Mr hostage, what were your first thoughts after hearing of the attack in Strasbourg?
concern and compassion. Concern and the awareness that it was right to have appropriate security arrangements for the Christmas markets in Berlin taken.
they Had not thought of as immediately to the attack on the breitscheidplatz?
Yes, of course. As with many people in Berlin, this stop is with me permanently present. This of course has to do with my office. I am politically responsible for the security of the city. Since the attack on the Breitscheidplatz my phone is also always at night in my area.
two years Ago you were in the attack on the 19. December just eleven days in office. What are your memories of that evening?
I sat with deputies in a Restaurant, the "Last instance". We talked about the priorities in the legislative session, and planned policy initiatives. During the call, I received a call from Torsten Akmann. During the journey to the Breitscheidplatz, I called the mayor. We have met there. Also representatives of other parties and to the district mayor Reinhard Naumann arrived there. I was in the command vehicle of the fire brigade, the mobile location center, where all the information came together.
I carry the political responsibility, but did not look at the immediate scene of the crime, nothing to disturb the forces. What is still strong in your memory, was the silence on the Breitscheidplatz. Blue light and silence. This evening all of the work, forces, Doctors, helpers, politicians had to. I have left the dreadful event emotionally to me.
Why was the first call a few hours later, the terrorist situation?
We knew at the beginning not sure if it was an accident or a stroke. I know against 22 o'clock that you had to go out of a terrorist attack. With a fugitive offender. Went there this evening, so also to convey a sense of calm. I had the pictures from Munich after the rampage in July 2016 in the head. The whole of Munich was added in a panic. We wanted to work and had to show this evening that we checked and collected. Without spreading panic. I just got off the phone with the then Federal Minister of the interior Thomas de Maizière and the governing mayor with the Chancellor.
The cooperation with the Federal government, was excellent. In such an exceptional situation. You can't prepare for this Moment. Much makes it intuitive. If you could ever say something Positive about this day, about the work of the security authorities, police, fire brigade and the hospitals, who have all worked incredibly professionally. The former fire chief of the Gräfling had led to the use of. I was on the afternoon of the 19th. December, in him, had introduced me to and me about the fire brigade informed.
are you now for the past two years, Senator for the interior. How do you deal with the load in these times for the safety to be politically responsible?
politicians are elected to take responsibility. Since it is not a matter of one's own sensibilities. Safety is a particularly sensitive policy area, because it is life in the end always people. I don't tilt but for nervousness and sleep well. And very important: I'm in this office with great passion.
when they had spoken the first Time with the relatives or the Victims of assassination?
I have spoken to in the weeks and months after that, with some of the family members. We have found in the conversations that we were not prepared for victim support. As pent-up demand nationwide. Therefore, we have developed a quick guide that was adopted at the conference of interior Ministers: He regulates the supply and care of the victims. There must be after such terrible events, no bureaucratic reflexes. Unfortunately, went out after the attack letters may be sent. The not should be now. Secretary of state Akmann, for example, was in Israel and an update on the victim care. And at the Federal level, the victims compensation act was reformed. Also, some insurance companies acted by the way empathielos. The told me survivors.
members criticized that the policy on the 20. December in the memorial Church have met. And members would not have known to this point in time, once that relatives died. This was right?
On the evening of the attack, we did not know yet, who are the relatives of the victims. The identification of the dead was not yet complete.
Why it took so long, until the mayor could send a letter of condolence?
This answer may sound banal, but it, unfortunately, was so: We have not received the addresses for privacy reasons so quickly. It was not a lack of empathy, but the existing legal situation. That has now changed throughout the country.
Three days after the attack, she introduced the first anti-terror package in Berlin.
The first package consisted of a 45 million Euro for 2017. On 9. January 2017, we had decided it on the Senate retreat. It went to equipment for the fire Department and the police. You know the weapons of the plight of the Berlin police. We had to act quickly so that the equipment of the police is these situations appropriately. The pent-up demand for the Berlin police is enormous. Meanwhile, every COP has modern protection West. It was at the time.
What do you think, if you the phone is ringing, and the safety authorities are there?
This is not the moment to hear my Secretary of state Akmann. But then, if he calls extraordinary times, I reckon first with the Worst.
did you know of him from the attack in Strasbourg?
I was on a business trip in Washington and got the news via SMS from the police out of the situation centre. In Berlin, we have increased thereafter, the security precautions once again visible on the busy Christmas markets. There you will see police officers with machine guns. We are prepared for a different attack scenarios, without being able to go into Detail. There is no hundred percent protection. But what we can do, we have done and we continue to do so.
you like Christmas markets?
I was in this year, on Christmas markets, try there for a mulled wine and visits to the Christmas market on the Gendarmenmarkt. I have no feeling of insecurity.
What you need to be on 19. December make?
in the Morning I'm at the memorial service at the Breitscheidplatz. In the afternoon we organize, like last year, a security conference, we remind you of the 19.12.1016 and at the same time, in the future, want to look. National and international security professionals come together for a Symposium in the inner administration. This year we are going to discuss about how you can protect public spaces in the best possible way.More about
Two years Breitscheidplatz-stop victims of Terror and violence to get help fasterSandra Dassler
The conversation Sabine Beikler and Alexander led Cheerful.