10/06/2034 11:39 PM ET

NEWS

Terrorists bomb German Pub

Maria Bell
Europe Correspondent, Huntington Courier

CC BY 4.0 Brauhaus Päffgen Köln by cerbifc | Writer image: CC BY 4.0 Theresa: headshot by Nathan | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only.
File photo: The Brauhaus von Stelle in former days (to the right, in the background)
The wreckage of the Brauhaus von Stelle sits in mangled little charred pieces on the grey surface of Ehrenstrasse, in the heart of Cologne.

Little more than six hours ago, it was one of the city's most respected and frequented beer houses, known for its bratwurst and pork knuckles and its cozy atmosphere.

The elderly proprietors, the Schleckenburgs, were known to be considering selling.

They, and up to one hundred patrons and staff, lie buried under rubble either in the hollowed-out remains of the building or in the street.

It's like a scene out of a Hollywood movie, unreal yet all too real. Scorched, ripped apart bodies said their final goodbye before what witnesses describe as a flash of light and a deafening explosion tore through the two-story building. Some of the corpses were hurled through the floor to ceiling windows. Others were blasted into pieces which remain fixed to walls.

You can't forget this.

Here we are again, though; last month, in Dortmund fifty-five people were killed when attackers detonated an explosive device at a street festival.

At the beginning of August, two gunmen hurled grenades and fired rounds from automatic weapons at a cafe in Stuttgart.

March saw a suicide bomber detonate an explosive device in the main terminal of Munich's International Airport, killing two hundred seventy-eight people. Two days later the Bonn Eight were abducted.

This latest attack has German officials reeling as they try to coordinate an effective response. Far-right protesters are expected in Cologne as the sun rises, adding difficulty to an already gruesome and depressing task.


CC BY-SA 4.0 - image changes released under same license rubble by sheila miguez
The remnants of the brauhaus in the street.

Germany's "an der Quelle" (At The Source) strategy, unveiled to such fanfare in May, has been all but abandoned at this point. The program to have security services liaise heavily with local Mosques to root out radical elements and infiltrate transborder terrorist networks has failed to materialize solutions.

Its community engagement component - targeting unfavorable German opinion of the Muslim population - has not brought ordinary Germans together with their Muslim neighbors.

Police were accused of trying to intimidate local Imams instead of helping them, and several lawsuits were settled in July amid outrage among the Muslim immigrant community. Even the name of the program was seen to imply guilt among ordinary unradicalized members of the faith.

After this latest attack it is clear Germany's government will have to go back to the drawing board. The variety and audacity of the attacks is clearly going to increase, leaving ordinary Germans to pick up the pieces of shattered lives.
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