NewsAfter the rampage in Heidelberg: commemoration, minute's silence and...

After the rampage in Heidelberg: commemoration, minute's silence and the question of "why"

On Monday, Heidelberg mourns the loss of the young student who died in a rampage at the university. At the commemoration, people keep asking “why”:

Heidelberg – On Monday (January 31) at 12 noon the bells of St. Peter’s Church will ring. The occasion is a sad one: the victims, the injured and all those affected by the rampage in Heidelberg* are remembered. Around 350 people, all dressed in black, sit in the church and listen to the oppressive organ music. Hundreds of other people are following the commemoration via live stream* – whether at home, at work or together at the University of Heidelberg.

city Heidelberg
resident 160,355 (2019)
Lord Mayor Prof. Dr. Eckart Wuerzner

After rampage in Heidelberg: commemoration commemorates victims – “Why only?”

As HEIDELBERG24* reports, university preacher Prof. Dr. Helmut Schwier’s funeral service in Heidelberg. “Wait, we’ll do that, a week after the terrible act of violence,” with these words he begins the event shortly after 12 p.m. “My heart is heavy, my soul is sore. During the week talks with those affected, with those who are anxious, with those who are angry. questions without answers. Why only?”, he will ask in the course of the mourning.

Rampage Heidelberg: commemoration in Peterskirche – mourning throughout the city

Menschen stehen zur Gedenkminute vor dem Haupteingang der Neuen Universität.
Blick auf den Altar der Peterskirche, in der die zentrale Trauerfeier für die Opfer des Amoklaufs an der Universität stattfindet.
Studierende trauern in der Uni-Mensa im Neuenheimer Feld um die Verletzten und die verstorbene Kommilitonin.
Blumen und Kerzen auf dem Uni-Campus auf dem Neuenheimer Feld

Rampage Heidelberg: commemoration in Peterskirche – mourning throughout the city

The question of “why” is probably asked by each of the guests and spectators. No one can find an answer for this yet and it remains to be seen if there will ever be one. The motive and the exact background* are still completely unclear even a week after the cruel act.

At the funeral service, students, pastoral care and emergency services addressed their words to the deceased student († 23), the three injured, witnesses, families and friends. But the perpetrator’s relatives are also thought of and prayed for. “How is his family?” It says, for example.

Rampage Heidelberg: Thomas Strobl at the commemoration – “Were there signals?”

At 12:16 p.m. there will be a minute’s silence in St. Peter’s Church. Actually, this was only planned eight minutes later. Because: At 12:24 p.m. on January 21, the first emergency calls to the police* were received, which is why this time was declared a minute’s silence. It is unclear why it was brought forward.

Die Trauerfeier findet am Montag in der Peterskirche statt.


The funeral service will take place on Monday in St. Peter’s Church.

Interior Minister Thomas Strobl also spoke during the course of the event. He represents the entire state government and also sends a silent greeting from Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann. The grief and shock after the killing spree are also written all over his face. “A young student was torn from life, from our midst, from her midst, from one moment to the next. My heartfelt and sincere condolences to the bereaved family. And the entire state government mourns with them,” says the Minister of the Interior, adding: “After horrific acts of violence, we are tormented by the question of whether we could not have prevented them. Were there any signals? But the abysses of the human soul are not always visible. Distrust must not be the answer to such an act.” Strobl relies on trust and campaigns for the students so that they “do not have to be afraid”. One is with those affected – “not only with words, but also with deeds,” he says in conclusion.

Heidelberg: Commemoration after rampage – mayor in shock

The Lord Mayor of Heidelberg, Prof. Dr. Eckart Würzner, also speaks to the relatives and students. You can still feel his dismay. “I am the father of four adult children. The worry that something might happen to them has been with us since the birth of our children. If this idea comes true, darkness will fall over us,” says Würzner. He makes it clear: one always seeks meaning after such a terrible act. In the case of the killing spree, however, no one could be found. It will now take weeks and months to mourn.

Heidelberg: One week after the killing spree – “Still stunned”

The funeral service in St. Peter’s Church lasts about an hour and a half. While the church is closed off from the outside, a few students gather in front of the New University in Heidelberg’s old town. There they lay out candles and flowers for their deceased fellow student. The young student had just started her first semester in biology when she was shot by Nikolai G. († 18)*.

Studierende trauern in der Uni-Mensa im Neuenheimer Feld um die Verletzten und die verstorbene Kommilitonin.


Students mourn the injuries and the deceased fellow student in the university canteen in Neuenheimer Feld.

Numerous students are also mourning on the university campus in Neuenheimer Feld, where the act of violence took place. In an interview with HEIDELBERG24*, a student says: “I am still stunned by this senseless act.” At this point, she is standing in front of the greenhouse of the botanical garden. Just a few steps away is Building 360, where the gunman fired the fatal shots. The young woman wishes to remain anonymous. She just lit a candle. (jol) * HEIDELBERG24 is an offer IPPEN.MEDIA.

List of rubrics: © Uwe Anspach/dpa

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