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Germany: Father of racist Hanau attacker jailed

March 2, 2023

The father of a man who killed 10 people and himself has been sentenced to 70 days in jail. He had refused to pay legal fines after harassing victims' families.

The father of the Hanau attacker
Hans-Gerd R. enters court in OctoberImage: Boris Roessler/dpa/picture alliance

The father of the man who killed 10 people and himself in a racist and xenophobic terror attack in the city of Hanau was arrested and brought to jail on Thursday, prosecutors in the city confirmed.

The 76-year-old, whom police have said is also a known right-wing extremist, has refused to pay a court-ordered fine over earlier legal issues.

He will now have to serve 70 days in jail for the 70 days he has refused to pay the fine, which is now €4,200 ($4,440).

Repeat offender

Hans-Gerd R.* has come before the Hanau court several times since his son attacked a shisha bar frequented by immigrant communities in 2020. 

He has violated the Protection Against Violence Act at least six times, prosecutors said, and has refused to observe a restraining order granted to the mother of one of his son's victims after she cited him for harassment.

Local broadcaster Hessenschau reported that he approached her again last Thursday.

According to officials, R. currently has 37 cases pending against him. He has been reportedly shown up at victims' houses, and harassed individuals and businesses in the Kesselstadt district where the 2020 attack took place.

He has also been reported to authorities for racist verbal attacks against participants at a demonstration near his home.

On the night of February 19, 2020, the man's 43-year-old son shot and killed nine people at two bars in Hanau. He then killed his mother and himself.

A later investigation revealed that he had sent his extreme right-wing manifesto to the Public Prosecutor General several months earlier, but no police action was taken.

*Editor's note: DW follows the German press code, which stresses privacy in criminal cases for both suspects and victims.  


Edited by: Amanda Rivkin

Elizabeth Schumacher
Elizabeth Schumacher Elizabeth Schumacher reports on gender equity, immigration, poverty and education in Germany.