should be killed, maybe the laws that are in place to prevent and penalize those who commit crimes should be changed.
02:05 September 22, 2010 by bernie1927
Bravo for Britain. Here in the US we have more than their annual total of gun victims in one day. But just try and take their guns away and you will lose the next election for sure. Our gun lobby is so powerful and buys their politicians. The country has lost its sanity. The founders were referring to a militia when they insisted that the people be armed. What goes on today was never the intent.
09:26 September 22, 2010 by SDogood
Bernie1927...no the founders were NOT referring to a militia when they insisted that the people be armed. Anyone who's spent any time reading their writings would know this and not continue to provide false information. That being said, we...the PEOPLE (in the US) ARE the militia. Citizens were expected to keep their marksmanship to a high degree as if the need ever arose, the inactive militia was expected to take up arms to protect the US.

All out gun confiscation or prohibition NEVER works. Sad fact is that people will always find ways of killing each other. A person can be killed as quickly with a firearm as they can with a pen or even unarmed combat.

A person/ citizen should fear the government that fears your ability to protect yourself and your family.
10:39 September 22, 2010 by JohnPaul44
I agree that the militia referred to in the 2nd Amendment refers to the general population of people, and not to some informal government military force. This is confirmed, not only by the dictionary definition of militia, but also by the US Code, although I am afraid that the US Code specifically says, all MALE citizens. I am sure the courts today would strike that out, since women have become the fastest growing segment of the gun-owning population.

The more educated of the anti-gun liberals know this very well, and are so afraid of it that, during the 1980s in the US, they made a big effort to change the definition of the 2nd Amendment in primary school history and civics textbooks, to declare that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to "establish the National Guard." This has mostly disappeared now, because such an egregious lie was too much even for our liberal public school establishment.
11:51 September 22, 2010 by blogboy
I disagree with Bernie 1927 and so does the Supreme Court of the United States please take the time to read this link.


I feel this puts an end to the endless debate on who should have guns: the people or a militia.
12:22 September 22, 2010 by twisted
@ Blogboy - The majority of the Supreme court is bought and paid for by big business, Fox News and the Republican party. One cannot expect them to make a ruling that is fair and beneficial to the American public. While I certainly agree that taking guns away from everyone will not stop people from killing one another (hey, the woman smothered his son with plastic sheeting), it certaily would make it more imaginative and probably more person...you gotta get close to stab someone with a knife. There is no logical reason for anyone to have a gun in a house in a "civilized" society.
13:04 September 22, 2010 by JohnPaul44
When I first read the newspaper quotes in the news report above, I was appalled! Not by the calls for a total gun ban. That is to be expected of liberals. No, I was appalled by the total logical mush of the reasoning they used to support their ideas. I could not believe that anyone, liberal or not, could actually write such illogical Scheiss..

Then I noticed a common thread running through it. There seemed to be no recognition of the concept of individual rights or responsibility in the minds of these German liberals. It is almost as if individual people do not exist, and it is all the fault of those evil guns. The "good of society" is not only all that matters, it is all that exists.

This is much more extreme than in America. American liberals are at least aware of the concept of other people's rights, although perfectly willing to trample on them. These German writers cannot even comprehend the concept.

I have always been proud of my part-German ancestry, but I may reconsider that if these newspaper quotes truly represent the modern German mentality. I am also part Irish, so I have an alternative. ERIN GO BRAUGH!!!
13:12 September 22, 2010 by Jetliner
In the US there is a saying that if guns are outlawed, then only outlaws will have guns. Look at was was stated right here about Britain. They took away people's guns and crime shot up. Why? Because the criminals never gave up their guns.

Here's another example. In Indianapolis there is a walking trail that is owned by the state of Indiana, as part of the state park system. As such, guns are not allowed on the trail. And guess what - there are tons of armed robberies on that trail. Why? Because the criminals don't follow the law. They are criminals. This is the problem we have in the US - those that are opposed to guns don't get it. They don't understand that if someone is going to commit a crime with a gun they are certainly not going to care about gun regulations.
16:42 September 22, 2010 by beckyhead
The argument to ban gun from German homes is absurd. What about the fact the she blew up two people in her own home? No discussion of that, but instead focus on the guns. What if some snaps on the road and drives their car into a bus stop full of people? We don't ban all cars because of the insane act of one person. It makes no sense to punish those who comply with German weapons laws and regulations because of the insanity of a few.
17:26 September 22, 2010 by beckyhead

I agree there has to be a balance. I admit, I do think the German government does things right to ensure that people are properly trained and that they comply with the law, at the same time, I see way too many idiots back in the States pulling stupid crap with their firearms. The US can swing too far one way, and Germany can swing the other. I am an NRA member and a WBK owner in Germany. I don't particularly care for some of the things the NRA stands for...I think the organization has swung way too far to the right, alienating a lot of people (me, too, if they keep it up.) At the same time, anytime some nutjob in Germany uses a firearm to commit a crime, I'm waiting for the hammer to fall on folks like us; we have committed no crime.
18:32 September 22, 2010 by Prufrock2010
beckyhead --

There is a gun lobby in Germany, too. If the hammer fell on law-abiding gun owners in the US every time some nutjob in America used a gun to commit a crime, the hammer would fall thousands of times a day.

In the US the NRA doesn't just lobby for anti-gun control legislation, its attorneys actually write it so that it can be rubber-stamped by Congress. The NRA spends tens of millions annually in its lobbying efforts and in financing anti-gun control court challenges. And they do that very successfully, as evidenced by the number of people who are victims of firearms every day. But I don't see that happening in Germany in the near future. Not enough innocent people have died yet at the hands of crazy gunmen (or women).

I make these observations as one who has legally owned quite a few firearms in my life, although sawed-off shotguns, Saturday night specials, assault rifles and machine guns were not part of my home protection arsenal.
07:10 September 23, 2010 by toemag
That's an interesting turn of phrase, "part of my home protection arsenal". My weapons are locked away, and are only taken out of the safe as and when I need them for hunting, going to the range or gunsmith's for repair work.

Having been forced to surrender several of my rights because I'm a gun owner, ie. inspection of my home by the authorities, who want to see just how I store my weapons. I can't understand just what that little gem will achieve apart from them being able to have a look for any contraband while they are doing so...
08:50 September 23, 2010 by Prufrock2010
toemag --

Well, as you can see, in America one doesn't have to lock one's guns away in a safe, use a trigger lock or be subjected to home inspections by authorities (unless one is a convicted felon who is still on parole). In America one is free to possess as many guns as one wants and to secure or not to secure them according to one's personal desires. In America one is not required to take lessons in gun safety to buy and possess firearms. In fact, one doesn't even have to demonstrate an ability to load, clean or fire a gun in order to buy one. Perhaps that tells you something about the absurdity of the situation. It's somewhat akin to giving machine guns to monkeys just to see what happens.
08:53 September 23, 2010 by JohnPaul44
: Hello, Prufrock, We meet again.

The right to "keep and bear" arms in no way includes, implies, or even remotely suggests the right to commit crimes with those arms. Does your right to own an automobile include the right to drive drunk, or the right to hit-and-run? Are you responsible if someone steals your car and uses it in a crime?

Incidentally, as a gun owner and dues-paying member of the omnipotent and all-powerful NRA. I strongly believe that anyone caught in possession of a gun while drinking or otherwise intoxicated, should automatically receive a severe prison sentence.

Your implication that the right to keep and bear arms applies only to the "militia" is not only not supported by the grammar of the sentence, but is refuted by the US Code, which defines the militia as "all able-bodied male citizens." I am sure that in a court dispute, the court would strike out the obvious discrimination against women and disabled persons, and I am sure that liberals would insist that non-citizens are entitled to the same benefits as citizens.

Your inflated opinion of the power of the mighty NRA is flattering. The NRA only has about 4 million members nationwide, hardly enough to frighten politicians. However, more than half of all American households own at least one gun, and most of them vote. If all gun owners belonged to the NRA, then the NRA could buy congressmen the same way the big prescription drug companies do, and we would have a 'Public Gun Program" to supply free guns at taxpayer expense to all the poor people who can't afford them, the way liberals do things.
09:33 September 23, 2010 by ReaderX
@JohnPaul44 it would be nice indeed if we could get every single American that owns a gun to join the NRA. That would be a powerful force.

As for anyone that thinks the 2nd Amendment does not pertain to the people, then obviously your view on history is askew. Which in the age of rampant liberalism is not surprising. The Founding Fathers were about as anti-government, pro-people as it can get. I mean try reading some of their actual works and not some silly wikipedia article written by some of your fellow liberal idiots.

During the time of the Founding of this nation the only threat that faced the US was that of tyrannical governments such as England. There were however bigger threats that came from Native Americans and so it was advised that a man not only own a gun, but also know how to use it to defend one's life, family, and property.

Further the founding fathers had no way of knowing the amount and or types of crimes that we see today would be the way they are.

If you again read history books, you will note that many of today's crimes were punished a lot more severely than they are now. I mean let's look at all the examples of Hollywood. Most crimes of today would have been a death penalty, 150 years ago.

We can all thank the liberals again, for this. I mean who is it that cries out, ohh we should not execute criminals, that's bad. Or prisoner's need TV's and they should not be made to work in chain gangs. Now if you re-instituted some of those ideologies, crime would probably go down. Just look at Singapore for instance. Severe punishments, low crime rate. I am not saying there way is the best, but it sure as heck beats a lot of the way the US does business in this department.
12:42 September 23, 2010 by Barry James
They legislated strict gun laws in Australia. However, criminals do not seem to know this. Gang warfare and rivalry have made some parts of Melbourne into tour spots and has spawned a TV and book franchise with shootings and gun battles. One shooting, a few years back happened right in the center of the City. All this - after the new laws were introduced.
18:46 September 23, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Hello again, John Paul --

Thanks for your automobile analogy, as it supports my position about regulation. Driving is not a right, it is a privilege. A driver's license is required to drive a motor vehicle, and in order to obtain that license a person must demonstrate some level of competence behind the wheel and have a basic understanding of traffic laws. A motor vehicle is potentially a deadly weapon, as is a firearm. One salient difference between the two is that an automobile isn't manufactured for the purpose of killing, whereas a firearm is. If motor vehicles have to be licensed to be used on the streets, and drivers have to be licensed to drive them, why should there be no restrictions on purchasing or owning a firearm?

As you are apparently a strict constructionist when it comes to constitutional interpretation, I find your dismissal of the dependence clause of the Second Amendment to be somewhat baffling. It says what it says, in plain language. As I suggested earlier, it is always the "strict constructionists" who pick and choose what they like and don't like in the Constitution like it's a Chinese menu. It's a convenient form of "strict constructionism" that depends on ideology. But, that's why there's a federal judiciary to sort those things out.

As much as you'd like to deny it, the NRA is THE most powerful lobby in Washington. That information should be easily obtainable by a card-carrying NRA member, or through a simple Google search.

I like your idea of providing free guns to all the poor people at taxpayer's expense. I think it would result in a sudden redistribution of wealth from the richest 2% of the population to those who deserve it. Spot on, brother!
01:43 September 24, 2010 by JohnPaul44
Hello, Prufrock,

The automobile is a good and very relevant analogy. The automobile is an inanimate object, just like a gun, yet it is the DRIVER who is blamed for automobile deaths, not the automobile. Don't you find this difference even a little logically inconsistent?

Your "privilege" of driving an automobile accounts for more American deaths every year than were killed in the entire ten years of the Vietnam War. It would certainly have been more effective if the North Vietnamese had simply dropped clouds of driver's licenses over America.

Certainly the specific purpose of a gun is to kill! You seem to think this purpose is somehow evil in itself. Perhaps you will change your mind when you come home from work and find your wife dead and your little daughter being raped by a drug-crazed intruder. It has been said that most people will never need a gun, but when they do need it, they need it very badly and they need it right now! Of course, the police will arrive hours later and draw chalk marks around the dead bodies on the floor, so we can all feel secure!

The NRA is certainly not the largest or best-funded lobby, but politicians do sit up and pay attention when it speaks, because they know that a majority of free American voters, "card-carrying" members or not, support its principle of individual liberty. Of course, I know that liberals have dismissed this concept as "freedom and all that bla-bla-bla."

A strict constructionist? I believe that the ancient Greek philosoper Aristotle warned that a strong written constitution was essential to the survival of any democracy. Otherwise, a democracy would be nothing but two wolves and a sheep voting on a lunch menu.

Incidentally, Aristotle also warned that any democracy was doomed as soon as the lower classes discovered they could vote benefits for themselves at someone else's expense, but that relates to your last paragraph about redistributing the wealth, "to those who deserve it." Oh, please!!!
09:57 September 24, 2010 by freechoice
why people ran amok and starts bringing them down?

this question has never been answered or solutions recommended, but instead they want to ban one of the tools of killing. there are many other tools tool!

are they not fixing the problem directly by looking into the spiritual problems of the individuals instead of external factors like an immaterial object?

wow! we do have wise people running the legislation!
10:15 September 24, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Gun control? Who needs it?

14:08 September 24, 2010 by freechoice
abortions kills more humans than gun kills in America....why haven't they ban abortion yet?
16:49 September 24, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Because it's a constitutional right in the US.
18:40 September 24, 2010 by aelfheld
Funny that the Swiss have such widespread gun ownership and so little gun crime. Mayhap Germany would do better to encourage gun ownership.
01:11 September 25, 2010 by Prufrock2010
I tend to agree. Let everyone shoot everyone else and get it over with. Germany can still become America if it tries hard enough.
10:35 September 25, 2010 by tallady
Prufroc, I was enjoying your banter with john paul until your last remark..typical.In your case Nothing is more dangerous than an opinion when its the only one you got....(Emile Chartier)
11:03 September 25, 2010 by Prufrock2010
I have many opinions on many subjects, and some of them are subject to change in the face of compelling opposing arguments. The operative word is "compelling." You, on the other hand, have yet to express a coherent thought, let alone a compelling argument. You resort instead to puerile sarcasm that a 12-year-old would find embarrassing. You might want to read a book or two, or at least a newspaper, before criticizing others whose opinions are based on some degree of knowledge and life experience. I strongly disagree with John Paul on many issues, but I respect the fact that he is usually able to articulate a basis for his opinions. That affords us the great luxury of being able to disagree without being disagreeable.
11:08 September 25, 2010 by tallady
Prufroc..talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish
14:05 September 25, 2010 by Prufrock2010
I'm done feeding the trolls. I wish you well in your future endeavors. Rick
07:29 September 27, 2010 by johnny108

I thought all of Europe's gun laws and restrictions would STOP gun violence!!!

Welcome to the "American problem", everyone-

it is EDUCATION- NOT bans that will prevent such things, if at all.

Look at China- "schoolyard stabbings" kill an average of 10 people per incident- no better or worse than can be done with a firearm.

It is the person, NOT the weapon they hold, that causes the problem.
13:25 September 27, 2010 by elboertjie
There are more deaths by car accidents, should we ban cars?

There are more deaths by alcohol, should we ban alcohol?


How can we defend ourselves against an oppressive government?
16:32 September 27, 2010 by deadgoon
A firearm is a piece of metal that has a potential. I use my firearms for hunting and only hunting. Taking my limit of game in any given season allows me to reduce during the winter season to maybe 100$ total. In turn, spending 12$ to 75$ on a hunting license during a particular season. The take can go from 20 pounds during waterfowl season (if it's a bad season) to 100 pounds (at the least) during deer season. I do this not because I like the sport of the hunt. I do this because I have to find a cheaper way to provide food for my family because of my limited income. To me, a firearm is a tool. Like a hammer or saw to a carpenter.

It doesn't matter what they take away from people or what laws they create to "protect the populace". If a person wants to cause harm to someone else, they will. People have a certain potential but people can also make a choice. A firearm does have the ability to make a choice. I was raised and educated about the use of firearms. The idea that once I pull the trigger there is a consequence.
16:55 September 27, 2010 by tendalla
sorry folks. It is tragic most Americans don't keep current with their own law. Our Supreme Court has twice held that keeping and bearing arms is an INDIVIDUAL RIGHT. Period. Argument at an end. All the rights we INHERITED as free men from England are inherent rights, and I for one will die defending my inherent rights, especially the first law of nature--right of self defense.

With our poliical atmosphere bordering on outright revolt against a communist president, I will elect to always be in a position to change our government.
18:52 September 27, 2010 by beckyhead
Just read the article were 12 people were killed on the autobahn on a bus. Apparently the driver was not suited to operate the vehicle properly. Do we ban buses?
19:01 September 28, 2010 by Prufrock2010
More fun with guns, today in Boston:


And another fun day at the University of Texas, Austin, library:


Who needs gun control?
21:08 September 29, 2010 by toemag
"Just read the article were 12 people were killed on the autobahn on a bus. Apparently the driver was not suited to operate the vehicle properly. Do we ban buses?"

It wasn't the bus drivers fault, it was the airhead driving the car, and everyone knows you can't ban buses, as they were designed and are used as a mode of transport, not to kill.

Today on the A99 some idiot in a car driving next to me in a traffic jam was writing an e-mail or whatever on his i-phone when the traffic started to stop, he hadn't noticed so I hit my horn and 4 ways at the same time, so we all stop and the guy is having a heart attack, and starts gobbing it off at me for piping at him, and shaking his fist, as if it was all my fault. Lets just ban idiots, as I drive a big truck for a living I see a lot of RTA's and seriously think that all cars irrespective of make or model should only have a top speed of 100kmh, now that really would save life.
06:33 September 30, 2010 by Meringer
I read where a guy drove his car into a crowded sidewalk, killing several people. As a matter of fact, I have heard of this happening many times, sometimes by negligence or accident and sometimes on purpose. Maybe we should confiscate and outlaw all cars to prevent such tragedy. It is the same logic as banning guns.
20:35 October 4, 2010 by Miguel526
There needs to be far more gunowners out there. I would trust my neighbors far more than I'd trust a bunch of academic weaklings who typically run Western European governments. These are the fools who have engendered millions of crimes by means of being soft on punishment for criminals and strong of punishing those who protect themselves and their families.

If a rampaging fool knows he will likely be killed by his well-armed neighbors, he would less likely begin his/her rampage. Now Britain has far more murdering going on than before banning gun=ownership, but now people are being murdered with baseball bats, knives, clubs and just plain fists and chains due to the Common Man/Woman not being allowed to defend themselves.

These Marxist-Liberals running Euro-governce do not care about the Common Man/Woman, they only care about their leftist ideology. You'll note however, that in leftist lands only the leftist;s gunmen (army) have guns and the people are at their mercy. They all seem to forget the 100-200, 000,000 human beings mass-murdered at the hands of leftist gunmen form all over the world. And . . . those mass-murders were all quite legal according to the same Liberal operatives who now run Europe's governments.
21:40 October 4, 2010 by crimefile
Post War Germany has vast experience with gun control and absolute government power. Gun control enables horrible mass murder and gives criminals willing to break the gun laws total control. Andres Badder and Urike Meinhoff cared less bout any laws.

Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens hands save lives. We in the USA have allowed ordinary law-abiding citizens the right to carry loaded guns on public streets in most states by special permits. These people are always well behaved and their permits don't get revoked.

Read an article from my personal blog about this:


I hope to attend the IWA gun show in Nuremberg Mar 2011- Paul Huebl

crimefile News housedick@gmail.com. Ich Liebe Deutchland!
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