On the occasion of the 13th anniversary of Karl-Heinz Teichmann’s death, the “Initiative for the Memory of Karl-Heinz Teichmann” renewed the destroyed memorial plaque on the bench at the Swan Pond at the Leipzig Opera. “We demand that Karl-Heinz Teichmann be recognized as a fatality of right-wing violence” said Mila Schleicher of the initiative.
The group “Racism kills” had thematized the act on the occasion of the “Nobody is forgotten, Nothing is forgiven” demonstration on 24.10.2020, we reported, and held the following speech at the demonstration:
“On August 23, 2008, the homeless Karl-Heinz T, 59 years old, is beaten several times by the neo-Nazi Michael H. in Leipzig at the Swan Pond behind the Leipzig Opera . On September 6, 2008, he dies in hospital from his severe injuries. In the night after a Nazi demonstration under the slogan “Death penalty for child molesters”, organized by the neo-Nazi “Free Forces”, two young men went through the park behind the Leipzig Opera. There they found Karl-Heinz T. sleeping on a bench. The perpetrator, Michael H., told him that he should “not sleep here”. Directly, he began to kick and punch Karl-Heinz T. in the face. The perpetrator left the scene for half an hour, but returned and attacked the 59-year-old again. Karl-Heinz T was found around seven o’clock by a student who reported to a nearby police station. But the officers neither wanted the witness’s personal data nor did they move out. The officers did not reach the scene until an hour and a half later. The autopsy later revealed massive head injuries and brain hemorrhages, a fractured cervical vertebra, and bruises all over the body. On March 27, 2009, the Leipzig Regional Court sentenced 18-year-old neo-Nazi Michael H to eight years and three months in prison for “treacherous murder. The prosecutor stated in his plea that the victim had done nothing “except sleep in the park at night”. His killer had “degraded the man to a mere object”. “Out of his bad mood, he was disturbed by the sight of the sleeping man, whose sleeping place he arbitrarily judged to be inappropriate,” the verdict said. In contrast to the neo-Nazi’s defense attorney, the court did not recognize a right-wing motivated background.From the police side, the incident is classified as a “normal offense under the influence of alcohol.” Homeless people are excluded by the state and society. Right-wing perpetrators practice a social Darwinism of deed against homeless people, which is prepared by a social Darwinism of word. Obviously, violence against homeless and socially weak people is directly related to the social climate and the capitalist maxim of the usability of people. Violence against the homeless is unfortunately still a daily occurrence. Especially those people who live on the street without shelter and thus have no private space of retreat are victims of inhuman attacks again and again. The Federal Association for Assistance to the Homeless has been documenting such crimes since 1989 by means of a systematic press analysis. Today, the violence statistics include more than 2,200 cases – 565 of them with a fatal outcome (as of April 29, 2020). These figures are shocking. At the same time, it is clear that the BAG W documentation only shows the tip of the iceberg. A large part of the acts are not made public at all. Many are not even reported due to a lack of trust in the investigating authorities or fear of the perpetrators’ revenge. Moreover, the media only report on selected cases, usually particularly brutal or absurd ones. After a short wave of public outrage, the demands for clarification, civil courage and shelters quickly fade away in the high frequency of sensationalist reporting. The victims, their relatives, friends and acquaintances, and all homeless people are left behind, knowing that they can be attacked, injured and killed almost anytime and anywhere.
What do we mean by Social Darwinism
Social Darwinism applies the “natural law of selection” (theory of evolution) formulated by Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) with reference to the animal and plant world to people and their social conditions. It is based on the assumption that people are naturally unequal and that only the strongest can survive in social competition. From this, the distinction between “valuable,” “inferior,” and “worthless” human life, known as scientific evolution, was developed.
Today, it is used to describe inhumane perspectives that disparage marginalized groups in society – such as the homeless, welfare recipients, or people with disabilities – as “inferior” or superfluous, or as people who impose costs on society without benefiting it.
Social Darwinism is also a characteristic of politically right-wing motivated violence.”