The following are a collection of posts for German news outlets on the the Love Parade Trial. We are using Google Translate to convert to English, but including the original media link.
We will endeavour to update this as often as possible.
17 January 2018
LOVE PARADE PROCESS
In the Loveparade trial on Wednesday, an eyewitness described how he experienced the terrible crowding that was fatal to 21 people.
Eike was his friend. Eike had a nickname for him, and that was the last thing he heard from him. Twice, three times in the crowd of the Love Parade, they were cries for help, but he could not help him. The next thing he heard from Eike was in the car in the evening: “Eike is dead.”
The 27-year-old from Osnabrück is only the sixth witness in the trial for the Techno Festival in Duisburg, in which 21 people died. Not the first to talk about the dead, but the first to talk about a victim he knew. Eike Mogendorf, 21, one of seven friends who did not survive the trip. Like his friend, his parents are co-plaintiffs in the process, in which ten defendants have to answer for negligent homicide.
He felt “as if repeatedly turned by the meat grinder”
In tears, the witness tells of the intense narrowness that took his breath away, that pulled his legs away until he was lying, beneath him body, above him, and himself “like quicksand, sinking ever deeper”. It felt like hours, he says, trying in vain to grab his cell phone “to call my mother again.” Desperate tore at him, biting and scratching, blackened eyes. And thought, “That’s it. Then you will probably die here and today. “
The then 20-year-old has survived. With abrasions, bruises, bites, but he did it. “They are coming!”, A friend called suddenly, he was pulled out, lay motionless between the bodies, could not move his legs, felt, “like several times through the meat grinder turned”.
“We did not get her a piece”
And then he saw the girl: that girl who had rolled her eyes next to him, Eike was still there. For a long time he had tried to pull the young woman up, she was light and he was strong, “but we did not lift her up and then I did not see her”. And now she was lying there, her eyes open, her lips blue. The 27-year-old is crying.
Only on demand, the pictures come back: that the girlfriend of the girl spoke Spanish. There were two Spanish deaths on July 24, 2010. And that he saw Eike on the ground after falling over “like dominoes.” “I had my hand on his chest, and at some point he did not breathe.” They were looking for Eike, “but he was not there.”
Until Patrick saw the papers, days later, he thought the ramp to the Love Parade had been their exit. The escape route.
DAY 9 IN THE PROCESS OF THE LOVE PARADE DISASTER
The very moving description of the witness: “We came in a festive mood, did not know where to go. We continued to follow the stream until we turned left into the tunnels. ”
There the drama took its course. The crowd increased, there was no progress for half an hour. The friends were already thinking about turning back. But: “All branches were secured with fences. We went on then. I wish to this day that we would not have done that. “
Peter Z. over come the tears. After a short break, he continues: “It was getting tighter and more uncomfortable. We then wanted to take the exit. As I know today, it was the ramp and the entrance to the Love Parade. ”
The people in the crowd get into mortal danger. The witness: “Right behind me was Eike Mogendorf. A friend called us, we should not fall over. At some point near Eike was a girl who has her eyes twisted, said she can not stand it anymore. We tried to pick her up. It did not work. Everyone pressed. At some point we could not hold on to her and then I did not see her again. Then everyone realized that this is not going well. ”
Banned silence in the courtroom, while Peter Z. continues his statement in a heavy voice: “At some point the crowd started to waver again. We lost sight of Eike. He still called me by my nickname. He shouted then. But that went down in the crowd. “
Desperately everyone tried to stay on their feet. Peter Z .: “Whoever fell was swallowed. Then we came to case. Below us lay two layers of people. I could not help anyone under me. Then I realized that the people below me bit me. My pants were almost down. If I had come to my pants, I could have called my mother again. ”
The friends blew air into each other’s mouths to survive. The witness: “My eyes went black. I thought, fine, that’s it. I had finished with the thing. Policemen then pulled me out. Later I learned that Eike was dead. “
Process will resume Thursday.
16 January 2018
Loveparade trial: Two other witnesses describe the horror of Duisburg
By Peter Kurz
Dusseldorf. How was it then, on 24 July 2010 in the deadly crush of the Love Parade disaster? How could it happen that 21 young people died in Duisburg and more than 650 were injured? The Duisburg district court heard two other witnesses who were in the midst of a deadly crush on Tuesday.
Unlike a young woman who testified last week in the huge courtroom in the Dusseldorf fair, Gernot B. has come out of the case without injury and without trauma. Anyway, he says that himself. And he wonders when the judge then reads him from a medical certificate, which definitely certified him a traumatization. Even for the 34-year-old software developer, who had gone to a love parade with a few friends, the matter was life-threatening. When he is only a few meters from the stairs, over which some people save themselves from the deadly crush, it is no longer back or forth.
The Brunswick describes how he is completely unable to move in the tightness, the left arm down, the right above his head. And so he can not help, as next to him hyperventilated a young woman. “Then her eyes were lifeless, twisting upwards,” he says. He still tried to grab her by the arm, pull her up, but he does not make it, is himself narrowed and motionless. The last thing he sees of her is that she sinks down between the other people. He never knew what happened to her, “I suspect she died,” he says.
“I was worried about my life, but I tried to keep my cool.”
Witness (34), on Tuesday in court
At the latest, he realizes that the situation is deadly. “I was worried about my life but tried to keep my cool, not trying, like some others, to push myself out of the crowd.” At some point there is a push that propagates through the crowd, he and others around him getting skewed, feet still on the ground. Then, occasionally people are pulled out of the crowd, his friend Marco has fainted, “I have hit him with a flat hand in the face, he should persevere.” At some point then many helpers had been there, he could go up the stairs and later found his friends again.
Page 2: People wanted to save their lives by force
The second witness on this day has a different perspective: The 42-year-old Mehmet B. makes a solid impression at first glance. But in the course of the hearing comes through, as this day has thrown off track. The professional driver still takes drugs that prohibit him from using machines, driving cars. He had conversation therapies, took antidepressants, the lust for life had been lost to him. He could only help out in the drinking hall today. He blames himself on how he behaved at the time, he says.
He also tells of wave movements of the mass, also for him the stairs had been like a magnet. A possible escape route. On the way he had “pushed through the crowd with a lot of physical effort”. Everyone was violent, he justifies himself, everyone wanted to save his life. Finally he reached the stairs. A young man wanted to pull him up, but then he left his strength and let go. So he was pitched down.
Then the police were already there. And have shown him a way out of the tight. He was high (of which intoxicants, he does not want to say), so despite the pain he stayed with his buddies on the Loveparade until late at night. Only through the television crews “who wanted to do interviews”, he had learned of the extent of the disaster.
This money is available to relatives
The state of NRW wants to provide a total of 400,000 euros with the budget 2018. 300,000 euros will be donated to the foundation “Duisburg 24.07.2010”, which supports its members psychologically and pastoral during the process with a support team. An amendment to the budget also provides for another € 100,000 to cover part of the accommodation and travel costs of the co-plaintiffs in the process.
Witness: “Woman sank lifeless in the crowd”
By Peter Kurz
In the Loveparade trial, other witnesses testified yesterday. They described how they experienced the mass panic and survived.
Dusseldorf. How was it then, on July 24, 2010 in the deadly flock of the Love Parade disaster? How could it happen that 21 young people died in Duisburg and more than 650 were injured? The district court of Duisburg yesterday heard two other witnesses who were in the midst of a deadly swarm.
Unlike a young woman who testified last week in the large courtroom of the Dusseldorf fair, Gernot B. has come out without injuries and without trauma from the case. Anyway, he says so himself. And he wonders when the judge reads him then from a medical certificate that certifies him definitely a traumatization. Even for the 34-year-old software developer, who went to the Love Parade with some friends, it was life-threatening. When he’s only a few feet from the stairs some people save from the deadly swarm, it’s not back and forth. The Braunschweig describes how he can not move in the confines completely, the left arm down, the right above the head. And so he can not help because next to him hyperventilated a young woman. “Then her eyes were lifeless and turned up,” he says. He was still trying to grab her by the arm, pull her up, but he can not make it, is self-constrained and motionless. The last thing he sees of her is that she sinks between the other people. He never knew what happened to her. “I suspect she died,” he says.
“I was worried about my life, but I tried to calm myself down.”
Witness (34), yesterday in court
At the latest, he realizes that the situation is deadly. “I was worried about my life, but I tried to calm down and not, like some others, try to push me out of the crowd.” At some point there is a push that spreads through the crowd, he and others around him are crooked, his feet still on the ground. Then occasionally people are torn from the crowd, his friend Marco has fainted: “I hit him with a flat hand in the face, he should persevere.” At some point there were many helpers there, he could go up the stairs and later found his friends again.
The second witness on this day has a different perspective: The 42-year-old Mehmet B. makes a solid impression at first glance. But in the course of the hearing comes through, how this day has strayed from the track. The professional driver still uses drugs that prohibit him from using machines and driving cars. He had conversation therapies, took antidepressants, the joy of life had been lost to him. He could only help out in the drinking hall today. He blames himself for behaving like that, he says.
He also tells of wave movements of the mass, for him the stairs had been like a magnet. A possible escape route. On the way he had “pushed through the crowd with much physical effort”. Everyone was violent, he justifies himself, everyone wanted to save his life. Finally he reached the stairs. A young man wanted to pull him up, but then he let go of his strength and let go. So he was thrown to the ground. Then the police were already there. And showed him a way out of the tight. He was high (exhilarating, he does not want to say), so despite the pain he stayed late at night with his friends at the Love Parade. Only from the TV crews “who wanted to do interviews,” he had learned of the dimensions.
“I had the impression that the woman is just dying”
What exactly happened during the Love Parade disaster? On the eighth day of the criminal trial, the court questioned a man who survived the crush. A young woman by his side probably not.
In the Loveparade trial on Tuesday, an eyewitness of the disaster in Duisburg described how in the crowd next to him a woman was unconscious and sank into the crowd. The young man also acts as a co-plaintiff. He reported how he and another man tried to pull the woman out of the crowd, but failed. Then she stopped breathing and disappeared next to him. Whether she survived, he did not know.
The witness reported that he and four friends wanted to visit the Technoparade on the former freight yard. At the foot of the ramp, the only entrance and exit to the venue, they did not get any further. The crowd had finally been so strong that he could no longer lift his left arm up.
“I remember that by my side a young man screamed that his girlfriend could not breathe,” he said matter-of-factly. They still tried to pull them out, but they did not make it. “She breathed quickly and then did not breathe.” Then she was lost next to him. “I had the impression that the woman next to me is dying.” From that point on, he had been aware that he, too, could feel the same way. “I did not panic, but I was scared for my life.” He tried to keep a cool head.
Court wants to ask more co-plaintiffs
Later he was pulled out of the crowd and left Duisburg again. He said that he had not been injured and had not gone to see a doctor afterwards. The presiding judge had to inform him then a better: He had been two days after the accident very well with a doctor. However, according to his own statements, the man could not remember this visit to the doctor either. “I think I coped relatively well,” he said.
At the Love Parade disaster on July 24, 2010 in Duisburg 21 people were crushed and at least 652 were injured in a crush. The trial before the district court of Duisburg against six employees of the city of Duisburg and four employees of the organizer Lopavent had begun in December. The prosecution accuses them of, among other things, negligent homicide. At the coming trial days, the court wants to question other co-plaintiffs. Because of the many parties involved in the process takes place in a congress hall in Dusseldorf.
Love Parade process
Man saw unconscious woman sink into crowd
Kick-off in the process for the Duisburg Love Parade disaster Dusseldorf. In the Loveparade trial on Tuesday, an eyewitness of the disaster in Duisburg described how in the crowd next to him a woman was unconscious and sank into the crowd. The young man also acts as a co-plaintiff.
He reported how he and another had tried to pull the woman out of the crowd, but failed. Then she stopped breathing and was lost beside him. Whether she survived, he did not know.
The man stated that he had remained unhurt in the crush and had not visited a doctor. However, during the interrogation, the presiding judge stated that the man was at the doctor two days after the accident. At the doctor’s visit, however, the man could not remember even then.
At the Loveparade disaster on 24 July 2010 in Duisburg 21 people were crushed and at least 652 injured in a crush. The trial against six employees of the city of Duisburg and four employees of the organizer Lopavent had begun in December.
The prosecution accuses them of, among other things, negligent homicide. At the next trial, the court wants to interview further co-plaintiffs as witnesses.
January 11, 2018, 8:17 pm
Love Parade process
( Translated using Google Translate )
As the pictures run, it gets quiet
The Loveparade trial hears the first witnesses. While a woman describes the experiences with emotional words, video recordings of Manfred B. shock the hall.
By Christian Wernicke, Dusseldorf
She fights. With what she has experienced or what has displaced her. And about her composure. Rosalinda B. is the first witness to testify to the 2010 Love Parade more than a month after the criminal trial began. And the first victim to finally speak.
Slowly, with a broken voice, the 31-year-old woman with long black hair describes how thousands were squeezed in the tunnel and on the ramp at Duisburg’s freight yard. And how 21 people died. To this day, the witness sometimes attacks respiratory distress. The seizures come suddenly, “every time I smell or see something that reminds me.”
On the tragic July 24, 2010 Rosalinda B. drove with her sister to the techno party. By taxi. They came in clean. But when the sister injured herself on a piece of broken glass and the two were looking for a paramedic, they fell into the crowd at the only entrance and exit. “We were pushed from the front and from behind,” says the witness, “like sardines in a tin.” A police cordon tried to sort the crowd, and someone told them to wait until it calmed down, “But it did not calm down.” Only worse.
“Hold my hand, do not let go,” yelled the nurse. But the two were separated. Rosalinda, only 1.58 meters tall, struggled for air, saw only upper bodies or backpacks in front of her. A young stranger helped her, holding her head up, pushing toward the small concrete staircase over which people fled the death-trap. Rosalinda B. already crashed on the second level, other fugitives fell on her.
Next to her, the witness tells with tears, a young woman lay, who also did not come up. “Please help me,” I have begged half the child, but: “I could not free myself, the people were on me.” And they got heavier and heavier. B. woke up hours later in the hospital, on the stairs she had fainted.
Mario Plein, the presiding judge of the Duisburg district court, tries to wrest the court-related findings from the witness with questions. Whether the folders, as intended in the security concept of the Love Parade, because with instructions have tried to “dissolve the compression of people?” Rosalinda does not remember that (“They were standing there.”), But the fences near the scene were shaky. Whether the police ordered her official chain or gave up only helpless, she also does not know exactly: “The was torn up.” And times, when exactly what she experienced and where, the witness can not do. Only this: “It took me an eternity.”
Manfred B. is filming the tragedy
The second witness and co-plaintiff will be Manfred B in the afternoon. The 34-year-old teacher staggered on the day of the tragedy, only a few meters away from Rosalinda B. But he has, it will be clear after a few minutes of his interrogation, the misfortune far better overcome. Almost soberly sound the answers of the powerful man, who describes precisely how “from a certain point of time, people had no choice where to go” – and were thrown back and forth by waves of mass.
At the time, Manfred B. had the nerve to film with his mobile phone at the Love Parade. Also, when he realized, “that could be dangerous now”. Why he did that, Judge Plein wants to know. “Because I knew that someday you need evidence.”
As a “pizza guy”, Manfred B. put a four-part “chronology of a disaster” on Youtube in the summer of 2010. On Thursday, the courtroom will be his auditorium. Suddenly it is dead quiet in the semicircle, defenders as prosecutors staring at the three large screens in the hall. And see in pictures, what is in the files: That on 24 July 2010 at 16:30 clock the situation on the ramp comes to a head, as the first, apparently powerless body, are passed over the crowd to the rescue staircase. And they hear the screams of the crowd shrill: “I do not want more” or “Get us out of here!”. At 4:59 pm of the recording, one hears a woman moan: “I can not do it.” Since that defendant has to drive with his hand over his face, who was then the event manager of the Love Parade.
Rosalinda B., the first witness in this mega-trial, left earlier Thursday. The video does not need. She has been in therapeutic treatment for years. She did not suffer any organic damage, but the psychological consequences crush her. During her statement on Thursday, she nervously kneaded her fingers. And sometimes she pressed together a white handkerchief. For example, when she reveals what she still tortures most of all, “I do not know if the girl next to me is alive, or if she died.” Her sister survived.
Difficult search for the guilt
Today the Loveparade process continues. The judges are likely to struggle. History shows that the judiciary fails regularly in the criminal processing of such disasters. Comment by Heribert Prantl more …
First Witness speaks in the Love Parade Process
“Hold my hand, do not let go”
The taking of evidence began in the Love Parade process. The first witness described how she survived in the crush – and that she still has feelings of guilt today.
In the Love Parade trial, the first witness reported how she ended up in a deadly crush in Duisburg more than seven years ago. Her sister had injured her hand on a piece of broken glass on the site, reported the 31-year-old apprentice halting and breathing heavily in front of the district court.
In the search for medical help, she was then with her sister in the crowd. A chain of police officers had prevented them from leaving the grounds. The chain had then been torn apart and the crowd had increased.
Her sister had pleaded: “Hold my hand, do not let go.” But then she was torn away. “The pressure was so strong,” she had lost sight of her sister. She could not breathe, could not move.
A young man helped her with her head and hair up, saying, “I’ll help you.” When trying to reach a staircase at the access ramp, but she then fell. People were lying on it. “On my left was a young girl shouting, ‘Help me, help me!’,” Said the witness. But that was not possible. “I could not free myself.” She then woke up in the intensive care unit of a hospital, said the Duisburg.
From time to time she still feels “this tremendous pressure,” said the witness. “If I smell something specific or see many people, that will come back.” One year after the disaster, she had been in a psychosomatic clinic for seven weeks. She still felt guilty because she could not help the young woman next to her. What became of her is not known. The witness’s sister survived.
With the testimony of the witness, the court now entered the evidence. At the Love Parade disaster on 24 July 2010, 21 people were crushed and at least 652 were injured in the dense crowd at the only entrance and exit. Due to negligent homicide and negligence, six employees of the city of Duisburg and four employees of the organizer Lopavent are charged.
The process started in December (the most important questions and answers can be found here). For reasons of space, the procedure of the Duisburg district court takes place in the Düsseldorf trade fair.
JPZ / dpa
Loveparade survivors: “I could not breathe anymore”
Rosalinda B. crashed and was traumatized. Manfred B. documented the events in the deadly scrum. As witnesses, they reported on the process of witnessing the 2010 Loveparade. Andrea Grunau from Dusseldorf.
“Help, get us out of here !!!” The 7th day of negotiations in the Loveparade trial is almost over, screams of pain and shrill cries for help ring through the courtroom in the Düsseldorf Congress Hall. On three large screens, the district court Duisburg shows videos titled “Chronology of a Disaster – Part 1 to 4”. One sees in it, how humans, who want to celebrate at first cheerfully, evidently in fear of death try to flee from the unbearably close trap between a high wall, an embankment and urgent people in tunnel entrances. A few escaped via a narrow staircase, bodies are repeatedly passed over the heads of others, others climb over their heads themselves.
Manfred B. (34), now co-prosecutor and witness in the process, uploaded the videos to Youtube at the end of July 2010 a few days after the Love Parade disaster. He had filmed the first sequences as a diary for himself as in previous Loveparades, he explains in the survey by the presiding judge Mario Plein. The later shots in life-threatening throng he had made to document the events. The video has a voice that says, “Such a shitty organization, unbelievable, a fence of a million people, how sick is that?”
The luck to be 1.90 meters tall
The performance lasts nearly 40 minutes: screams and noise change with silence when photos are displayed. Manfred B. makes it clear on text panels that he was lucky because he is 1.90 meters tall and strong. In the crush, he almost strangled someone because his elbow pressed against his neck. He could have pulled off his arm, but he could not have avoided evading anyone under him. After the last video, there is a moment of deep silence over the large courtroom. You can hear the humming of the air conditioning and your own heartbeat, which has noticeably accelerated.
With the beginning of evidence, the process now focuses on the horror experienced by visitors to the Love Parade, when many struggled for their lives in a confined space. On July 24, 2010, 21 people were killed and at least 652 injured. The first days of the trial had mainly influenced requests from the defense. They emphasized recently that their clients – employees of the city of Duisburg and staff of the organizer Lopavent – are only “suspects from the second row”, the “fake in the dock”. Above all, the police would “kept out of responsibility”. The charge is for negligent homicide and negligent assault.
“Do not let go of my hand!”
Rosalinda B. was injured and traumatized. “The air was squeezed, we were pushed from the front and the back, like sardines in the tin,” Rosalinda B. delves into her memories when she reports at noon as a witness in the Loveparade trial. The 31-year-old from Duisburg starts hesitating, looks at her hands, rubs her fingers again and again. “Nobody is doing anything here”, Judge Plein tries to reassure her.
Düsseldorf Loveparade Process (picture-alliance / dpa / I. Fassbender)
“I’m sorry for the co-plaintiffs,” said Judge Mario Plein, as the testimonies were delayed
Her older sister Giusi had injured her hand on the way to the festival site, she says. To look for paramedics, the young women were reversed and rushed into the crowd. A police cordon would have blocked their way. “Do not let go of my hand,” her sister had said, but they had been scattered as well as the police cordon. “I felt as if I had been the smallest, there were only upper body and backpacks,” Rosalinda B. reminds herself: “I could not breathe.” A young man tried to help her, but she fell at the bottom of the stairs.
Survivors: seven years of guilt
“Next to me lay a young girl,” she keeps telling her that she asked for help, Rosalinda B. puts her hands over her face: “But I could not help it, because people could not help me It was getting heavier and heavier. ” The witness is tormented and close to tears: “I do not know if the girl survived, I’ve felt guilty for seven years,” she says. “Only those who have gone through that can understand that.” Lawyer Julius Reiter, whose law firm represents about 100 co-plaintiffs and Loveparade-injured, knows such “survival guilt feelings” also from his clients, he reports the DW.
Rosalinda B. became unconscious, woke up only in the ICU in the hospital, she was ventilated. The doctors diagnosed a massive breast squeeze, a thoracic trauma, bruises, a mental shock. She was in great pain. Weeks of hospitalization followed to treat her traumatization. Until last year, she was unable to work, says the 31-year-old, now she is training in nursing. If she remembers back then, she still feels “this tremendous pressure” today.
“I ran like a zombie”
When the life-threatening crush on the Loveparade in Duisburg came to an end, there were two lifeless bodies right in front of him, reports Manfred B. Sachlich, as he tried to reanimate her with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. A police officer had helped him until paramedics had taken over, in both cases in vain. He remembers the colors of the garments: pink and green.
Love Parade Duisburg 2010 Mass Panic (AP)
Care after the disaster: At least 652 people were injured
When there was nothing left to do he went up the stairs. Until the evening he stayed at the festival area, where many ravers were celebrating who did not know what had happened. “That was very surreal, I walked like a zombie,” says the prospective teacher.
“I’m not a hero,” Manfred B. wrote as a text in his video. In the throng he had tried to help a young woman who was depressed on the floor among many others. “We come out of here”, you can hear him say in the video. He asked her to fight, not to give up. He held her hand. In 2010 he was honored together with other private helpers by Federal President Christian Wulff. Through his videos he found the girl whose hand he had held. In December 2010 he was invited to a talk show with her.
Germany Loveparade rescuer Manfred Bauknecht and rescued Kristina Muth at Günther Jauch (picture-alliance / dpa / H. Ossinger)
Loveparade rescuers and rescued – Manfred B. and Kristina M. were invited in 2010 to a television review of the year
Enlightenment, repression, much sadness
For traumatized witnesses it will be very difficult to remember details that contribute to further education, defender Kerstin Stirner suspects. Rosalinda B. also testified that she had tried to oust a lot, she even moved away from Duisburg. “All the more important are people like the second witness, who made such a solid impression that he might be able to give a more detailed impression of the events, so this witness should be interviewed even more intensively later,” Stirner told DW.
Düsseldorf Loveparade Process (picture-alliance / dpa / I. Fassbender)
About 30 defenders represent the ten defendants in the Loveparade trial
From the point of view of the defense, it was of interest “whether and how individuals perceived the events on the day of the event, in particular, of course, the police chains and their immediately noticeable consequences”. This is important for “the question of the causality of individual circumstances for the tragedy”.
The interrogation of Manfred B. was interrupted and will continue next week. Yes, he seems stable, but when presiding judge Mario Plein asks him how he mentally coped with the events, he is silent first. Then he tells of sadness and that he “had to cry a lot”. Even if he could work and go back to the disco, if he was interviewed and dealt with the Love Parade as now for the process, then he noticed internally “a lot of sadness”.