Mourners remember slain Augsburg officer

Police in Augsburg have offered a reward of €55,000 for help leading to the arrest of two men responsible for the murder of an officer in Augsburg 10 days ago. Nearly 2,000 people gathered to remember the victim on Monday.

Mourners remember slain Augsburg officer
Photo: DPA

Mathias Vieth, 41, was gunned downed down October 28 as he and another police officer attempted to perform a routine traffic check on two men riding a motorcycle.

The shooting, which left the other officer with a bullet graze injury prompted a manhunt through the woods near the Bavarian city, although the suspects – thought to have been involved in a drug deal – were not found.

On Monday, however, officials and officers tried to simply remember Vieth who has been described as dedicated to his family and serving the community. He was also remembered as a mentor to younger police officers.

At the entrance to the city’s catholic cathedral, officers formed a guard of honour.

Later Bishop Konrad Zdarsa spoke of a “vicious and brutal” crime that stole Vieth from the community he was trying to protect.

Joachim Herrmann, Bavaria’s interior minister, appeared to still be shaken by the shooting as he said: “It is very difficult for us to understand this horrible crime.”

The suspects remain at large and police say they lack any serious leads, said Gerhard Schlögl, a chief constable who is involved in the investigation.

About 400 tips received from the public are being analysed by a special commission. The reward can be claimed by anyone offering information leading to the capture of the perpetrators.

DAPD/The Local/mdm

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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.