A deadly knife attack on a municipal employee in Cologne has triggered a social debate. Lord Mayor Henriette Reker was clearly shocked a few hours after the fact. "It's unimaginable that you go to work in the morning – and will not return," said Reker, who himself was the victim of a knife attack four years ago.
"The brutalization of our society seems to know no boundaries," said the non-party politician. This begins with the language and ends with such deeds.
In the morning, a man had attacked two employees of the Stadtkämmerei, who wanted to collect money from the defaulting citizen, with a knife. A 47-year-old employee succumbed to his injuries and his colleague was shocked. The police arrested the alleged perpetrator.
Marius Becker / DPA
Investigators at the scene: "Increasing violence"
The two victims worked in the execution department of the combing department. Their employees look for debtors who have not paid their bills even after several reminders. They try to collect the money and can also make garnishments.
According to the police, there had been a similar incident in March at the point of the attack. At that time, a man had attacked a city employee with a screwdriver and slightly injured. According to media reports, both are the same attackers – the police did not confirm that on demand.
"That really worries me"
"I believe we urgently need a debate in our society on respect for public officials," said the North Rhine-Westphalian Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU). "The increasing violence against these people, on behalf of the public on the road, I'm really worried."
The chairman of the German civil servants' union in North Rhine-Westphalia was horrified: The act shows that the inhibition threshold for violence against state employees continues to sink, said Roland Staude.
Lord Mayor Reker provided psychological support to the employees of the Kämmerei. "It's true that in such situations, come back own experiences," said Reker, who had been seriously injured in a knife attack one day before the 2015 OB election. "Probably you will never be able to suppress it entirely."