DNA testing confirms German’s death on Polynesian island

German authorities said human remains found in French Polynesia were identified as those of a German man who went missing two weeks ago – but said media reports suggesting cannibalism played a role in his death were unfounded.

DNA testing confirms German's death on Polynesian island
The island of Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia. Photo: DPA

A spokeswoman for the German Federal Police (BKA) in Wiesbaden told German news agency DAPD that French investigators performed DNA testing on the remains.

Bones, teeth and remnants of clothing were found in a dead campfire on the island of Nuku Hiva, where 40-year-old Stefan Ramin was reported missing.

He and his girlfriend had stopped on the South Sea island after setting out in a catamaran three years ago to sail around the world.

Before he disappeared, Ramin was reportedly invited on a tour of the island by a local hunter, who is still at large.

The victim’s girlfriend claimed the hunter tied her to a tree and sexually assaulted her.

German media reports suggested the man was eaten by a cannibal, but the chief prosecutor in the case last week denied those claims. Authorities did, however, confirm that Ramin’s body had been dismembered.

The victim’s family confirmed his death in a post on Ramin’s website on Wednesday.

“He died where he spent his whole life wanting to be,” the message said. “There’s no hope left – let us together think of Stefan, let his pictures and his stories affect us, and let his cheerful, endearing and positive attitude be a model for us all.”


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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.