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Hanau - A massacre, and its aftermath

June 18, 2021

The murderer was from the neighborhood. When he shot nine young people in Hanau on February 19, 2020, the racist attack shook Germany. In the fight against racism, is society failing?

Deutschland Hanau | Gedenken an die Opfer des Attentat in Hanau
Image: Michael Probst/AP/picture alliance
Dokumentation "Hanau – Eine Nacht und ihre Folgen"
Image: HR

The murderer specifically chose his victims according to their skin and hair color. He killed them within five minutes. For the relatives and friends of the victims, this horrific night marked the beginning of a long and agonizing period of grief and despair. Some of them were born in Germany, some have lived there for decades, while others arrived recently, hoping to build a new life.

Frankfurt Gemälde erinnert an Opfer von Hanau
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/A. Arnold

The film shows the Hanau massacre from the perspective of the bereaved. Survivors and relatives talk about how they experienced the night of the crime, and the months that followed. Since the massacre, they’ve been fighting, both for the memory of the victims, and for an explanation. How could this happen? 

Dokumentation "Hanau – Eine Nacht und ihre Folgen"
Image: HR

Because the murderer killed himself, there will be no trial, no public reckoning. But that is just what the relatives of the victims demand. The murderer has not only taken away their children, siblings, and friends. He has also robbed them of their sense of having a home in Germany.

Dokumentation "Hanau – Eine Nacht und ihre Folgen"
Image: HR

One survivor is Etris. Even immediately after surviving this racist attack, he was subjected to racist treatment. Before anyone would attend to Etris’s gunshot wound, he had to show his identity card. The police called his relatives and warned them not to take revenge on the perpetrator's father, who lived next door. He and his family were treated as suspects, rather than victims.

Etris’s last memory before he was pushed into the ambulance and put into a coma is this: "I was lying on the gurney with the police and paramedics behind me, and someone shouted that the perpetrator was back and they turned me that way and hid behind me like a shield. I was lying there naked, staring up at the night sky, thinking there was no way this could be happening."

Broadcasting Hours: 

DW English

WED 21.07.2021 – 01:15 UTC
WED 21.07.2021 – 04:15 UTC
THU 22.07.2021 – 09:15 UTC
SAT 24.07.2021 – 02:15 UTC
SUN 25.07.2021 – 08:15 UTC

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THU 22.07.2021 – 09:15 UTC
SUN 25.07.2021 – 08:15 UTC 

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