Eight years have passed since the Love Parade disaster, but the pain of the relatives and survivors of the 21 victims of the catastrophe of 24. July 2010 is still present. The victims were now commemorated with a "Night of Lights".
With burning candles and saxophone music, the victims of the Love Parade disaster eight years ago were remembered in Duisburg on Monday. On the "Night of 1000 Lights", visitors to the techno event and other mourners met in the road tunnel that led to the event site at the time.
The commemoration without speeches is traditionally held on the eve of the anniversary of the disaster. A commemorative event at the Love Parade memorial is planned for Tuesday.
On 24. July 2010, 21 people were crushed at the only entrance and exit of the technoparade. At least 652 people were injured. The fatalities, aged between 17 and 38, were from Germany, China, Australia, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. Since December 2017, a criminal trial has been underway in Dusseldorf against ten people involved with the organizer and the city of Duisburg.
Public event on Tuesday
At the public event on Tuesday afternoon at the memorial site, among others, the chairman of the "Foundation-Duisburg 24.7.2010", Jurgen Thiesbonenkamp, will give a short speech and recall what happened eight years ago, the foundation explained. The accident tunnel will be closed to traffic from Monday evening until Tuesday evening.
At the memorial ceremony, there will again be 21 chimes for the victims of the disaster and one chime for the injured survivors, as the foundation announced. Former NRW Minister President Hannelore Kraft (SPD), who is now a member of the foundation's board of trustees, is also expected to attend the event.
The evening before, a non-public memorial service for the parents and relatives of the dead had already taken place in the Protestant Salvator Church in Duisburg, as the foundation further announced.
Disruption caused by heavy media presence
Parents and relatives of the victims had felt disturbed by a strong media presence at last year's commemoration, said ombudsman Jurgen Widera. Therefore, no photography or filming is allowed during the 30-minute event this year. In the meantime, Widera said, the memorial at the site of the accident is being looked after by a social enterprise to the extent that necessary repairs and cleanup work on the memorial can be carried out and eliminated in a timely manner.
Meanwhile, the association Lopa2010, which represents several of the injured or traumatized, said it "will not offer support at the official event of the city this year". Criticism of the association Lopa2010 of the "Foundation Duisburg 24.7.2010" rejected Thiesbonenkamp.
The accusations include sweeping talk of "lies" and "unfulfilled promises", which are not substantiated. Nor can there be any question of "abandonment". Thiesbonenkamp said there were expectations "that we cannot comment on incessantly".
Emergency chaplains are available for talks
Meanwhile, the Love Parade Foundation continues to consider its support services necessary at the Dusseldorf criminal trial on the techno festival disaster. He conducts four to five talks per day of negotiations, said the coordinator of the Duisburg emergency chaplaincy, Deacon Richard Bannert, in Duisburg.
He said there should be conversations with, for example, vigilantes, bystanders, witnesses, joint plaintiffs or even lawyers. "I experience that people are still very burdened in some cases." The process brings everything up again. Whereas in the first weeks of the proceedings there were at least two experts on site at any one time, it is now possible to get by with one, said Ulrike Stender of the Loveparade Foundation's board of directors. But a second one would be ready. The cost of the offer is borne by the country.