Last Friday, passers-by in downtown Lichtenfels became aware of a flower shop that was still unlocked long after the shop closed. Inside the store, they found a lifeless woman. Shortly thereafter, the police found that the 50-year-old had been the victim of a violent crime. A week after the crime, the investigators did not provide any information about whether money was taken from the cash register or about the way in which the florist was killed. Both are perpetrator knowledge. The facts are poor, the special commission “Flower” is still looking for a hot lead, so the rumors are spreading all the more. Nerves are on edge in the district town in northern Upper Franconia.
So far, this has mainly been observed in social networks, but it has also gone so far that the police headquarters in Upper Franconia felt compelled to make a request in the middle of the week. Not only that, of course. “The population is asked not to participate in rumors and false reports, especially on social media” – any “criminal relevant statements” would be prosecuted.
District Administrator Christian Meißner (CSU) has been able to follow what is being said on the Internet since he posted after the fact that he was “deeply shocked by the violent crime in downtown Lichtenfels”. Meißner wrote that his thoughts and sympathy are with the victim’s family during the difficult hours. And reaped xenophobic malice.
Since Wednesday he has also had to experience this in the district town, in the Schney district. The district is planning accommodation for 66 refugees there, and information about this should be given at an evening event. Long before the event began, at least half of the hall was already occupied, right-wing populists had drummed and lured an “organized audience” to Lichtenfels, reports the district administrator. Some of this audience “had no scruples about yelling,” and some could hear comments that Meissner described as “naked xenophobia.”
When heckled, the violent crime in the city center “indirectly” played a role, says the CSU politician. Specifically, however, an act in Michelau, about seven kilometers away from the town of Lichtenfels, where on Sunday evening an armed man threatened a 39-year-old with a knife and demanded his money. The 39-year-old defended himself with a dog leash, and the stranger then fled. Apparently because a man the police are looking for as a possible witness after the crime in downtown Lichtenfels is roughly described as the unknown in Michelau, there has been speculation on the Internet about a “serial offender” ever since. Of course, this is routinely clarified, says a police spokeswoman, but there is “no indication” of it.
District Administrator Meißner is sobered by the rumours. He was asked in Schney by heckling how he could guarantee the safety of the population. Anyone who misuses the cruel act of violence in the Lichtenfels center for “political purposes and speculation” “is exposing himself,” says the district administrator — adding “as a demagogue.”