‘Black day for history:’ Berliners mourn victims of market attack
Streets that would normally be bustling with shoppers and friends meeting over steaming mugs of mulled wine five days before Christmas are eerily quiet.
The cordoned-off roads are empty of traffic, save for several police vans and the black saloon cars of visiting dignitaries.
Stalls are shuttered and the handful of people wandering about appear shell-shocked, talking in hushed tones of the previous night’s horrific events.
Just hours earlier a truck plowed through the now-deserted Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz, in the western part of central Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring dozens more.
As German authorities work to confirm the identity of the attacker, Berliners converged at the nearby Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church to pay their respects to the victims.
‘You hear of this happening in France’
“I go past here everyday,” said Evita Baumberger, who headed to the church to sign its condolence book.
“You hear of this happening in France and other places, but this is the first time it’s in my neighborhood. It could have been any one of us.
“Twelve people dead and they were just here having a nice evening with their family. It’s shocking.”
‘With 80 markets in the city, what can they do?’
“I’m shocked, I’m very concerned. I’m angry, also,” said Alice, who preferred not to give her surname.
“I’m here to show my solidarity and compassion for all the people involved.
“Germany has been on alert for potential attacks — but with 80 Christmas markets in the city, what can they do if one person can come with his car and kill people?”
‘It was a black day for human history’
“Yesterday was a black day for human history, with what happened in Ankara and then here,” said Devid from Berlin, who also asked not to give his last name.
“It’s just depressing.
“What more can I say? The people who do this are animals.”