Letters on the school shooting in Erfurt, Germany
6 May 2002
The following is a selection of letters on the April 29 article “German school shooting exposes widespread social tensions: 19-year-old kills 17 in Erfurt.”
To the editor:
Well, this was a fantastic analysis of a truly mind-numbing event. The historical background illuminated the salient of social ossification that helped to produce this pathetic young man who truly “lacked perspective.” The idea of the results of one lacking perspective never appears in the mainstream media, because they keep such perspective sealed out of their writing.
WSWS has really opened my eyes to the virtue of taking a long view to coming to grips with such social disruption. Actually, this “disruption” is a part of the process of reaction and social ossification, not a disruption at all. It is part and parcel of the fear and disdain with which the German society is being constructed. Profit drowning people may properly characterize the capital-driven policies, and the student, drowning in a sea of cold uncaring, probably felt he must take a few of his tormentors (his teachers) down with him before the waters closed over his future.
His possession of powerful firearms was the predictable outcome of such a coldness in society that cares nothing for people who are less than dominant politically and economically. The firepower naturally fills the void of the sense of personal competence and ultimately redirects their efforts to destroying the obstacles which impede their path to any happiness. It is unnerving, but nonetheless a welcome change to understand the results of being deprived of one’s perspective. Your article has given me a clear perspective on problems that exist in this country as well. I turn to your site to refresh my viewpoint on today’s events, and yesteryear’s as well.
I would like to thank you for your article on the theme of the “massacre in Erfurt.” It differs in a very positive sense from other articles which have been written on this subject. It was long, but it was a pleasure to read it from beginning to end. I would find it difficult to edit any of the paragraphs if I was called on to shorten the article. Yes, the perpetrator was also a victim, which does not relieve his great burden of guilt, because the victims of his anger and desperation bore as little responsibility for “the system” as he himself. And no serious thinking would deny that videos and films glorifying violence from the land of unlimited violence were partly responsible for the deed.
Your article on the school massacre in Erfurt by Ulrich Rippert essentially expresses my own thoughts.
It is simply repulsive to have to listen to the helpless babbling by politicians who know exactly what the real causes are—without a doubt not the defamed video game Counterstrike. Unfortunately one reads so few such articles like yours. One hears nothing of the protests by 1,000 school students from Erfurt schools, who severely criticised the education system and the state Thuringia education ministry. Who can open the eyes of the masses, however? All of the media is in the hands of the establishments (luckily with the exception of the Internet ). Such acts will take place again and again.... The answer then may well be a sort of George Orwell-type police state. Any sort of rethinking is not to be seen, not with this government, these so-called “people’s parties” or the social system as a whole. I will by no means seek a return to the sort of relations which existed in the GDR, but society has to develop further, or is this dog-eat-dog capitalism supposed to be the highest and firmly determined final form of human society?
What a depressing thought....