Reinhold Elstner

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Reinhold Elstner (born 1920 in the predominantly German inhabited and cultural Sudetenland, which now lies in the Czech Republic) was a German Wehrmacht veteran and Diplom Chemist who poured petrol over himself and committed suicide at about 8 pm on April 25, 1995, on the steps of Munich's historical Feldherrnhalle, in protest against what he called "the ongoing official slander and demonization of the German people and German soldiers 50 years after the end of World War II". Twelve hours later, on April 26, he died in a Munich hospital.

In a farewell letter, he wrote:

"Fifty years of unrelenting smear campaigns and demonization of an entire people are enough.
Fifty years of incessant insults hurled at German war veterans are enough.
With my 75 years of age, all I can do is to set a final sign of contemplation with my death in flames. And if only one German comes to consciousness and finds his way to the truth, then my sacrifice will not have been in vain."[citation needed]

Each year groups from various European countries try to hold a commemorative ceremony for him, which Bavarian authorities try to prevent through state and federal courts.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ p6 Court order 2005, in German.

See also[edit]