Commemoration seven days after the catastrophe

Exactly one week after the catastrophe, Duisburg will commemorate the victims of the Love Parade. The ecumenical service will be attended by high-ranking representatives from politics and the church. Meanwhile, those responsible for the city are coming under increasing prere.

The funeral service will take place at 11.00 o'clock in the Salvatorkirche in the city center instead of, how the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Hannelore Kraft (SPD) announced on Tuesday in Duesseldorf. According to the Office of the Federal President, Federal President Christian Wulff will take part in the ceremony, along with numerous relatives and friends of the dead. A spokeswoman for the German government also announced the coming of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). The service will be led by Ruhr Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck and the President of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland (EKiR), Nikolaus Schneider.

Broadcast on big screens The Protestant Salvator Church is located in Duisburg's old town, opposite the town hall. The service will reportedly be broadcast on large screens in front of the church on Burgplatz as well as on open spaces in the inner harbor. According to the press spokesman of the Essen diocese, emergency chaplains will be on hand for mourners at the nearby Catholic Carmel Church. Here it could possibly come to an undisturbed meeting of the relatives with representatives of the politics and the churches. The organizers are currently discussing the form of the memorial service, according to the NRW State Chancellery. Minister President Kraft will speak "words of remembrance with the silent participation of the Federal President and the Federal Chancellor" following the ceremony, which will be organized by the churches.

Bishop and Praeses interrupt vacation According to the Essen diocese and the Protestant church, both Bishop Overbeck and President Schneider are returning from vacation for the funeral service. Schneider said on Tuesday in an article for the "Rheinische Post" in Dusseldorf that it was impossible for him "to discover God's work in the Love Parade last Saturday in my hometown of Duisburg in individual events". But he was sure that God had not abandoned the people "who feared and fought for their lives in the mass panic". He will also not leave those "who have made mistakes in their planning and decision-making". Overbeck had shown on Sunday dismay about the tragic events of Duisburg. "The fact that so many young people who wanted to celebrate happily and carefree have lost their lives fills me with great pain."In thoughts and prayers he is with the victims, their relatives, families and friends, said the bishop.

Love Parade organizers under prere According to a press report, the government of North Rhine-Westphalia holds the organizer responsible for the catastrophe at the Love Parade in Duisburg. The mass panic on Saturday, in which 20 people died and more than 500 were injured, was preceded by various misjudgements, writes the "Suddeutsche Zeitung" (Wednesday edition). As the public prosecutor's office Duisburg communicated, it investigates in the case against unknown for negligent homicide and negligent bodily injury. Meanwhile, CDU interior politician Wolfgang Bosbach argues for making the approval of major events like the one in Duisburg dependent on the approval of higher-level authorities.Interior Minister Ralf Jager (SPD) plans to publish a preliminary report this Wednesday, according to which the organizer, Lopavent GmbH led by fitness entrepreneur Rainer Schaller, had repeatedly disregarded concerns raised by authorities. In addition, the organizer had deployed fewer of its own security forces than announced and ignored suggestions to install video surveillance in the access area.

Completely wrong calculations According to information from the newspaper, the security authorities come to the conclusion that the organizer started from completely wrong calculations, how the flow of visitors would be distributed on the festival site.The only access to the site was a ramp, to which visitors streamed from two tunnels only 16 meters wide; that's where the mass panic that killed 20 people occurred. The authorities' preliminary root cause analysis concludes that after entering the festival site, visitors did not quickly move away from the ramp as expected and dispersed around the area of the former freight station. Rather, he said, there had been a traffic jam in the entrance area, which had passed on the prere to the guests streaming in after them.

Demands for more security Police had previously pointed out this problem to the organizer, police sources said. The organizer, however, had only replied that everything would run smoothly: "We have our experience there."Meanwhile, Wolfgang Bosbach (CDU), chairman of the Bundestag's Interior Committee, is calling for better security precautions for major events throughout Germany. He pleaded for the involvement of higher-level authorities in the approval of such events as in Duisburg. "If we were to undertake such centralization, then a municipality could hardly ie a permit against the vote of the state or district government."CSU interior expert Hans-Peter Uhl recommended that "for events with more than 100,000 participants, the municipalities should call in a higher level".

Lord mayor warned in writing Not only the director of the Duisburg professional fire department, but also senior police officers apparently wrote to Lord Mayor Adolf Sauerland (CDU) before the Love Parade to express their security concerns. "All the letters had the letterhead "Lord Mayor" on them," an investigator told the "Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger" (Wednesday edition). Sauerland had denied on Tuesday to have received appropriate warnings in the apron.The head of the German police union, Rainer Wendt, rejects reports of police errors and again calls for the resignation of those politically responsible in Duisburg. "The mayor and the political leaders were so obsessed with the idea of staging the Love Parade in Duisburg that they either failed to notice the warning signals or brushed them aside," Wendt said. He himself had warned a year ago that the city of Duisburg was unsuitable because it was too cramped for such an event. "At the time, I was mocked as a buzzkill and security fanatic," complained Wendt.

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