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Grave of German politician Wolfgang Schäuble desecrated

May 14, 2024

Someone dug a meter-deep hole at the grave of German politician Wolfgang Schäuble, but didn't reach the coffin. The motive for the incident is not yet known.

The grave of former Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble at the cemetery in Offenburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
By Monday afternoon, only a rectangular patch of dirt could be seen at Schäuble's cemetery plotImage: Marius Bulling/dpa/picture alliance

A hole more than a meter deep was discovered by city workers at the grave of German politician Wolfgang Schäuble in the southwestern city of Offenburg on Monday morning, triggering an investigation.

Investigators said the hole was about 1.2 meters (3.9 feet) deep and did not reach the coffin of Schäuble, who died in December at the age of 81.

The criminal investigation department of the Offenburg police took over the investigation in cooperation with the public prosecutor's office.

There is no information about a possible background or motive of the incident, according to the authorities. Police are looking for witnesses.

Who was Wolfgang Schäuble?

Schäuble was a member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and one of the most influential figures in Germany's post-war history.  Schäuble served as the 13th President of the Bundestag from 2017 to 2021.

He was the longest-serving member of a democratic parliament in German history. The conservative politician, who also served as interior minister and finance minister, shaped German politics for decades.

He was credited with helping to forge German reunification in 1990 and steering the eurozone through its debt crisis with sometimes unpopular prescriptions, such as pressuring Greece to accept tough austerity measures in 2009.

Former German Finance Minister Schäuble dies at 81

Shock in German politics

German politicians have reacted with horror to the news of the desecrated grave of Schäuble.

"The desecration of Wolfgang Schäuble's grave is a disgusting crime," Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said, describing it as "a despicable crime that must be prosecuted severely," Faeser added.

Schäuble's successor as the head of the Bundestag, Bärbel Bas, was also "deeply shocked and saddened" by the incident.

It is "intolerable that there are apparently people who desecrate Wolfgang Schäuble's grave and disturb his peace," the Bundestag president said.

dh/jsi (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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