• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Blinded Stuttgart 21 protestor wants apology

The Local · 28 Dec 2010, 11:01

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

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)

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
Merkel party leader admits sexism is a problem
Jenna Behrends complained that a member of CDU's Berlin government had called her a "big sweet mouse" in front of a large group. Photo: Sophia Kembowski/dpa

A leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party admitted Sunday that it has a problem with sexism in its ranks.

Ethiopia's Bekele nears record as wins Berlin marathon
Participants in the Berlin marathon take to the streets on Sunday. Photo:Paul Zinken/dpa

Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed out on the world record on Sunday as the Ethiopian won the Berlin marathon ahead of former winner Wilson Kipsang.

Europe needs deals to send migrants home: Merkel
Angela Merkal poses with Bulgaria's Prime minister Boyko Borissov (L) and Austrian chancellor Christian Kern (R) in Vienna. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Europe needs to secure more deals to send rejected migrants home, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told counterparts in Vienna.

Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Trump protesters rebuild and tear down 'Berlin Wall'
The 'Stop Trump' protest at the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA.

US expats gathered at the Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate on Friday "rebuild" the Berlin Wall and protest US presidential candidate Donald Trump's own proposed wall-building.

Accusation of sexism within Merkel's party creates uproar
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Chancellor Angela Merkel, two leading women in the CDU party. Photo: DPA.

A young politician from the ranks of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has caused a storm by suggesting that the party is institutionally sexist.

EasyJet 'in talks to buy German airline' to duck Brexit
Photo: DPA

EasyJet is in talks to acquire TUIfly, a board member of the German carrier said Friday, as the British no-frills airline looks for ways to keep flying freely within the EU after Britain quits the bloc.

Symbols of migrant plight to go on show in Bonn museum
Photo: DPA

A people smugglers' car, a dinghy and a life jacket are among items related to Europe's migration crisis due to go on display at a German museum.

Brexit
Green party demand 'quick and easy' citizenship for Brits
Photo: DPA

The Green party has called for Brits living in Germany to be offered a painless path to obtaining dual citizenship as to "reassure them over the future".

Berlin the new London? 10m2 flat to rent for €750 a month
Photo: Immonet.de.

This shoebox apartment in the gentrified Bergmann-Kiez neighbourhood may be a sign that the tides are turning for Berlin’s comparatively cheap housing market.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
5,753
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd