Ambassador Peter Wittig talked to CNN and NPR this week about the response to the deadly attack on the Christmas market on Breitscheidplatz in Berlin. In both interviews he thanked the American people for their overwhelming solidarity and support for Germany in the wake of the attack, which killed 12 people and injured over 40 on Monday night, December 19.
In talking about the response to the attack, he also warned against confounding refugees with terrorists, pointing out that the vast majority of refugees and asylum seekers in Germany are peaceful and law abiding.
On Thursday morning, he spoke with NPR's Rachel Martin on Morning Edition. "This attack on this Christmas market really hit at the heart of a cherished german tradition," he said. The location, on the square next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (Gedächtniskirche) was also particularly symbolic, he said. "It happened at a particularly iconic venue, this church in Berlin, that was deliberately kept as a ruin after the second World War as a location to remember the horrors of war."
German authorities are working with all urgency to locate the suspect, Ambassador Wittig said. "Once this search operation is concluded, I think there will be a robust discussion on how we can improve the security. Yesterday already our government decided to enhance the video monitoring of public places. That will happen."
Ambassador Wittig on CNN on December 21
Ambassador Wittig on NPR on December 22
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