Why the victims of German neo-Nazi attack never received letters of support

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German newspaper  Zeit Online has conducted an interview with Ibrahim Arslan, a survivor of a neo-Nazi attack that killed three people in the Mölln thirty years ago. The interview reveals how letters of support that were sent to his family ended up, until recently, in city archives rather than being delivered to the family. 

Arslan was just seven years old when on November 23, 1992, two molotov cocktails were thrown into his house by neo-Nazis. During the interview, Arslan recalls his memories of the fire, in which his grandmother, his sister and his cousin were killed. By the end of the night, 43 people were left homeless, and nine had serious injuries. 

He then describes how after the attack the family ended up moving back into the house where they nearly were all killed. But he says that rather than sympathy, his family experienced rejection by many of the community of Mölln

However, there were also some signs of solidarity. In the days and weeks after the attack, hundreds of people sat down and wrote letters to those affected. They expressed their condolences, their disgust and made offers of help. One person wrote that “there are other Germans too, and we are the majority, and we will not remain silent”. 

Yet the issue is that the letters never arrived with the victims but were instead taken into the city’s archives. In fact in the weeks after the attack, Arslan explains the lack of support or sympathy coming from the state. The German Chancellor refused to attend the funeral of the victims, and police took action against demonstrators who went to Hamburg airport as the bodies were being taken to Turkey. 

The family members say today that it would have greatly helped them to have read the letters in the weeks and months after the attack.


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