BERLIN — Amidst international attention after the alleged Islamic attack on the German capital, Berliners remain calm and carry on with daily business.
A day before Christmas Eve, there are barely any indications of Monday’s lorry attack at the Breitscheidplatz Christmas market that killed 12 and injured dozens more. Public transportation, shopping malls and around 60 Christmas markets around the city are open and being frequented by people preparing for the holidays, as are cafés, restaurants and bars.
As Christmas markets opened on Wednesday after a day of mourning, international media teams were ubiquitous, waiting for reactions from visitors and vendors.
“What happened is awful, but it shouldn’t influence the way we live,” said a woman at a mulled wine stand at the Alexanderplatz market on reopening day.
A chocolate vendor at Gendarmenmarkt, another Christmas market in the city’s center, said: “It’s awful everybody is making such a fuss about an event that has not yet been fully investigated. We should wait and see what has actually happened.”
“There have probably been more casualties because of traffic accidents this year then at Breitscheidplatz, so it would be completely wrong to walk around in fear,” a visitor said.
When the crime scene at Breitscheidplatz reopened on Thursday, journalists flooded the market then visitors in the first minutes. At the spot where the truck hit, stalls were rebuilt. Cameras lined up to capture potential emotional sentiments, but vendors and visitors showed little reaction. Memorial corners filled with flowers, candles and condolences.
“It’s awful how the media is stirring everything up. We are happy we’re alive and we carry on with our daily business, as this is part of our economic existence. The perpetrator was a madman, and it doesn’t matter if that madman was German or Muslim. Tolerance and openness and empathy are the most adequate reactions on incidents like that,” said a hat vendor at Breitscheidplatz.
“The city has seen worse, and every time, it stood up again. And it will this time,” said a man who put down flowers at the crime scene.
The alleged perpetrator Anis Amri was shot dead by Italian police in Milan.