Turkish-descended kebab shop owner saves German Mayor's life
BERLIN - Anadolu Agency
The pro-refugee mayor of the western German city of Altena was stabbed by a suspected far-right sympathizer on the night of Nov. 27, due to his welcoming stance towards migrants.
“If they were not there, I wouldn’t be sitting here today. I would like to thank them, our citizens of Altena,” Hollstein said at a news conference on Nov. 28.
The 54-year-old politician from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is a prominent figure in Germany, known for his supportive refugee stance.
Police told local media the perpetrator, a 56-year-old German, attacked Hollstein with a knife after asking him: “Are you the mayor?”.
The perpetrator was arrested at the scene, and police said they suspected a xenophobic motivation lay behind the attack.
Demir recalled those moments to Anadolu Agency: “He [Hollstein] told me he would meet with the President but that it was delayed to a later date. When the attacker heard this, he looked strangely and asked if he was mayor. The mayor said yes. My back was turned, when I turned to the front, he took out the knife.”
Many residents of Altena visited Demir at his shop and hugged his family to congratulate him for his bravery.
"Anybody would have done the same, it's a matter of life,” Demir added, “We know the mayor, he is a very good person. It was a very difficult moment.”
Quoting Merkel in a tweet government spokesman Steffen Seibert said: “I am appalled by the knife attack on Mayor Andreas Hollstein -- and very relieved that he can be with his family again. Thanks also to those who have
German authorities have been alarmed by growing violence against refugees and pro-refugee politicians in recent years.
Since 2015, Germany received more than 1.1 million refugees, mostly Syrians and Iraqis, who were forced to flee their homes due to conflict.