With the first anniversary of the Berlin Christmas Market terror attack fast approaching (the attack took place on 19 December 2016) where a Tunisian refugee rammed a truck into a Berlin market killing 12, the German press interviewed the victims of the attack, and were left surprised that they are all very critical of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who they claim has “left them in the lurch.”
For this reason, they all together wrote an open letter addressed to her which was now published in Germany’s biggest magazine, Der Spiegel, stating:
"Madam Chancellor, the attack on Breitscheidplatz is a tragic consequence of the political inaction of your government."
"At a time when the threat posed by dangerous Islamists has greatly increased, you have failed to push ahead with expanding resources and reforming the confused official structures for fighting these dangers."
The victims blame Merkel’s policies for having let Anis Amri, the Tunisian terrorist, on the loose for so long even though he had been clearly identified by German police as a terrorist risk as well as a drug dealer.
They also complain about the difficulty of getting help from the authorities in the direct aftermath of the attack. While Ms Merkel did attend a commemoration service, together with other German political leaders, in the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, near where the attack took place, the victims were at the same day still "searching desperately for relatives, personally visiting or phoning all the hospitals in Berlin."
The attention for the attack in the press will only grow in the coming days now that a monument is to be consecrated on Breitscheidplatz in a fortnight.
Meanwhile, Germany is still without a government after Ms Merkel failed to form a coalition. Even though her party remained the largest in the last national elections, the swing the to right of the voting public in Germany was quite clear for onlookers, with the nationalist and anti-immigrant AfD winning 15% of the vote.