Rostock riots: How the right-wing extremist attack unfolded 30 years ago
In August 1992, Germany experienced nearly a week of violence as right-wing extremists attacked a refugee housing complex in Rostock. Here's a timeline of the events.
Saturday, August 22: Riots erupt
People gather in front of the "Sunflower House," the city's central admission center for refugees and asylum seekers. The scene turns violent when some 200 in the far-right extremist crowd begin throwing stones. By 2 a.m., the police deploy water cannons, temporarily bringing the situation under control several hours later.
Sunday, August 23: The rioters return
Far-right extremists and neo-Nazis travel from across Germany to join the rioters. The asylum reception center and apartment block comes under attack over the course of the day. By 8 p.m. some 500 rioters have gathered, cheered on by an additional 3,000 bystanders.
The crowd chants "Germany for Germans" and "Foreigners out!" while rioters continue to pelt the building with stones and Molotov cocktails. Police on site also come under attack. State border protection police and security forces from nearby Hamburg help bring the situation under control.
Monday, August 24
Authorities evacuate the asylum center, but many of its Vietnamese residents, who had been contract workers hired by the former East Germany, are left behind. In the evening neo-Nazis and other rioters clash with police in the streets. Thousands chant right-wing slogans. Police officers are injured.
Up in flames
Vietnamese residents are left in the Sunflower House with no protection. The building goes up in flames after rioters throw Molotov cocktails. Some 120 people, including children, are trapped inside.
Extremists block firefighters
More fire bombs are thrown at the building as the fire brigade calls for police protection. People trapped inside manage to climb onto the roof and escape through a different apartment block. Police arrive and push back the rioters. Vietnamese residents are brought to emergency shelters.
Tuesday, August 25: Police step up response
Unlike the days before, police take more drastic action. They respond to ongoing riots with water cannons and tear gas. The situation is finally under control by 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
Wednesday, August 26: The riots are over
Remaining asylum-seekers leave the Sunflower House in the wake of the riots, under police protection.