A year ago, a 43-year-old racist executed nine people. I was deeply shocked by this racist massacre, which happened in Hanau, Germany on the evening of 19 February 2020. One of the victims was Vili Viorel Păun. I felt the need to tell my old friend Willy about his fate and that of the other victims of racism, about deadly hatred and fascist networks: this led to the birth of my new song Willy 2021. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to all the victims’ families, their relatives and friends as well as to the injured and survivors of the racist massacre of 19 February 2020 in Hanau. I wish to express my solidarity with all of you and this new song is for you. Remembering may give us strength to stand united against racism and keep up the fight for a fairer world.
You can find my song ‘Willy 2021’ in Weckerswelt on YouTube or on https://wecker.de/ :
Further information on the activities of the "Initiative 19 February Hanau" can be found at: https://19feb-hanau.org
I say Willy, do you remember the countless times I have spoken to you since 1977, when the anger gripped me so that I just could no longer remain silent and needed to vent my inner revolt.
1992 was one of those times for instance, when Neo-Nazis gathered in Eberswalde, Germany for a racist frenzy and trampled Antonio Amadeu Kiowa from Angola to death out of sheer lust to murder. His killers got away with a minor prison sentence for "bodily harm with fatal consequences”.
Then I spoke to you in 2015 regarding the Pegida movement and in 2018 because of the Nazis in parliament where a certain Mr Gauland, adamantly played down National Socialism as an unimportant bird's shit on German history.
So many more times I tried to tell you, my friend, that your dreadful experience with Nazis was sadly not a one-off occurrence.
2021 marks the first anniversary of the Hanau massacre where on February 19, 2020, a 43-year-old fascist murdered nine people!
This racist was already known to police. He had this dream of exterminating entire peoples and, despite this, he managed to have himself issued by authorities with licences to possess firearms. He was also allowed to take courses in target shooting. He then went on to shoot nine people dead in front of and inside three bars.
One of his victims was 21-year-old Vili, Vili
Viorel Păun, a single child. You see, Willy, both of us
from the political era of the late 60’s would have got on well with Vili. Vili was also very keen on music and a fan of Jimmy Hendrix. He too, loved nature, and with great perseverance, always wanted to finish everything he started to the best of his abilities, even if it took him more time than he anticipated. And most importantly, Vili had a good heart and he was courageous, just like you, Willy, when it came to fight for justice!
This incredibly brave young man attempted to stop the racist, then called the police but did not get through. He used his own car to block the offender in and to prevent his escape. He probably had to get out of the offender’s way, when he was threatened by him with a gun. Despite all these difficulties Vili took up chase and was stopped by the perpetrator on a parking lot in Kesselstadt and subsequently executed with three gunshots. The racist continued on his murderous spree and killed another 5 people and seriously injured others.
Even one year after the murders, the lack of interest in resolving this case on behalf of the authorities is all too apparent.
After finishing school and his apprenticeship as a food technician in Romania, Vili only followed his parents to Hanau in 2016.
His father Niculescu Păun comments:
“He has lost everything, his life, his ideas, his future. Ich weine – I am crying –for the future that is now denied to him and for his love we no longer have”.
We cry with him and for all the other victims of this horrendous racist massacre.
My word, Vili! If only, on that cursed day, you had been on the moon, in the Amazonian forest, in a canoe or alone on the top of one of your favourite mountains – three steps away from the sky, I mean anywhere but in this disastrous place in the middle of Hanau….!
We really could have done with you for a lot longer, people like you are rare, and we all still need people like yourself!
YESTERDAY THEY MURDERED WILLY
Times are dangerous and conspiracy theories are booming! What do we have to do to prevent the reoccurrence of such racist acts of terror?
Willy, this kind of thing must simply never happen again, and it is up to us to protect and defend ourselves against such actions.
I am hugely grateful that I got to know many people who dedicated their whole life to anti-fascist ideas and ways of life.
There have been many demonstrations against racism and war which I attended together with my politically engaged mother. For a period of more than 20 years, I also had the absolute honour of getting to know and frequently meet the Holocaust Survivor and resistance fighter Martin Löwenberg. He never ceased to remind us that fascism is not an opinion but a crime, a crime that we must continue to fight and prevent together, at all times and everywhere.
Willy, I find it exceedingly difficult to listen to the words of regret and concern of politicians. Whether it is 40 years after the antisemitic murders of Erlangen in 1980, the NSU murder series, Halle in 2019 or Hanau in 2020, the question is always when will their words be followed by actions?
For example, against the NSU 2.0 and its helpers from within the Hessian police force?
Do you remember, Willy? You always led by example and showed us that real democracy has to be alive and that there is no time to lean back in a false sense of security of finally being a true democrat.
Democracy is a dynamic and ever-changing process and an ideal, which requires constant hard work. It is important never to lose the utopian longing for an orderly coexistence without domination.
For thousands of years, humanity has been living the dream of a coexistence of equality without power and gains, without oppression and obedience? Could the patriarchal social systems only be maintained by systematically and repeatedly declaring any different attempts as madness, by demonising and, in the most harmless cases, ridiculing them? To what extent does humanity need to be led astray to instil the belief, that capitalism, which exclusively serves some selected few to accrue obscene wealth, can be of benefit to everyone, inclusive of the poorest of this world?
YESTERDAY THEY MURDERED WILLY
We have to start learning from history. Residences and the need to settle brought greed for possession, and the patriarchal quest for power flooded the world like a tsunami. The "eternal fascism", as Umberto Eco so aptly calls it, gained ground in a variety of ways. Only cultural aspects were always able to make us reflect on many occasions, bring us to our senses and enable us to put our ancient dreams to music. We must learn once again to dream by living our dreams.
Neoliberalism is at an end, but it just does not know it yet! And I really hope that this virus will eventually weld us together. Corona could become a turning point towards more solidarity and humanity, towards a utopia.
Oscar Wilde once wrote appropriately:
(freely translated from a citation)
"A world map in which the land of Utopia is not recorded does not deserve a look, as it does not show a coastal line where humanity always lands. And once people have arrived, they search for a better country and set sail. Progress is the realization of utopian dreams."
Well Willy, dear friends, let’s set our sails to a better country. A country without rulers and patriarchs, a country with arguments and laughter, where everyone is guaranteed a decent basic income, a country free of oppression and humiliation.
In fact, not just a country but rather a whole world! It is a free and borderless world in which I want to live.
YESTERDAY THEY MURDERED WILLY BUT FROM NOW ON WE ACT AS ONE