Berlin Pirate politician Gerwald Claus-Brunner dies | News | DW | 20.09.2016
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Berlin Pirate politician Gerwald Claus-Brunner dies

Berlin police have reported they are treating the death as a suspected suicide. Gerwald Claus-Brunner had been suffering from depression, the Pirate Party said.

One of the German Pirate Party's most prominent figures, Gerwald Claus-Brunner, has died.

The party disclosed the news of his death on Monday.

Police said they found two male bodies in Brunner's Berlin apartment on Monday night. Further details of the other man are yet to be released. Police said evidence suggests that the men committed suicide, and that the deaths were not the result of an accident or third-party liability.

In a statement commemorating the 44-year-old, the party said:

"Faxe, as we all called him, was always controversial, never simple and did not have it easy. Every one of us has a story to tell about him."

They signed off the message with "Fare well, Faxe! We will miss you."

The Pirates also said that Brunner committed suicide because he was sick. "We do not know the exact circumstances, but we knew of an incurable illness," they said.

'Always controversial'

The Pirates entered the regional parliament for Berlin's city state in 2011 on a campaign centered on internet freedom and opposing government regulation online.

As one of the party's Berlin delegates, Brunner stood out for his appearance, typically sporting overalls and a head scarf.

Pirate party delegates in Berlin's state parliament.

The Pirate Party politician liked to stand out in his overalls and headscarfs.

Brunner would also cause a stir within the state parliament as he sometimes wore Palestinian headscarves into assemblies. After he was called out for supporting anti-Semitism by the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, Brunner then wore a necklace with the Star of David.

Signs of illness

Berlin Pirate Politician Claus-Brunner found dead in his flat

Claus-Brunner was found dead in his flat on Monday night.

After Claus-Brunner finished his first term in state parliament, party sources had said he had claimed he was "morally and spiritually finished."

Responding to the reports, Brunner told party followers, "I will persevere because I am sure that a part of the party's base stands behind me."

The day before Brunner's death, the Pirates won just 1.7 percent of the vote in the Berlin regional election, losing its seats in the assembly. It was not immediately clear whether his apparent suicide was linked to the results.

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