The grief is great after the amok drive from Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm, but there is also a lot of help and support. The Senate Department of Justice recommends that victims, relatives and other victims contact the central contact point for victims of terrorist attacks and major incidents. She gives offers of help. Berlin Archbishop Heiner Koch also called for a minute’s silence to be held in all schools on Friday at 10:30 a.m. Many students are particularly shocked because most of the victims of Wednesday’s death trip came from a school class in Bad Arolsen, Hesse.
The central victim contact point arranges offers from authorities, institutions and victim support facilities. The administration of justice, where it is located, announced on Thursday that it has all the necessary contacts and information, including contact points and victim support facilities in other federal states.
The central contact point was set up in the summer of 2018 as a consequence of the terrorist attack on the Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz. Justice Senator Lena Kreck explained: “With the central contact point, we offer those affected long-term support and assistance. We have learned from the events that followed the terrorist attack on Breitscheidplatz and we are not abandoning those affected and victims, but instead providing concrete help.”
The contact point explains on its website that it assumes a “comprehensive concept of those affected”. “Any person whose physical or mental integrity was directly or indirectly affected by the attack is an affected person,” it says. “This broad term therefore includes the injured directly as well as relatives, survivors, missing persons, eyewitnesses and first aiders.”
The contact point is at Salzburger Strasse 21-25 in Schöneberg. She can be reached on Tel. 030/90133150 or by email.
Because one school class is particularly affected, the Catholic Archbishop of Berlin, Heiner Koch, called on all schools in the capital to observe a minute’s silence on Friday at 10:30 a.m. “I was particularly shocked and shocked that a school class was the victim of the rampage,” said Koch, according to a statement on Thursday. His prayers are with all those affected, the parents and relatives. “All the students are deeply injured, some of them severely physically.”
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He announced that the Catholic schools in Berlin and the religious education classes in the public schools “in solidarity, mourning and suffering” would “connect in prayer” with the victims of the class and the entire school community of Bad Arolsen. All schools in Berlin are invited to join the minute’s silence.
A 29-year-old German-Armenian raced across the sidewalks of Ku’damm and Tauentzienstrasse near the Memorial Church on Wednesday morning. A teacher died and several people were injured, including 10th graders from Bad Arolsen in Hesse. On Wednesday evening there had already been a prayer service in the Protestant Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.
According to the Berlin Victims’ Commissioner, help for the victims of the death trip has started across the state. “The whole aid system was started up on Wednesday,” Roland Weber told the German Press Agency on Thursday.
In the meantime, there has been a first online meeting to coordinate those involved in the network, and a second is planned for the evening. “All the important network partners are on board,” said Weber. These included the Federal Victims Commissioner and his team as well as the Victims Commissioner of the State of Hesse because of the numerous victims from their state.
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The law on psychosocial emergency care for the state of Berlin (PSNVG) enables a smooth exchange of important information without violating data protection, the lawyer explained. It is a result of the experiences in caring for victims after the Islamist attack in 2016 on a Berlin Christmas market.
“The situation has improved significantly since then,” said Weber, who has held the office of victim representative since 2012. For example, it is now possible for authorities such as the accident insurance fund or the pension office to be involved at an early stage.