Victims of the 1993 Solingen arson attack, in which five Turks lost their lives in Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia State, have been commemorated with an event attended by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
On May 29, 1993, in the city of Solingen, the house of the Genç family was set on fire by far-right extremists, and five people, three of them children, were killed in the attack.
The attack led to violent protests by Turkish diaspora members in several German cities and large-scale demonstrations by other Germans (of non-Turkish descent) expressing solidarity with the Turkish victims.
Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Yasin Ekrem Serim, Turkish Ambassador to Berlin Ahmet Başar Şen and the consul generals of Cologne, Düsseldorf, Essen and Münster also attended the ceremony held by the Solingen Municipality.
Durmuş Genç, the father who lost five family members in the attack, also attended the ceremony.
Steinmeier called for “everyone with common sense to stand firm against the far-right ideas, racism and xenophobia.
“Thirty years after this terrible crime, we are still confused, angry and sad,” he expressed.
Mayor Tim Kurzbach also pointed out that the attackers targeted humanity and the culture of living together with their racist assault on the Turkish family.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock emphasized that the far-right ideology continues to be the gravest danger to German society.
“Hatice and Kamil Genç have been living with indescribable pain for 30 years. Her daughters, Hülya and Saime, were killed by a group of far-right in Solingen. In total, they lost five relatives in the arson attack.
This racism was not an isolated case,” she expressed in a social media post.
Perpetrators Markus Gartmann, Felix Köhnen, Christian Reher and Christian Buchholz were released after serving their prison sentences. The attackers continue their lives in Germany.