27 years ago today, Germany faced its first ever neo-Nazi attack following the fall of Berlin wall. Lars C. (19) ve Michael P. (25) set two houses belonging to Turkish immigrants on fire. While 14 people in both houses managed to escape the inferno, 3 members of Arslan family were burnt to death. When Helmut Kohl, then Prime Minster of Germany, was asked by journalists why he was at the CDU congress instead of being at the memorial service for the Mölln victims, he said he does want to turn the Federal Government into “condolence tourism.” His response set German state’s tone against following NeoNazi attacks.
Although the tragedy was referred by the German authorities as an attack on Germany’s internal security, light prison sentences were handed out to two NeoNazi criminals responsible for the murder of Yeliz Arslan (10), Ayşe Yılmaz (14) and their grandmother, Bahide Arslan (51). Lars C. was released from prison after serving only 7,5 years. And Michael P. served 15 years and released in 2007. During their short prison time, Turks in Germany suffered many fatal attacks and massacres committed by NeoNazis.
In May 25th, 1993, 2,5 years after Mölln tragedy, another NeoNazi attack took place in Solingen. Genc family sacrificed 5 lives to NeoNazi terror. Helmut Kohl again chose not to attend the ceremony in Solingen.
By the time Lars C. , one of the attackers in Mölln left the prison in 2000, German terror group National Socialist Underground or NSU carried out first murder. After that NSU went on a rampage and murdered 7 more people in 7 years.
34 years old Ibrahim Arslan was 7 years old when their house was torched in Mölln 27 years ago. Firefighters found him wrapped in a wet towel in the kitchen when they had entered the burning house. Despite 27 years, Ibrahim still suffers from the trauma. Every time he smells something burning, Ibrahim panics fearing another attack.
Mustafa Yeneroglu, independent member of Turkish Parliament who was brought up in Germany released a statement about Mölln arson attack. He said Germany needs to stop the NeoNazi discourse which encourages the racist attacks into mainstream politics. Germany’s far right party AFD has been steadily increasing its votes. German public and political spectrum now accepts them as part of the mainstream politics.
One prominent member of Turkish community in Germany said Mölln catastrophe is the mother of all racist xenophobic attacks in Germany. It encouraged the attacks those took place after. Because German politicians and legal system did not give a substantial reaction to Mölln. If culprits were kept in prison for a life time and Helmut Kohl never made those unfortunate remarks, perhaps other attacks would have never taken place, he continued.