Germany: The social and political background of the fatal rampage in Münster


Germany: The social and political background of the fatal rampage in Münster

Christoph Vandreier

10 April 2018

The motives of the driver responsible for the rampage in the northwest German city of Münster, which killed two people on Saturday, are still unclear. Even if the evidence points to personal motives, links to the extreme right-wing milieu cannot be excluded. In any case, the terrible act throws a spotlight on an increasingly brutalized society.

The police assume that the 48-year-old Jens R. drove a camper van into a group of people who were sitting in the outdoor area of a restaurant in the centre of Münster at 15:27. Two people were killed, a 51-year-old woman from the Lüneburg district and a 65-year-old man from the Borken district. More than 20 other people were seriously injured. Four of them were still in mortal danger on Sunday. Seconds after the attack, the perpetrator shot himself.

According to the investigators, it was the action of an individual. Two people who, according to initial testimonies, jumped out of the vehicle shortly before the impact had turned out to be particularly loud passers-by, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. Also, it appears there is no indication of a connection to terrorist circles.

However, in the dead man’s apartment in Münster, police found a lifelike model of an AK-47 (Kalashnikov) machine gun, a gas cylinder and a so-called Polenböller (explosive). In addition to this apartment, Jens R. had also rented a storage facility in Münster and two other apartments in the Saxony towns of Pirna and Heidenau, which were also searched by the police. “The first, but already intense review has revealed no evidence of a political background,” said a police spokesman.

The police have provided…

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