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Multicultural New Year's Eve in Germany

Rockets, firecrackers, joy for 2023. Thousands all over Germany welcomed the turn of the year. But there were shocking accidents and acts of violence.

Riots and street battles in Berlin
Chaos and street battles with the police in Berlin. In the Kreuzberg district, they erected several barricades and fired at the officers with firecrackers and rockets. One of the perpetrators was hit by a car while trying to escape, police said.

In Berlin-Neukölln, the chaotic people set fire to a coach and a shop. An armed man was arrested. In the capital, the turn of the year turned into chaos on New Year's Eve. The fire brigade was attacked in the Schöneberg district. At a barricade, hooded people ran towards the emergency services and attacked with stones and iron bars.

"(1/4) When you see pictures from cities like Berlin or Frankfurt, you know: There is always a certain clientele that completely freaks out here on New Year's Eve. So it's not all about firecrackers. It's about who is dealing with it and how."

(3/4) But yes, let's ban everything in Germany. Firecrackers, kitchen knives, let's put fences around Christmas markets because we avoid putting fences around this country.
"(4/4) Let's ban everything and have sham debates about the evil German family man, who allegedly bangs so much so that nothing plays into the hands of "the rightists" and these people can continue to do whatever they want."

The fire brigade could only extinguish the fire under police protection. They had to move out in the capital more than 40 times within an hour.

Police unionists call for a ban on firecrackers
Overall, the rescuers had more than 1700 missions. During the turn of the year with corona restrictions a year ago, there were 700 fewer. In the capital, emergency services were attacked 38 times and 15 helpers were injured.

State fire director Karsten Homrighausen: "There is no justification for this behavior and I can only condemn it in the strongest possible terms."

Stephan Weh, head of the police union, called for a ban on firecrackers: "We have seen across Germany that pyrotechnics are being used specifically as a weapon against people."

Fire brigades in many German cities in continuous operation
Smaller riots also broke out in the Connewitz district of Leipzig at the turn of the year. Bottles and pyrotechnics were thrown at police officers there. Service vehicles were damaged. No injuries.

The fire brigades also had a lot to do in the rest of the republic. A carport burned down in Elmshorn (Schleswig-Holstein) – the fire spread to a semi-detached house in a flash. One resident suffered life-threatening injuries.

Large-scale operation in Sindelfingen (Baden-Württemberg). There was a fire in a high-rise building. Result: 120 residents had to leave the building because of a balcony fire on the twelfth floor. Fireworks are believed to have started the flames.

A man (46) celebrated the turn of the year in Hanover with his wife and son. Suddenly there was a bang: He had put a firecracker in a metal case and lit it. The explosion tore pieces of metal out of her, they were thrown around and hit her father. He was badly injured and was taken to the hospital. Child and wife were unharmed.

The Düsseldorf (NRW) fire brigade had to move out to a large-scale operation. A fire broke out in a building materials store. Rescuers drove to the industrial area with numerous emergency services. According to the police, there were no injuries. The fire brigade warns residents of odor nuisance.

Officials are investigating in Thale (Saxony-Anhalt) for dangerous bodily harm against a man (42). He ignited a rocket on his balcony. It then hissed between a mother (35) and her son (9) and detonated. Both had to go to the hospital.

A boy (2) was on the street with his parents in Unna (NRW). According to the police, a firecracker got into the child's hood: It exploded before the parents could get the firecracker out. The two-year-old suffered burns on the back of his head and was seriously injured. The police are looking for witnesses.

When fireworks were lit, a man (42) in Schönebeck in Saxony-Anhalt was hit by a Skoda – dead. He was thrown several meters across the road. The driver (61) simply fled. Only a witness could stop him. An alcohol test revealed 1.86 per mille. Police confiscated his driver's license.

Crime scene Hamburg: A man (32) walked through a pedestrian zone in the Billstedt district on Friday afternoon. Suddenly, a New Year's Eve rocket flew, hit him so hard that it penetrated his left lower leg and, according to the police, probably exploded there. He came to the hospital. Officials searched for the attacker - so far without success.

Shortly before the New Year, around 20 participants shot each other with fireworks in the city. There was a police operation. The situation escalated when a suspect threw a beer bottle at a bus. The pane splintered and shattered.

Crazy: In Prenzlau Brandenburg, a 36-year-old fired New Year's rockets at a police station and lit firecrackers under parked company cars. He then attacked two police officers. He was arrested.

The Freiburg district association of the German Red Cross (DRK) spoke of "very quiet hours" in a first balance sheet up to 4 a.m. in the morning. But: The police had to “protect” emergency services at times.

Sources: Bild / Bild / Twitter
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