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Thief robs 43 families of Christmas duck dinner

This thief may not have stolen all of Christmas like the Grinch, but dozens of families may be without their central holiday dish this year after 43 ducks went missing from a farm outside Berlin.

Thief robs 43 families of Christmas duck dinner
Archive photo of a duck farm in Saxony-Anhalt. Photo: DPA.

Early Saturday morning, farmer Guido Dieck woke up to check on his flock of 150 ducks – only to find that nearly a third of them were missing.

“When I went to go feed them, almost all of them were gone,” Dieck told Berlin tabloid newspaper BZ. “It immediately brought tears to my eyes.”

Someone had stolen 43 ducks overnight from Dieck's farm in Wusterhausen, a small town northwest of Berlin in Brandenburg.

Each of the ducks had been ordered by a customer to be the centrepiece of their Christmas dinner.

“We suspect that they were stolen because it's Christmastime and the thief wanted to sell them,” a Brandenburg police spokesman told The Local.

“Forty-three ducks is a bit too much to eat by yourself.”

Police said that though these cases do not happen often, someone also stole about 90 ducks from the same farm last year in December. Dieck told BZ that 15 rabbits were also snatched that year.

Dieck's clients will be out of luck for having Christmas duck this year, but he said he could still sell off his 30 geese.

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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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