Contents page 1 — “The company provides fodder for hate-fantasies” page 2 — “more professional, also tried killings are very rare deeds” On a page
It is a fact, there are more questions than answers. In the new year’s eve night, a 50-drove-Year-old in several groups of people – eight people were injured in Essen and Bottrop. On new year’s day of NRW said-the Minister of the interior, the alleged perpetrator had the “clear intent”, “kill the foreigners”. According to reports, Andreas N. is supposed to be due to schizophrenia in treatment. Also the internals of the interrogation, which were now known, suggest a mental illness. But such a diagnosis puts into perspective other possible motives, such as political or racist? We have spoken with the criminologist, and Professor of amok research, Britta Bannenberg.
TIME ONLINE: Whether or not the alleged perpetrator of Essen and Bottrop, Germany is really suffering a paranoid schizophrenia or a similar disease, is not confirmed, but there are indications. How can you describe the condition of a man who has such a mental illness?
Britta Bannenberg is a Professor of criminology at the Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen. It is concerned with the interdisciplinary study of amok deeds and threats. © private
Britta Bannenberg: schizophrenia is a severe mental delusional disorder. If it is not treated, it can increase the potential for Violence of the people. These people are beset by their delusion and see this for the Action invoked. If you take medication, is no longer the rule, but so.
TIME ONLINE: As often as people who suffer from such a disease, violent?
Bannenberg: This is basically the wrong approach. Schizophrenia affects around one percent of the population. It is not every or every Schizophrenic violent, but the risk is increased, because the delusions can drive a person to Action or to a misunderstanding of situations.
attack in Bottrop – judge issues arrest warrant for suspects Against the 50-Year-old is determined due to the multiple attempted murder. He was driven out of alleged racist motives in several groups of people. © Photo: Marcel Kusch/dpa
TIME ONLINE: to what Extent do individual acts of stigmatization of sick people?
Bannenberg: I would see the very sober. It is neither the mentally ill nor the mentally disturbed people should be vilified. When someone shows very strong signs of a mental illness, and in addition to threatening acts, for example, makes allusions, he attacks well, or with arms around, then the environment should take the potential danger seriously.
Zeit ONLINE: Where other scientists such as the psychologist Jens Hoffmann, in an Interview with TIME ONLINE emphasise that the mentally Ill commit not per se more frequent acts of violence as a Healthy and the most seriously ill people commit no crimes.
Bannenberg: Here I am of a different opinion. That may be true for some, mental illness. But it is a fact that the risk of violence by untreated Schizophrenic is increased at least seven – to eight-fold.
TIME ONLINE: Schizophrenic people often suffer from delusions and have a complex structure in the head, in which there are enemy images. Some feel in their delusion personally, others believe that the whole society is in danger and you need to avert this threat, if necessary, with violence. Even if all this is not real, it Affected so true, as passing it in fact. It is conceivable that the alleged perpetrator had developed from Bottrop and Essen similar irrational Fears of foreigners, and in his delusions had to fight back?
Bannenberg: If the offender is, in fact, schizophrenic, it is very likely that his madness has driven him to the deed. Findings to this end, we should wait and see. In the particular case, the information is, as yet, still quite poor. But you can clearly say: From a scientific point of view, it would be no Surprise if the man suffers from schizophrenia.
TIME ONLINE: How many of such acts are omitted because mentally Ill?
Bannenberg: amok deeds, mental illness is a relevant cause. We have explored these acts for years, both empirically and differences between young and adult offenders, found. Among the adult offenders, more than a third suffered from schizophrenia (Anm. the. Red.: see final report of the project Target).
TIME ONLINE: And what about the Rest?
Bannenberg: The rest of the perpetrators in the majority of cases, a personality disorder. This is another Form of mental disorder. This is not a disease in the sense. As it is, rather, a personality that has a very special character. Often it is a solitary bird, not come up with the society and with other people as well, which are very being easily offended. Often they bag also everyday stories and perceive this as the absolute humiliation. From this idea these people develop their hatred.