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Swastikas sprayed at site of Syrian child’s death cause outrage

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Swastikas sprayed at site of Syrian child’s death cause outrage
File image of a swastika. Photo: DPA
11:38 CEST+02:00
Swastikas have repeatedly been sprayed at the spot where a nine-year-old Syrian boy died in a traffic accident at the end of June in a small east German town. Politicians have reacted with disgust to the crime.

Insult has been added to injury for a Syrian family who have been struck by the tragedy of losing their nine year old son.

The boy lost control of his bicycle and fell underneath a moving tractor in the town of Schönberg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, at the end of June. He was airlifted to hospital but died several days later.

Since then swastikas have twice been sprayed at the site of the accident, police report. On the first occasion in early July, upset locals cleaned away the swastika and placed candles and flowers at the site instead.

But a swastika again appeared at the end of the month, this time accompanied by the numbers “1:0”.

“This is a disgusting act. There is nothing worse than losing one’s child. I’m appalled that people can be so full of hate. Everything needs to be done to catch the culprits,” Manuela Schwesig, Minister-President of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania told the Nord Kurier on Monday.

Lorenz Caffier, the state interior minister, added his condemnation.

The swastikas are a “disturbing mockery of the victim,” he told Bild.

“This type of crime could have only come from the confused mind of a right-wing extremist who isn’t capable of telling the difference between right and wrong,” said Schönberg town mayor Lutz Götze.

The crime was also condemned by the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a party which has become increasingly popular on the back of its fierce criticism of the country’s refugee policies.

“It would be hard to think of a more abhorrent act,” said Leif-Erik Holm, an AfD MP from the northeastern state. “Whoever mocks a dead child doesn’t have a scrap of humanity and is a criminal in my eyes. I hope that the culprits will soon be caught.”

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