Assassination of Bottrop: "Society provides food for hate fantasies"

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It is an act that has more questions than answers. On the eve of New Year's Eve, a fifty-year-old led several groups of people: eight people were seriously injured in Essen and Bottrop. On New Year's Day, NRW's interior minister, who said presumed responsible had the "clear intention" of "killing foreigners". Andreas N. has been reported to have received treatment for schizophrenia. Interlocutors of the interrogation, since then known, indicated to mental illness. But does such a diagnosis relativize other possible motives, such as politicians or racists? We talked with the criminologist and research professor amok, Britta Bannenberg.

ONLINE TIMEIf the suspected culprit of food is Bottrop he really suffers from a paranoid schizophrenia or a disease is not confirmed, but there is evidence. How can one describe the condition of a person with a mental illness?

Britta Bannenberg is Professor of Criminology at the Justus Liebig University of Giessen. He deals with the interdisciplinary research of amoctases and threats.

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Britta Bannenberg: Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness. If not treated, it can increase a person's potential for violence. These people are very distressed by their illusion and see themselves called to action. As a rule, it is not the case when they take medicines.

NOW ONLINE: How do people become a violent?

Bannberg: It is basically the wrong way to watch it. TO schizophrenia meets about one percent of the population. Not all schizophrenics become violent for a long time, but the risk increases because delusions can push people into action or misunderstand situations.

NOW ONLINE: To what extent do individual acts contribute to the stigmatization of sick people?

Bannberg: I would be very sober. Neither mentally ill or mentally disturbed should be defamed. However, if someone already shows signs of serious illness, then that is the case,

NOW ONLINE: While other scientists, such as psychologist Jens Hoffmann, underline in an interview with ZEIT ONLINE

Bannberg: Here I have a different opinion. This may be for some mental illnesses. Is it a fact that the risk of violence by untreated schizophrenics is at least seven to eight times greater.

NOW ONLINE: Schizophrenic people often suffer from disappointments and have a complex construct in their heads. Some feel persecuted in their disappointments, others believe that the whole society is in danger and need to avoid this threat by force if necessary. It takes people affected as if it really happened. Is it conceivable that the alleged perpetrator of Bottrop and Essen had developed similar irrational fears of foreigners and had to fight in his disappointment?

Bannberg: If the offender is actually schizophrenic, it is very likely that his illusion has driven him to action. We should, however, wait for further information. Regarding the specific case, the information is still very poor. But one can clearly say, it would not be a surprise if the man suffers from schizophrenia.

NOW ONLINE: How many of these acts do the mental patients lose?

Bannberg: Concerning Amoktaten, mental illness is a relevant causes. We have empirically researched these actions for years and found differences between young and adult criminals. From adult prisoners, from a third suffering from schizophrenia (Note of the red.: see the final report of the Target project).

ONLINE TIME: And the rest?

Bannberg: Most of the offenders have a personality disorder. It's another form of mental disorder. This is not a disease in the sense. It is a personality that has a very special character. They are loners who are not so good. Asten they also open everyday stories and perceive them as an absolute humiliation. Out of this idea, these people develop their hatred.