"Put down your guns and
sit down with me "
Irmgard remembers one of the victims of the terrorist attack in Vienna - her sister
An obituary for the 44-year-old woman who was killed on Monday. The deceased was always a mediator and had refused, her death would lead to further hatred and division, writes her sister.
Two women and three men - including the assassin - died in Vienna on Monday. In the obituary for one of the murdered women, we learn more about her and what moved her during her lifetime.
Around 8 p.m. on November 2nd, five people were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
All five are dead now, one of them was my sister.
Gudrun wasn't actually in the wrong place at the wrong time, she was in a good-humored group of colleagues for an after-work beer. She was relaxed and happy, once again taking the opportunity to sit down with colleagues over a beer on a mild autumn evening after a day at work. The time and place were okay for her. In addition to all the other people, there was also a young man nearby, who obviously only saw the path as the only possible one for himself, heavily armed and in order to kill as many people as possible by shooting before he is killed himself. The two met - and now we mourn an "older lady".
Used for the weaker
The older lady, the 44-year-old woman who is now reported to be the second female victim, was my sister, but she was so much more. She was a loving partner, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, aunt, cousin - and she was a good friend to very, very many people. She was a valued employee and a popular colleague. She has campaigned for the weaker since she was a child; she was very committed to protecting women from violence. She was a great advocate of tolerance, she was a works councilor, she was a mediator and always wanted to mediate. For them, a person was primarily a person, gender, skin color, origin, social class, appearance, belief, views, preferences were secondary and everything was okay as long as no other person was hurt, offended or degraded by it.
Because she was where she was on November 2nd, I have to organize her funeral now. If she hadn't been there, the two of us would possibly sit together and talk about what happened there, in the first district, right next to her office. I wonder what your opinion would have been.
She would have said that anger, hatred, exclusion, zero tolerance, violence can never be part of a solution, but that they are very often part of the problem. We would have remembered how difficult it was to find our way at a young age and that we were actually lucky enough to always have people around us who showed us ways that cannot only be taken with violence. That we were part of a loving family, recognized members of classes, groups, friends and clubs. We were seen, recognized and valued in our personality.
We received an education that enabled us to find role models for peaceful coexistence, that made us courageous, but also vigilant and mindful of influences. We were allowed to grow up in an environment that taught us not to allow ourselves to be turned into a plaything by the powerful and manipulators. If my sister had had the power to choose how to act in this situation, she would have wished that she could face this young person safe from bullets. She would have addressed him rather briskly and said: "Stop the shit right away, that's nonsense. Put your guns down and sit down next to me. Tell me what makes you so angry." And I know she would have talked, discussed and argued with him until he saw that there are many ways for him and not just this one. But she would never have said "Schleich di, Oaschloch".
If my sister could still speak, she would thank them for their sympathy. But next she would say this sympathy is of no use to her. She would ask you to give your concern to the living who need them. She would ask you wherever it is possible in your environment, do not exclude, but integrate, answer aggression not with aggression, but with a clear "stop, not like this", and then offer help. You cannot change the world, but you can change your behavior.
Everyone who knew and loved her will miss her terribly, but most of us will not react with hatred for the person who took her with us to death. If you want to honor my sisters and their memories, then I ask all of you not to react with hatred and exclusion either, that would trample on everything that she stood for, lived for and stood for. (Irmgard P., November 6, 2020)