PHOTO: DEUTSCHE WELLE
German Christmas Markets Increase Security
Christmas markets in cities across Germany are increasing their security this holiday season after the deadly truck attack at a market in Berlin last December.
- By Jessica Davis
- Nov 28, 2017
Christmas markets in cities across Germany are increasing their security this holiday season after the deadly truck attack at a market in Berlin last December. Many cities are placing car barriers at their Christmas markets to prevent possible car attacks, with some cities even decorating theirs.
On Dec. 19, 2016, a terrorist drove a trailer truck into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 and injuring dozens more. In addition, six suspected members of ISIS were arrested in multiple German cities Tuesday on suspicion of planning terror attacks and were rumored to have been targeting a Christmas market. As a result, German police and security forces are focused on increasing security and officer presence at their markets.
As cities add barriers to their Christmas markets to prevent car attacks, some are making them a bit festive to help them blend into the holiday scenes less obstructively. For example, Bochum authorities placed 20 1.2-ton pellet bags downtown for their Christmas market and discovered Thursday morning that the city’s official marketing service had wrapped the barriers overnight to look like Christmas gifts.
“For us it was very important to fit in those ugly barriers into the beautiful overall atmosphere," said Mario Schiefelbein, the head of Bochum Marketing.
Authorities in the Bavarian City of Augsburg are using decorated trucks from market sellers as car barriers, while officials in Munich are blocking their Christmas market streets with evergreen planters.
In Nuremberg, home of Germany’s most famous Christmas market, they plan to use large Christmas trees in large, heavy planters and concrete barriers covered in holiday decorations to block access points. In addition, Nuremberg market’s entrance will be surrounded by police cars and police presence has been increased in the market’s alleys.
Michael Fraas, head of Nuremberg’s economic department, which is responsible for the market, doesn’t believe the increased security will diminish the holiday cheer.
"In the last year, people have told me that they feel safe when the police are there," Fraas said. "Police, too, have told me that they have been approached by people who have said, 'It's good that you're here.'”
Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.