The federal government was "deeply dismayed" by the suicide of the Austrian doctor Lisa-Maria Kellermayr, who was threatened by opponents of the Corona measures. A government spokesman said in Berlin that Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the federal government were particularly concerned to stand up against hatred together with the Austrian friends. Threats, violence and hate speech are to be condemned in the strongest terms, especially when they are directed against medical staff and doctors.
The German security authorities cooperated with the Austrian authorities in the investigation. "Digital hate" on the Internet too often goes unpunished, the spokesman said. "We will fight digital violence with all our constitutional means and the harshness of the law."
Great sympathy and dismay
Other politicians and doctors in Germany had previously expressed their dismay at the suicide of the Austrian doctor. The focus is on hate on the Internet. "Every day there are calls for violence against me on social networks," Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) told the newspapers of the Funke media group. "People regularly - sometimes even with real names - call for my murder." He is therefore particularly well protected.
"The Austrian colleague, on the other hand, had to pay for the protection herself and could no longer afford it." He despises and loathes the agitators on the web who would have driven this woman to her death.
threats and physical attacks
The President of the German Medical Association, Klaus Reinhardt, said in the "Welt" that the death of the doctor "drastically shows where the brutalization of the social climate can lead". In Germany, too, the inhibition threshold is falling. Doctors received threatening letters and were verbally and physically attacked.
"The police must act quickly in view of the worrying increase in digital crimes," demanded Jörg Radek, deputy national chairman of the police union, in the newspaper. However, there is a lack of appropriate resources, both in terms of personnel and equipment.
SPD leader Saskia Esken called on people to help victims of psychological violence. Women in particular are often affected, she told the editorial network Germany (RND). "In the fight against this form of violence, we must become even more assertive."
Massive pressure from opponents of vaccination
Green parliamentary group leader Konstantin von Notz called for better equipment for the investigative authorities in Germany in the "Rheinische Post". Union parliamentary group leader Andrea Lindholz spoke out in the newspaper for more powers in the digital space. "Restricting the security authorities to tapping landline telephone calls simply does not do justice to the reality of life in 2022," criticized the CSU politician.
The Austrian doctor had been committed to corona vaccinations and, according to her own statements, had been put under massive pressure by opponents of vaccination for months. It was announced on Friday that she had been found dead in her practice in Upper Austria.
Autopsy confirms suicide
An autopsy on the body confirmed a suicide. This is evident from the provisional autopsy result, said the public prosecutor's office in Wels. "In particular, no evidence of third-party interference has come to light."
At first, the authorities did not consider an autopsy necessary. However, two relatives had requested such a step on Tuesday, which the district court agreed.
The investigation into the threats continued, the spokesman said. The German authorities would also follow tracks. The Munich public prosecutor's office has started investigations into the case. "There is an investigation against a male person from Upper Bavaria with us," confirmed a spokesman for the Munich II public prosecutor's office according to information from the Bayern media group.
The Austrian investigators have also asked the Berlin public prosecutor's office for legal assistance. Corresponding documents had been sent, a spokesman for the Berlin authority confirmed on Wednesday. The "Süddeutsche Zeitung" had previously reported.
The spokesman said it was about possible suspects from the capital who are said to have made threats against Kellermayr. The public prosecutor's office is now checking whether the suspects actually live in Berlin and whether appropriate proceedings are being initiated.
In order to prevent copycat effects, dpa, in accordance with the press code, only reports on suicides with great reluctance and will therefore refrain from giving further details in this case as well.