• Germany's news in English

Woman sets herself on fire before Reichstag

The Local · 11 Apr 2011, 13:44

Published: 11 Apr 2011 13:44 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The 58-year-old Latvian woman doused her thighs in a flammable liquid and set it alight on Sunday, a police spokeswoman said.

A security guard noticed the flames and tried to administer first aid, she added.

The woman was treated for second-degree burns to her legs at a nearby hospital.

Her motivation to harm herself apparently stemmed from a conflict in her home country. In addition to carrying several banners illustrating political issues in Latvia, she was also allegedly having problems with her mother.

According to Berlin daily B.Z., a blackened section on the Reichstag lawn where the incident occurred was still visible on Monday.

Story continues below…

DAPD/DPA/The Local/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

15:06 April 11, 2011 by jbaker
She needs to be arrested for this Disgrace in front of the National Shrine. This was not a Joke like the Man from Canada Posing and having fun at Germany's Expense. This had to be Mental Agony for the Weak Minded who witnessed this.
15:20 April 11, 2011 by derExDeutsche
She was demanding military intervention in Latvia. She read theLocal and got the idea that that was Germany's job.
15:57 April 11, 2011 by bramblebush
"doused her thighs..."

Was she listening to Elvis, "Hunka Hunka Burning Love"?
16:07 April 11, 2011 by Altdude
jbaker may well be correct about the woman's mental state. However, Robert McNamara himself confirmed that a protester's self-immolation outside his office changed the course of world history in Southeast Asia, and similar acts by Buddhists monks in Saigon had far-reaching effects. Extreme political acts are by their nature anti-social. No conundrum therein.
18:36 April 11, 2011 by Zlik
Hey Mack , look over there, Is that what I think it is?

Yup, it is. A woman on fire... Pass me the ketchup.
18:52 April 11, 2011 by wenddiver
What Germany won't solve problems with your Mother back in Latvia??? What kind of Nanny state are you.
19:08 April 11, 2011 by Landmine
Maybe she couldn't afford lipo suction on her legs and as a protest set her thighs on fire took matter into her own handsto say lipo is too expensive in Germany...
19:11 April 11, 2011 by hfj
jbaker: I would think that second-degree burns would be punishment enough. (Similarly, capitalizing "Disgrace" is an adequate proof of your sincere Germanness; you need not punish English further.)
01:45 April 12, 2011 by avictor
She inadvertently demonstrated for mental illness awareness and intervention.
05:26 April 12, 2011 by belladons
Good, she paid the price for her stupidity. Just another moronic idiot wanting attention because she is weak. I'm sure there are many more like her who ride on the coat tails of the strong.
07:08 April 12, 2011 by brigand

Better "Hunka Hunka Burnin Love" than "Great Balls of Fire"!
09:32 April 12, 2011 by Gilly58
UPDATE....Police have just recovered the ¦quot;Black Box¦quot; and confirmed the it was Rod Stewarts ¦quot;Hot Legs¦quot;
12:03 April 12, 2011 by moistvelvet
Strange how people react to how this woman protested, if this was in the middle east she would have been hailed a heroine and calls would have been made to bring down the government.
12:10 April 12, 2011 by Angry Ami
LOL, hey well it's Berlin, could be S & M gone too far,

but on the serious side, so now she'll get free health care, that we working folks have to pay for, and free food, and free housing, and blah die blah, the whole thing is probably a ruse to immigrate, usually if you want to protest things at home, you protest at home, that's what people do here, I don't buy it, sorry, no I'm not sorry.
12:27 April 12, 2011 by moistvelvet
Latvia is in the EU so I thought she wouldn't need an excuse to immigrate, she can live/work here just like the rest of us Europeans, or?
12:51 April 12, 2011 by Gilly58
...as AngryAmi says, don't worry to much moistvelvet, she'll be well looked after now, so it's a good job it was Berlin and not the ME, coz she would probably be pushing up daisies by now. I wonder how the Security Guard is though, did he suffer any burns or receive treatment for shock? Perhaps he will be hailed a hero for helping the lady which in turn, should please you then everyone is happy, accept for ole "Hot Legs" that is.
13:54 April 12, 2011 by Krim
Showing shoes to Von Gutenberg. putting fire on herself. The import from the Arab world is increasing...
15:49 April 12, 2011 by moistvelvet
"Hot legs" wasn't even funny the first time round.
16:03 April 12, 2011 by Gilly58
I beg to differ MV but who gives a stuff whether you have a SOH or not.
16:13 April 12, 2011 by whpmgr
I just feel for the guy who had to smell that burning Fish smell...

And, hey, being she is from Latvia, I'll bet all of that hair protected her from any serious burns.
22:43 April 12, 2011 by romber58
This has to be the most tacky and hateful bunch of comments that i have ever read on this site,
15:07 April 13, 2011 by derExDeutsche
@ romber58

Ever since advocating a Communist State has become so Passé, the regulars at theLocal.de have regressed to potty humor.
07:48 April 15, 2011 by Universalismus

Because this is the most read newspaper on the left quadrant of the milkyway. (pfffft, as if)
Today's headlines
Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
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
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd