Sunday, February 10, 2008


Place: Germany

There is no need to make any comments... they are not first, they will not be the last...

Let's remember what happened at Solingen and Mölln from Human Rights Watch documents of 1995;

· Solingen, a city of 170,000 located near Cologne in the Western part of Germany, was the scene of horrifying violence and death in the early morning hours of May 29, 1993. Neighbors woke to terrified screams and saw flames racing through a house owned by the Genc family.64 They saw a young woman with a child in her arms silhouetted against the flames she was unsuccessfully trying to escape. There were "bone-chilling screams and then silence, just the noise of the flames."

Five people died. Four were sisters: Saime Genc, 5; Hulia Genc, 9; Hatice Genc, 18; Gulfun Ince, 27; the fifth, Gulistan Yuksel, was a 12-year-old visitor from Turkey. Eight others were injured in the fire, including two small children hospitalized in critical condition. Fourteen others inside the building barely escaped injury.

The Genc family had lived in Solingen for fifteen years. Their youngest children were born and had lived their whole lives in Germany.67 They owned their own home. Outside their house, fresh swastikas were painted on nearby buildings and scratched in the dirt.

· On November 23, 1992, two buildings housing Turkish families in Mölln, a town near Hamburg, were firebombed. Screams for help awakened the neighbors, who saw people jumping from the windows. Someone telephoned the Mölln fire department, announced the fire, shouted "Heil Hitler," and hung up. The firefighters could not get there in time to save the victims.

Three people were killed: Bahide Arslan, who died shielding a grandson from smoke; her 10-year-old granddaughter, Yeliz Arslan; and Ayse Yilmaz, a 14-year-old girl visiting from Turkey. Of the forty-five people in the buildings at the time, nine others, ranging in age from eighty-two years to nine months, were injured.

And let's turn to last week;

The Australian -Children were thrown from the upper floors and caught by fire fighters. "Unfortunately, we cannot exclude further victims," Eisenbarth said. Investigators were not immediately able to enter parts of the smouldering building because the structure, much of it made of wood, was in danger of collapsing. The cause of the fire, which started in the afternoon, was not clear and the victims had not yet been identified, Eisenbarth said. Police said 24 people - all Turkish citizens - were registered as living in the four-storey building, but more people had been in the house because of carnival celebrations. Police said the house's old wooden staircase swiftly collapsed after the fire broke out; and that, in some cases, residents threw their children to police officers before jumping out of the building themselves.

CNN - The carnival tradition stems from the Roman Catholic regions in the west and south of Germany. Like Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnival in Brazil, it is a time when residents dress up and take to the streets in celebration. The fire broke out about 4:23 p.m. (1523 GMT) on Sunday in a four-story apartment building, city police said in a statement. Its cause was unclear. Firefighters battled through the evening and into the night to bring the blaze under control. Two adjacent apartment buildings were evacuated as a safety precaution, the statement said. Fearing that there may be other victims, rescue crews brought in a large crane that lowered fire fighters into the shell of the building to conduct an initial check for additional bodies. Rescue crews have been unable to thoroughly search because the damage to the building was so severe that authorities think it may no longer be structurally sound.

Today their coffins were lined in front of the mourners from all religions and nationalities, representing the shame of humanity. Photos talk better than any words...

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