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CRIME

Police identify baby 25 years after death

German authorities have identified a dead baby found in a bin 25 years ago through its mother who killed two of her other children, police said on Wednesday.

Police identify baby 25 years after death
Photo: DPA

The 44-year-old mother has been behind bars in western Germany since January 2013, after her ex-husband found two decomposed baby corpses in the attic of their Ostertimke house in Lower Saxony, in 2012.

She admitted to having given birth to both in 1996 and 2001, then suffocating them and hiding the bodies. During the trial, investigators spoke of a third child, but a lack of evidence saw this dropped from the case.

But nearby authorities in the town of Rotenburg did not give up so easily, and began combing the archives for unidentified dead babies. They found one in the area, discovered in 1988 in a bin in a motorway lay-by in Lower Saxony.

Investigators located the grave and exhumed the corpse in order to analyze its DNA.

The grave had no name and was marked simply with the words In stillem Gedenken – In peaceful remembrance.

Nine months after the ruling, their tests proved that the mother was “without doubt” the woman charged with killing her two children, police said on Wednesday.

It is unclear how the baby died and the mother has strongly denied killing the baby. The case will not be reopened.

DPA/The Local/jcw

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GERMANY AND ISRAEL

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.

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