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Erfurt massacre

From Academic Kids

The Erfurt massacre occurred at the Gutenberg Gymnasium in Erfurt, Thuringia, Germany, on April 26, 2002.

The shooter, Robert Steinhäuser, an expelled student, age 19, started the shooting at 11:00 local time. Police learned of the shooting five minutes later. Thirteen teachers, two students (a 14-year old girl and a 15-year old boy) and a police officer were shot and killed by Steinhäuser, who then killed himself, presumably after being confronted by one of his teachers, Reiner Heise, who said to have stopped Steinhäuser with the words "Drück ab! Wenn du mich jetzt erschießt, dann guck mir in die Augen!" ("Fire! If you shoot me now, look into my eyes!") Steinhäuser is said to have answered: "Für heute reicht's, Herr Heise!" ("For today it's enough, Mr Heise!"). Heise said he had locked Steinhäuser in an empty classroom where he shot himself down.

Steinhäuser's words Für heute reicht's are also the title of a very controversal book about the massacre written by Ines Geipel.

After the massacre there have always been rumours about a second shooter, which some witnesses believed to have seen. However, in April 2004 the so-called Gasser Commission, which was convoked by the Thuringian administration, excluded an accomplice, but not an accessory. In early 2004 a person in the Internet had maintained to be an friend of Steinhäuser's and to have known about his plans before the massacre. It was never cleared up if this claim was true.

Also the education laws in the country of Thuringia were heavily critcised. In contrast to most other German states they had no Year 10 examinations (Realschulabschluss) at the Gymnasium (Grammar School). Students who had failed their Year 12 examinations (Abitur) or were expelled before (like in Steinhäuser's case) had no school graduations and, with this, little job chances. This law was changed in 2003, when students could take a voluntary Year 10 examination (Besondere Leistungsfeststellung) also at Grammar Schools. Since 2004 these examinations are compulsory for all students.

See also school massacres, list of massacres.

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