|President of the Regierungsbezirk of Kassel|
20 May 2009 – 2 June 2019
|Preceded by||Lutz Klein|
|Succeeded by||Hermann-Josef Klüber|
|Member of the Landtag of Hesse for Wiesbaden|
5 April 1999 – 20 May 2009
|Born||22 August 1953|
Bad Wildungen, West Germany
|Died||2 June 2019 (aged 65)|
Istha, Wolfhagen, Germany
|Cause of death||Gunshot wounds|
|Political party||Christian Democratic Union|
|Alma mater||University of Kassel|
|Awards||Wilhelm Leuschner Medal (2019, posthumously)|
Walter Lübcke (22 August 1953 – 2 June 2019) was a German local politician in Hesse and a member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). On 2 June 2019, he was assassinated at his home by a neo-Nazi extremist. Stephan Ernst was arrested on 15 June 2019, and confessed to the crime on 25 June 2019. The Federal Prosecutor's Office classified the murder as a political assassination.
Early life and education
After attending primary and secondary school in Edertal, he finished a two-year vocational training in Bad Wildungen in 1969 to briefly work in a local bank afterwards. During his voluntary military service between 1975 and 1983, he completed his human resources management training and later worked as an assistant in the press office of the art exhibition documenta 7. Concurrently, he studied at the University of Kassel from 1981 to 1986, graduating with a degree in economics. In 1991, he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation on "The early economic planning attempts in the Soviet Union: 1924–1928; Socialism between utopia and pragmatism".
Lübcke was known for his pro-migrant views. He received death threats after stating at a public gathering that people were free to leave the country if they opposed helping those claiming asylum.
On 2 June 2019, Lübcke was found dead on the terrace of his residence in the village of Istha. He had been shot in the head with a Rossi revolver at close range. On 15 June 2019, 45-year-old suspect Stephan Ernst was arrested. Ernst was known to have held extreme right-wing political views and had links to the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) and the German branch of the British neo-Nazi terrorist group Combat 18 (C18). Ernst had been previously convicted for knife and bomb attacks against targets connected to ethnic minorities in Germany.
Following the death of Lübcke, the city of Kassel held a rally with up to 10,000 people attending who held banners that said in German "#FlagForDiversity" and "Together we are strong" with the following statements delivered by Bishop Martin Hein and Thomas Bockelmann, director of the Staatstheater Kassel that said "Whoever violates the dignity of people, in violence or in words, puts himself outside our democratic community, there are no ifs, ands or buts" and "cowardly people who in the anonymity of the internet wanted to feel powerful". Two others, Elmar J. and Markus H. were arrested on suspicion of ties to the killer.
An investigation by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) found that a doomsday prepper network Nordkreuz (German: Northern Cross) had ammunition, firearms, and body bags, as well as "kill lists" for politicians after acquisition of a database of 25,000 names, which they shared on the messaging app Telegram.
- Murder of Jo Cox, a British Member of Parliament (MP), by neo-Nazi Thomas Mair in 2016
- Plass, Christopher (18 July 2019). "Lübcke erhält posthum höchste hessische Auszeichnung". Hessenschau (in German). Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "Schusswunde am Kopf: Kasseler Regierungspräsident stirbt unter mysteriösen Umständen". Stern (in German). 3 June 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "Dr. Walter Lübcke" (in German). Kassel Regional Council. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "German politician Lübcke shot in head at close range". BBC News. 3 June 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
- "Arrest in probe of German politician Walter Lübcke's death". Deutsche Welle. 8 June 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
- "Pro-migration German politician found dead from gunshot wound". ABC News. 5 June 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
- Maxwill, Peter; Bartsch, Matthias; Holscher, Max (17 June 2019). "Walter Lübcke: Wer ist der Tatverdächtige Stephan E.?". Spiegel Online (in German). Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "Suspect in German politician's murder 'has links to far right'". The Guardian. Agence France-Presse. 16 June 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- Wienand, Lars (17 June 2019). "Getöteter Politiker Walter Lübcke: Bundesanwaltschaft geht von rechtsextremem Anschlag aus". T-Online (in German). Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "Erschossener CDU-Politiker Lübcke: Verdächtiger hatte offenbar Kontakt zu militanten Neonazis von "Combat 18"". Spiegel Online (in German). 17 June 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
- "Arrests, weapons seizures tied to German politician's killing as rally held". Deutsche Welle. 27 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
- "German neo-Nazi doomsday prepper network 'ordered body bags, made kill lists'". Deutsche Welle. 29 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.