Halle TrialClosing Statement by Conrad Rößler

“You cannot be part of our society. We exclude you.”

This is what I would like to say to the defendant, to the other people present here and to anyone who would like to hear my views on the trial.

It is human nature to distinguish between two groups. Our own group and other people who are outside our circle. Both groups are adjusted depending on the situation. Our own group can be our family, work colleagues, the local sports club or our circle of friends and each of us tries to support and protect our own group. Knowing we are not alone gives us a sense of security.

You are on your own a lot and have chosen what are perhaps the largest of all the groups: that of your nationality and skin colour. You wanted to protect these groups from everything that you find foreign. But the attribute of having white skin or German as your mother tongue is just as meaningless as being left-handed or right-handed.

Gender, sexuality, nationality – none of these can be chosen, so why do you attach importance to them? The only thing that can be judged is how someone acts. And your actions allow us to make the following judgement: You cannot be part of our society. We exclude you. We do not want to share your hatred. We are united in mourning the victims of your ideology, but we will not descend to your level. We recognise rights for you that you want to deny to other people. You have the right to live. Just not with us anymore. You will have a lot of time to reflect on yourself and your ideologies. You will have to come to terms with your deeds. I sincerely hope that you will regret what you have done. That you will regret no longer being allowed to be part of us.

This trial has shown which ideals we want to live out in our society. For that reason, I would like to thank everyone who has given their time and energy to the people affected.

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