Civil society initiatives criticize the planned holding of the Central German Marathon in Halle on the third anniversary of the attack on October 9, 2019. Halle against the Right - Alliance for Civil Courage, the Mobile Victim Counseling, the Evangelical Church District Halle-Saalkreis, the Peace Circle Halle e.V. and the Volunteer Agency Halle-Saalkreis e.V. appeal to the city administration and the organizers of the Central German Marathon for a more sensitive approach to the commemoration of the attack in Halle and Landsberg-Wiedersdorf.
Since the spring, there had already been a joint exchange between the city administration, the Jewish community and civil society initiatives on the organization of the anniversary of the attack, in which the aforementioned initiatives were also involved. In the last meeting, the city administration and organizers surprisingly announced that on the anniversary of the attack, the Central German Marathon would take place in Halle. This also on the market square, where in recent years thousands of people have laid flowers and candles and expressed their solidarity with relatives, survivors and victims.
The alliance and the initiatives named would have liked to see more tact from those responsible in the planning and awarding of the event. Commemoration, sympathy, pause and solidarity at the same time as a large, loud sporting event in the middle of the city do not fit together.
The fact that the city administration and the organizer have not found another date for the Central German Marathon is hardly comprehensible. It is a sign that the scope of the attack has still not manifested itself sufficiently in the city's memory. Constellations such as the coincidence of a commemoration with a major sporting event must be named and discussed at an early stage. This calls for an exchange between the parties involved in a spirit of partnership and is at the same time the expectation of the aforementioned civil society institutions for future discussions.
The city and the organizers are now obliged to strike a balance between a major sporting event and a commemoration that respects the dignity of the victims and those affected. A renunciation of music and a commentary of the marathon event in the commemoration period 12 - 13 o'clock is a minimum that can be expected.
The full press release can be found here.