Memorial ceremony held on first anniversary of Munich subway hero′s death | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 12.09.2010
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Memorial ceremony held on first anniversary of Munich subway hero's death

A Bavarian town remembers Dominik Brunner, the man whose courageous stand to protect a group of children at a Munich railway station cost him his life. The anniversary of his death was marked with a ceremony.

A photo of Brunner on his grave

Brunner died shortly after he was beaten at a railway station one year ago

On the first anniversary of Dominik Brunner's death, five hundred people gathered at a memorial ceremony to celebrate the commuter murdered after he intervened in a fight that escalated on a railway platfrom. The Bavarian town of Ergoldsbach used the occasion to unveil a bronze sculpture as a monument to civilian courage.

Brunner died shortly after he was beaten by two assailants at a railway station in the Munich suburb of Solln. According to reports, he was attempting to protect a group of young students from two young men, who then turned on Brunner.

A commuter train

Brunner confronted the assailants when he saw the altercation

On late Sunday afternoon about 200 people met at the railway station Solln to remember the man whose brave stand triggered a nationwide debate about civil courage. The two offenders, who were tried as juveniles, were sentenced on Monday to prison terms of nine and seven years. The trial was closely followed by the German media and Brunner was widely hailed as a hero.

Civil courage

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said the name Dominik Brunner had become a synonym for civil courage. The minister said his death was a reminder to do more against violence in society.

"We need a culture of responsibility, to escape the mentality of looking away. We need a new mentality of paying attention and looking out for each other," Herrmann said.

Brunner was posthumously awarded Germany's federal cross of merit, one of the country's highest official honours.

Author: Sarah Harman (epd, dpa)
Editor: Ben Knight

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