BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged on Tuesday that the State had made mistakes in the aftermath of a deadly attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, on the first anniversary of the atrocity.
Merkel made her comments during commemorative events at this year’s edition of the market, where she said that the attack highlighted weaknesses in the country.
“Today is a day of sadness, but also a day of our will to make better things that did not work well,” said the chancellor.
Merkel said that the German government needed not only to ensure the safety of its citizens, but also give the victims the chance to get back on their feet after the atrocity.
She said she had held a meeting Monday with those who had been injured and relatives of victims, and that she was hoping to meet them in a few months time.
Merkel said that the talks had been “very open” and that she wanted to show them that lessons had been learned and that more could be done in future so that the State could offer “sufficient” support.
One year ago, Tunisian asylum seeker Anis Amri launched a deadly attack on a busy market using a stolen truck.
The attack left 12 people dead and some 50 others injured.
Speaking before Merkel, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called on politicians to clarify and learn from the mistakes made in the aftermath of the attack.
He paid homage to the 12 people – from Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Israel and Italy – who lost their lives and to those who were injured.
He acknowledged that help “came late” in some cases and was “unsatisfactory.”
As part of the acts commemorating those who died in the attack, white roses and candles were left next to a memorial site at this year’s edition of the market.