• Germany's news in English

Blinded Stuttgart 21 protestor wants apology

The Local · 28 Dec 2010, 11:01

Published: 28 Dec 2010 11:01 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Dietrich Wagner, 66, remains almost completely blind after he was hit directly in the face by a police water cannon after a protest against the controversial rail project turned violent last September.

“My independence is gone. I have to be looked after like a little child,” Wagner told Stern magazine.

He told Stern he wanted an apology from Mappus to Stuttgart's citizens.

He could no longer read or ride a bicycle as he had before. His partner had to help him with basic daily tasks such as shaving and getting dressed.

When he pours a glass of water, for example, “I hold a finger in the glass, so I know when it is full,” he said.

Soon he will start using a blind person’s cane, he said. He is blind in one eye and has about 8 percent vision in the other.

Wagner insisted he bore no responsibility for his injuries, as a police spokesman had previously suggested. He said he had expected to get wet or to “get a couple of bruises” from the water cannon “but not to be blasted blind.”

Story continues below…

Stuttgart 21 consists of a massive construction effort, involving rebuilding the city’s main train station underground and turning it around 90 degrees, as well as laying 57 kilometres of new tracks. The aim is to make the city a major European rail hub.

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

11:26 December 28, 2010 by auniquecorn
Did´nt they show a video with this guy throwing sh!t at the cops?
11:54 December 28, 2010 by freechoice
why do you have to censor his eyes?
12:18 December 28, 2010 by DoubleDTown
First, I say "thanks" to The Local for censoring the photo - it's gruesome. But if you wanna see it, look here: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20101006-30295.html

Second, yeah he threw stuff at the protest. Video here: http://www.bild.de/BILD/politik/2010/10/07/stuttgart-21-opfer-dietrich-wagner-vorwuerfe-video/soll-beweisen-er-hat-selbst-gegenstaende-geworfen.html

But I think he claims they were just chestnuts. Still, though it sucks he was so badly injured I suspect there weren't any policemen sitting around plotting to hurt anyone so badly and if he had followed the police's instructions he would not have been hurt.
14:05 December 28, 2010 by jamano
Water cannons are no longer used in US. There are far more effective and safer non-lethal options for riot control. However it seems water cannons are still in use on a large scale in Germany and here are the concequences.

Collateral damage I suppose.
14:16 December 28, 2010 by freedom1776
Dear Professor: You are living proof that liberals only become conservative after they have been mugged. Herr Professor had been living in a protected world on the University where the abstract never meets the real world; and he never had to pay a real price for his ideas. Exactly like Muslim, Christian, and Communist Theorists (Karl Marx) for instance. They write the theories and the useful idiots do the dirty work, commit suicide and take the hard knocks. So Her professor went to the protest. If he used an ounce of imagination he would have anticipated being in a violent situation. But No: He did not. For he was the Great Professor! He assumed the risk by going there. He was wounded, he should have seen that as a real possibility. But No! He has learned nothing! Now he whines and demands an apology. His response is another attack from his safe and fantasy theoretical position. Quite in character for him. So he acted like a Jackass then and remains a Jackass now.
14:39 December 28, 2010 by derExDeutsche
If you throw $#!*, don't be pissed and ask for an apology if somebody throws $#!* back.

Herr Wagner got off easy. Remember the 'Peacenik' from the IMF Rally with the Fire Extinguisher?

Hippies love thinking of themselves as righteous weekend warriors, but lets face it, they just LOVE to bring the Wut and the Violence, but then with the first little scratch they run for Mommy, wondering why throwing $#!* at the Protest wasn't 'SAFE' Whaaaa!!! Man up, Kooks, its the real world. Water Cannons need to be BANNED, Whaaaa!!
14:57 December 28, 2010 by Jude the Obscure
Dear The Local,

Please stop showing us this photo. We like it when the police blinds people, and we like it when the government makes all the decisions for us without our consent. We think the police and whoever is in government deserves to be in control and we deserve to be physically abused when they do something we don't like. It serves us right.

Suggestion: instead of this gross picture, why not show us more calendars of naked girls so we can make dirty comments?

Yours sincerely,

The Local readers
17:05 December 28, 2010 by tallady
I saw the earlier photos of this man with something in his hand and his arm in a semi throwing position.he didn't look to dangerous ,but could be the photo.Water canons are very dangerous on the other "hand" and better methods of crowd control are needed here,this is tantamount to police brutality.,
06:30 December 29, 2010 by Eberhard
Clearly this is an absolute tragedy. Lessons will have to learned from this. I have never heard about anything like this happening before.

Hopefully a public inquiry is on its way..

Perhaps that will lead to a future ban of water canons?

My heart goes out to the victim.
08:13 December 29, 2010 by hOU
So if you throw a stone, a handful of gravel, a bottle at men in helmets and body armour or men sitting in what is effectively a tank - one should expect to be blasted in the face w/ a water canon?

Now if he had thrown a grenade, I'd see your point, but he didn't and the people above defending this force are shi-ts.
09:29 December 29, 2010 by tallady
Ya ,,if you live in China..
09:46 December 29, 2010 by storymann
There are much safer methods than a blast of water in the face,,tear gas ,reduced traction agents like foam and foam barriers..this could have been any ones fate ,not just the guy with chestnuts,or hand grenades. if the water cannon was so accurate as to hit this guy in the face ,then why there?, if not than why at all.
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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