This shot shows New Year’s Eve in the German capital of Berlin. Riots and riots marked the turn of the year.
Tanya von Arxforeign editor
He has been working for the Berlin fire brigade for twelve years. But at the turn of the year he was really scared in his job for the first time. Chief fire chief Baris Coban (34), responsible for the Neukölln district, describes the horror riot on New Year’s Eve to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. The celebrations escalated, in the German capital alone the fire brigade was called 1,717 times and more than 50 fire brigade and police personnel were injured.
Firecracker battles or rockets that some shoot at law enforcement and rescue workers – “a lot is not new to us,” says Coban. That alone is already sick. “But this year was a completely different dimension.”
Shortly after midnight, the chief fire chief was alerted because a coach had been set on fire. He was assigned to a fire engine with five colleagues. Time was pressing. Because directly above the residents of a retirement home threatened to be poisoned because of the smoke.
“First time I didn’t put out a fire”
But according to Baris Coban, “this barricade was up” halfway there. “Wooden planks, construction site barriers and a burning dumpster.” When the firefighters got out to put out the fire, the almost unbelievable: “People ran towards us to shoot at us with blank guns.” There were hundreds. “They came out of the dark and quickly disappeared after each attack, some were masked.”
His colleagues were also really scared, says Coban. “We just pissed off.” They left the burning garbage container, ran back into the fire truck and drove off. “It was the first time I didn’t put out a fire.”
The chief fire officer goes on to say that he caught an attacker. “I wanted to know why he’s doing it.” But there was nothing more than a torrent of insults. Coban: “I don’t know where this hatred comes from.”
Young people film trophy videos
But that’s not all. Videos from that night are circulating online. Young people are said to have tried to sell recordings to television journalists. “Some of those are real trophies,” says Chief Fire Chief Baris Coban.
The Berlin fire brigade reports: “We were surprised by the mass and intensity of the attacks on our emergency services.” One was “stunned and sad”.
The German government was startled by the attacks on the rescuers. Demands for severe punishment and further consequences were already being raised on Monday. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (64) condemned the violence “strongly” and called for better protection of the emergency services, as reported by the AFP news agency.
In particular, politicians are considering bans. “So far, the cities have had good experiences with fireworks ban zones,” says the general manager of the German Association of Cities, Helmut Dedy (64), the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland”. In addition, the CDU politician Jens Spahn (42) made a failed integration policy partly responsible for the escalation to the news portal “t-online”. (twa)