When the topic of public suicides in Europe comes to mind, the natural instinct in the past several years has been to immediately think Greece, which has not only seen its suicide rate explode due to the never-ending economic depression, but witnessed a variety of activists take their lives in hopes, so far unmet, of enacting some form of political and social upheaval. Which is why it comes as a major surprise that the latest public self-immolation just took place not in Syntagma Square but in front of the German Reichstag.
From DPA via the Berliner Kurier:
Hundreds of tourists and Berliners on Saturday became eyewitnesses to a spectacular suicide in front of the Reichstag building.
A 32-year-old Berliner stabbed himself in the chest according to police at noon at the main entrance of the Reichstag. He then doused himself with a flammable liquid and set fire to himself. Passersby alerted the police and rescue workers. They tried in vain to resuscitate the man. He succumbed to his injuries on site yet.
Naturally the last thing Germany needs is a political suicide at a time when Angela Merkel is being booed not only in Athens but in Stuttgart, which is why the immedaite explanation was one of "personal reasons."
A political motive of his act precluded the police. In the 32-year-old a suicide note was found. The reason for the suicide lies in the personal area, it said.
Shortly before the time of the crime around 500 supporters of wind energy lobby between the Chancellery and the Reichstag building had been demonstrating.
A suicide in front of the political symbol of the nation, one which involves self-immolation, for personal reasons? Interesting. Hopefully other Germans don't get any ideas and start expressing their terminal heartbreak by burning down not only themselves in the immediate vicinity of the Reichstag but the proximal building too: because the last thing the Reichstag needs is to burn down. Again. For personal reasons or otherwise.
h/t News Printer