Shooting at a planned refugee home in Bautzen
After the fire at the planned refugee home in Bautzen, it quickly became clear that it was arson. The day after the crime, Interior Minister Shuster wants to get an idea.
After the arson of a planned refugee home in Bautzen, Saxony’s Interior Minister Armin Schuster (CDU) wants to get an idea of the situation on the ground on Saturday. According to the preliminary conclusions of the investigators, a fire broke out in the former “Spreehotel” early Friday morning after the criminals broke the windows.
The state government strongly condemned the attack. Prime Minister Mikael Kretschmer spoke about the disgusting act. The KDM politician stated that their explanation has a “priority”. The first refugees should move home next week. The four people who remained in the building were not injured. According to the city, they were employees of the hotel owner.
An arson attempt already in 2016
According to a representative of the district office, the former hotel, located outside the city on the reservoir, has been made available by a private owner and is operated by the Arbeiterwohlfahrt (Awo). Asylum seekers were also accommodated there between 2015 and 2017, with a peak of around 200. In 2016, there was already an arson attempt on the building. At that time, three young men threw Molotov cocktails over the fence in the direction of the house.
According to the State Criminal Police Office (LKA), a serious arson investigation is underway after the fire on Friday. The investigation was taken over by the Police Anti-Terrorism and Extremism Center (PTAZ). The spokesperson of LKA said. “The political background cannot be ruled out.”
Last week in Groß Stromkendorf in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, shelters intended for refugees from Ukraine were burned down. Investigators suspect a political background.
Minister of Internal Affairs Shuster condemned Bautzen’s act. “Burning houses out of hatred, because you don’t want refugees near you, is profoundly primitive and inhumane,” the KDM politician said in a statement. So far, it is not known who threw the incendiary devices into the building. “But we have to assume a xenophobic arson attack.” He wanted to go to the lodge on Saturday afternoon.
“Attacks on refugee accommodation are completely unacceptable,” wrote Social Affairs Minister Petra Köping (SPD), who is also responsible for social cohesion in Saxony. The district administrator of the Bautzen region, Udo Wichas (CDU), was “absolutely shocked and angry”. Human lives were carelessly endangered.
Witnesses must report
According to LKA, the building is now surrounded by a large area, fire-detectives and a tracking dog have been deployed. Police appealed to potential witnesses to come forward.
The first 30 refugees are due to move into the shelter next Thursday. According to the district office, the families come from Syria, North Macedonia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Georgia and the Russian Federation. It is currently unclear whether the original plans will be followed through.
According to the district office, a town meeting with residents and district representatives was held at the former hotel last Tuesday. “Of course, there were also concerns and criticisms from the residents, but this is usually the case with such appointments,” the message says.
During the meeting, there was also a demonstration organized by the AfD in the immediate vicinity, the district office said. The left-wing regional chairman holds the AfD responsible in Bautzen. “Anyone who spreads hate is an accomplice,” wrote Silvio Lang on Twitter. The AfD regional association announced on Friday. “We have exercised our democratic right to freedom of expression and to criticize the previous asylum policy and we reject any form of violence.”