German man held for role in fatal arson attack on asylum seekers in 1991

  • World
  • Tuesday, 06 Jun 2023

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German man has been arrested on suspicion of helping in the murder and attempted murder of 20 people at a fire at an asylum seekers hostel three decades ago, one of a series of attacks on foreigners after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The arrest comes after prosecutors charged another man, identified as Peter S. in line with German privacy laws, with murder, attempted murder and arson in August.

Federal prosecutors said the new suspect, named as Peter St., nurtured an ideology formed by Nazi and racist beliefs.

On the night before the attack, the suspect met far-right radicals, including Peter S., in Saarlouis, near the French border, and discussed several recent racially-motivated attacks on migrant shelters in eastern Germany, said prosecutors.

Peter St., who played a prominent role in the skinhead milieu and was more senior than Peter S. in the hierarchy, made clear he approved of such attacks and said: "Something like this should go down here", said prosecutors in a statement.

Influenced by this, Peter S. set fire to a shelter for asylum seekers in Saarlouis, causing a blaze that spread rapidly and killed a 27-year old Ghanaian man, said prosecutors. Two other residents broke bones by jumping out of windows. The remaining 18 residents escaped without injury, said prosecutors.

Similar acts of violent against foreigners followed, including riots in Rostock in northern Germany in 1992 and a fatal arson attack in the western city of Solingen in 1993.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Rachel More and Christina Fincher)

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In World

Mexican goods worth $1 billion stuck at US border amid migration checks
Ukraine says Russia Black Sea Fleet commander killed; no comment by Moscow
Mexico sends 1,500 security forces to southern region plagued by gangs
Social media inspires Japanese women to dash into rickshaw pulling
South Korea holds rare military parade, warns North over nuclear threat
Gunman killing 23 at El Paso Walmart agrees to pay over 5.5 mln USD in restitution
Anti-Muslim hate speech in India concentrated around elections, report finds
UNHCR sends flood relief supplies to Libya
Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, Sept. 25
U.S. agricultural futures rise

Others Also Read