Schoolchildren witness public prosecutor’s death in Augsburg

A public prosecutor in Augsburg fell to his death in a probable suicide on Tuesday morning, before the eyes of schoolchildren visiting the justice centre.

Schoolchildren witness public prosecutor's death in Augsburg
The criminal justice centre in Augsburg. Photo: DPA

The 43-year-old fell from the third floor of the criminal justice centre in Augsburg on Tuesday, in what his office is assuming is a suicide.

At the time, two different school groups were visiting the centre.

Though medics were initially able to revive him, he later died due to his serious injuries, according to chief prosecutor Matthias Nickolai.

The lead prosecutor added that they had ruled out any third party being responsible for the death.

Trained police crisis counselors as well as school pastors were brought in to provide psychological assistance to the eye witnesses.

Police are currently investigating the background of the apparent suicide.

An anonymous, toll-free suicide hotline can be reached at 0800 111 0 111, or 0800 111 0 222. An English international hotline can also be reached at 030-44 01 06 07.


Why Germany’s Augsburg has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status

The German city of Augsburg was on Saturday granted World Heritage status by UNESCO for its over 800-year-old water management system boasting an aquaduct, water towers, ornate fountains, canals and hundreds of bridges.

Why Germany's Augsburg has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status
Photos: AFP

The 2,000-year-old city in Bavaria state calls the system which has since the Middle Ages provided clean drinking water and sanitation an “intricate interplay between the innovative spirit and a technical tour de force”.

The old town centre of Augsburg, located on Germany's Romantic Road, is criss-crossed with canals and boasts over 500 bridges, “more than in Venice”, according to the city.

“The history of water in Augsburg is linked to the cultural and artistic wealth of this city,” Thomas Weitzel, the city's cultural affairs director, told AFP.

“Augsburg considered water such a precious asset that it has always sought to protect it.”

Augsburg's resourceful engineers were European forerunners in damming and redirecting river water, from the Lech, Wertach and Singold streams.

Water flowed via an aquaduct and into water towers from 1416, making the waterworks at the city's Red Gate “the oldest in Germany and also in central Europe”.

The water flowed through hollowed pine logs connected with metal casts to ornamental fountains in the city, including the Mercury and Hercules fountains.

It also entered the city's butchers house, the Stadtmetzg, where the flowing water helped to cool the meat and dispose of the waste.

Later water power was used for industry, with water wheels driving mills and pumping stations as Augsburg became an early centre of textile and paper production.

With the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, the city saw the creation of the first large hydroelectric power plant, at nearby Wolfzahnau.

One of the waterways, the Ice Canal, was designed to keep free floating ice from entering the city, and in 1970 became the world's first artificially created whitewater canoe course, used for the 1972 Olympics.