Germany: Firefighter beaten to death at Christmas Market, 7 ‘youths’ arrested

Seven young men have been arrested in the Bavarian city of Augsburg following a brutal beating outside the city’s Christmas Market which left an off-duty fireman dead.

The deadly beating occurred not far from the Christmas Market after 49-year-old firefighter Roland S. along with his wife and another couple got into a verbal quarrel with Halid S., a 17-year-old with a Turkish-Lebanese-German background, and his gang of six friends, Spiegel Online reports.

The group of young men, aged 17 to 20, then surrounded the man and beat him so badly that he died an hour later in the ambulance. The 50-year-old friend of the fighter who attempted to intervene was also severely injured by the attackers, several of whom are said to have Turkish citizenship.

In response to the brutal violence, Augsburg Mayor Kurt Gribl (CSU) wrote: “Grief makes my heart heavy. Augsburg has become the scene of momentous violence.”

German interior minister Horst Seehofter also commented on the attack, saying that it was deeply unsettling “that a peaceable citizen was killed in Augsburg, simply beaten to death”.

On Monday at 6 pm, fire and rescue stations across the country lit candles to grieve the loss of their colleague. 

“We cannot change what happened, but we can show that rescue workers deserve respect and mourn together,” German Fire Brigade representatives said, adding “Civil courage must remain an important social component.”

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