Europe

Ex-president's son knifed to death during lecture

The son of former German president Richard von Weizsaecker has been stabbed to death while giving a lecture at a hospital in Berlin where he worked as a head physician.

A 57-year-old man is in custody after he jumped up from the audience at the Schlosspark-Klinik and attacked Fritz von Weizsaecker with a knife on Tuesday evening.

An off-duty police officer in the audience who tried to stop the attack was seriously wounded.

Mr Von Weizsaecker died at the scene despite immediate attention from colleagues.

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“We cannot yet say anything about the attacker’s motive,” said police spokesman Michael Gassen.

Police said later that the man, who was not a patient at the hospital, had been questioned overnight. Police were also investigating if Mr Von Weizsaecker or his family had received threats in the past.

The 59-year-old was the son of one of Germany’s most esteemed presidents. Richard von Weizsaecker became West Germany’s head of state in 1984 and when the country was unified, became the first president of the new nation, serving until 1994. He died in 2015.

Fritz von Weizsaecker was one of the ex-president’s four children. His sister Beatrice posted a picture of Jesus on the cross on Instagram after the killing of her brother and wrote: “Take care of my brother…”

Politicians expressed shock over the brazen murder.

“It’s a horrible blow to the Von Weizsaecker family and the chancellor’s condolences, and certainly also those of all the members of the government, go to the widow, to the entire family,” Angela Merkel’s spokesman said.

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