Police graves destroyed, defaced with swastikas in Berlin

Vandals spray-painted swastikas on the Berlin graves of two German police officers killed in the line of duty, sparking outrage Wednesday, and an investigation by the domestic security service.

Police graves destroyed, defaced with swastikas in Berlin
The markings on the graves were later covered up by police. Image: DPA

One gravestone was toppled over, both were defaced with red spray paint, and flowers were ripped out of their beds in the overnight attack on a cemetery in the Berlin district of Neukölln.

The late officers are Roland Krueger, a police commando member shot dead during a 2003 raid on a Kurdish-Lebanese crime family, and Uwe Lieschied, shot dead while confronting a robber on the street in 2006.

The interior minister of the city-state of Berlin, Andreas Geisel, voiced his “disgust and shame” about the violation of the graves, which he described as “a wicked act directed against those who died while working to ensure our safety.”

Other police officers restored the graves in the morning, while the BfV domestic security service took over the case because of the illegal Nazi symbol.

Tributes laid on graves

The Christian Democrat politician's Burkard Dregger lay flowers on the desecrated graves on Wednesday afternoon, telling the Berlin Tagespiegel that he was there to honour the memories of the fallen officers. 

“I have no sympathy for such acts of hatred,” Dregger said 

“It was important to me, on behalf of the CDU Group, to plant flowers and talk with relatives. (I wanted) to assure them that we feel very close to them and that we are always with each other to stand by the police if attacked,” he said.

The incident was not the only recent example of desecration of police officers being targeted in the cemetery. 

In November 2016, a plaque commemorating officer Lieschied was damaged by unknown vandals. Later, left-wing extremists admitted to the crime, declaring “We mock dead police officers.”

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Copenhagen police to limit cars on busy nightlife streets

Copenhagen will limit cars on narrow streets in areas thronging with bars and clubs from June 1st to crack down on nighttime public disturbances, police said on Tuesday.

Copenhagen police to limit cars on busy nightlife streets

The affected streets are all located in lively parts of the capital designated as “nightlife zones”, which police monitor closely, and violations from midnight to 5am will be subject to a 3,000 kroner fine.

“Drivers parade in their cars in the nightlife zones, they accelerate loudly, play loud music, scream at passers-by and generally create insecurity and traffic situations that are downright dangerous,” Copenhagen police chief Tommy Laursen said.

“By banning car traffic, our aim is to prevent all of that,” he added.

The zones are located near Copenhagen’s City Hall, a popular pedestrian area and Kødbyen, the old slaughterhouse neighbourhood in the popular Vesterbro district.

The crackdown does not affect residents, taxis or essential transport such as trash collection, ambulances and delivery vehicles.