Statement on the attack in Hanau

“There has been another far-right attack in the Hesse region of Germany. We are shocked by the racist violence committed by a right-wing extremist in Hanau yesterday. Our thoughts are with those who died or were injured, their grieving relatives, and friends.

When right-wing ideologies spread, far-right terrorism follows. Whoever stirs up hatred against others for reasons of nationality, ethnicity or religion throws the first stone. This leads directly to crimes like those now seen in Hanau – and those seen before in Halle, Christchurch or Pittsburgh, crimes like the murder of German politician Walter Lübcke, or the series of terrorist attacks carried out across the country by the NSU terror organization. The perpetrators imagine themselves to be in tune with public opinion.

Many of the reactions to the attacks show that right-wing extremism is now perceived as a serious threat to society in Germany after having been ignored for a dangerously long time. That cannot be changed now. But it makes it more important than ever that we now act decisively at all levels and that we be more vigilant than ever.

As the world’s most comprehensive archive on the victims of Nazi persecution, we feel strongly that it is our responsibility to expand the work we do in the area of education. We will let the documents from our archive “speak” as witnesses. They are a constant reminder of how racist slogans and right-wing ideologies led to a break with civilization that resulted in the death and persecution of millions of people.”

Floriane Azoulay, Director of the Arolsen Archives

Support us