“Appropriate response”

The judgment in the Lubcke trial has been welcomed by representatives of religions and representatives of the German government as a significant signal of the constitutional state.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany spoke of an "appropriate reaction" to a terrible act. The Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt (OLG) set thereby at the same time a clear sign against right-wing extremism, explained the President of the Central Council, Josef Schuster, on Thursday in Berlin.

Voices from religion and politics

The chairman of the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference of Germany (ORD), Rabbi Avichai Apel from Frankfurt, said: "The rule of law has proven today that it is defensible. Xenophobia deserves nothing but the maximum penalty."

The Kassel district president Walter Lubcke (CDU) was in the night to 2. June 2019 on the terrace of his home in Wolfhagen-Istha in northern Hesse was killed by a bullet to the head. The Frankfurt Higher Regional Court on Thursday sentenced right-wing extremist and main defendant Stephan Ernst to life in prison for the murder of Lubcke. The judges also noted the particular seriousness of the guilt. Thus, early release from prison after 15 years is in principle excluded. The co-defendant Markus H. Was sentenced to probation.

Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey (SPD) called the murder of Lubcke a "caesura" for Germany. "This is the first time a political representative of the state has been killed for right-wing extremist motives," she said. The conviction of the main perpetrator is therefore a "clear and important signal of the constitutional state".

"The assassination of the president of the Kassel government was also an attack against our liberal democracy and our common values," Giffey said. He said the act had "brought home in a shocking way how much extremism and racism thrive in our society in secret and endanger our peaceful coexistence".

Lubcke stood up for refugees

Lubcke had become known nationwide since 2015 for his commitment to refugees. Schuster further emphasized that the criminal proceedings before the Higher Regional Court had "made us all aware of what a courageous man Walter Lubcke was.". Schuster: "He has shown a clear edge against right-wing extremists and has not allowed himself to be intimidated by them. For this he had to pay with his life."With his sincere attitude and his commitment to democracy, Lubcke will "always remain an example for us," he told.

The church president of the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau (EKHN), Volker Jung, stressed: "The act was an insidious murder and also a clearly calculated attack on society with its basic democratic values." To this day, he is "appalled by the terrible lapses in the social networks that the murdered man and his family faced even after his death," Jung said. As a motivation for his political and humanitarian commitment, Lubcke had also cited his Christian image of humanity. Jung: "It is shocking that he has become an enemy image precisely because of his commitment to the reception of refugees."

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