Chancellor’s stalker sees himself as a peace activist

The man detained by German authorities for stalking Chancellor Angela Merkel sees himself as a peace activist and was trying to share his plan for peace in the Middle East, he said in an interview on Wednesday.

Chancellor's stalker sees himself as a peace activist
A photo of Merkel's weekend home. Photo: DPA

Daily Berliner Zeitung identified the alleged stalker as Christian J., reporting that he worked as a librarian and freelance journalist in Stralsund.

The man, who authorities detained for psychological treatment after he breached Merkel’s weekend home security two weekends in a row, told the paper that police guarding the house had not noticed him enter the property.

“When no-one opened the door in answer to my ring, I went into the garden, where I met the Chancellor, who was on the telephone,” the man told the paper. “I only gave her a letter and then left.”

Police at Merkel’s Uckermark region home in the state of Brandenburg reportedly observed the man leaving the premises, but did not detain him.

But when Merkel did not personally answer his letter, the man became upset and paid her home a second visit – when only her husband was home.

Christian J. told the paper that he did not see himself as a stalker, but as a peace activist, explaining that the letter he gave her was a peace plan for the Middle East.

On Tuesday, a government spokesperson told The Local that the authorities had detained a man for trespassing on the grounds of Merkel’s weekend home.

“Naturally security has its limits,” the spokesperson said. “It isn’t the case that the Chancellor is hermetically shielded from the public around the clock – she wants to lead a normal life. It’s always a balance.”

The man was already known to authorities, having been turned away from the Chancellor’s central Berlin apartment several weekends ago.

He was taken into custody last weekend, the spokesman said, adding that he was in psychological treatment.


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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.