Car hits gate outside Merkel’s offices

A car crashed into the front gate of the building housing German chancellor Angela Merkel's offices on Wednesday morning but the incident did not appear to have caused any great damage, Berlin police said.

Police spokesman Thilo Cablitz told reporters the 54-year-old driver was detained at the scene after driving at a slow speed into the gate and was being questioned.

He said police were investigating whether he might be psychologically disturbed or had other motivations.

The car had the slogan "You damned murderers of children and old people" scrawled in white paint on one side. On the other side it said "stop the globalisation policies".

It had number plates from the Lippe area in western Germany and was driven away by the Berlin fire service showing little sign of damage beyond a few scratches. The metal gate to the chancellery appeared slightly bent.

According to Germany's Interior Ministry, the same man had already been involved in an almost identical incident in 2014.

11 PHOTOS
Car hits gate outside Merkel’s offices
See Gallery
Car hits gate outside Merkel’s offices
A car with the slogan 'You damned children- and old-people murderers' painted on its doors is pictured after it drove into the gate of the German Chancellery and was removed by police, in central Berlin on November 25, 2020. - German police said on November 25 they have detained a man who drove the car into the gate of the German chancellery in central Berlin on November 25, in what appeared to be a protest. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP) (Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)
The gate of the German Chancellery is pictured after a car steered into it, in central Berlin on November 25, 2020. - German police said on November 25 they have detained a man who drove the car into the gate of the German chancellery in central Berlin on November 25, in what appeared to be a protest. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP) (Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)
A car is pictured after its driver steered it into the gate of the German Chancellery, in central Berlin on November 25, 2020. - German police said on November 25 they have detained a man who drove the car into the gate of the German chancellery in central Berlin on November 25, in what appeared to be a protest. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP) (Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)
A policeman gets into the emergency vehicle escorted by a police van before it drives away from the Chancellery, in which reportedly a man, who steered a car into the gate of the German Chancellery, receives medical treatment, in central Berlin on November 25, 2020. - German police said on November 25 they have detained a man who drove the car into the gate of the German chancellery in central Berlin on November 25, in what appeared to be a protest. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP) (Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 25: Police cordone-off the area in front of the Chancellery after a car crashed into the outer gate of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office in Berlin, Germany on November 25, 2020. Multiple police units responded to the scene, blocking off the area of the incident. The identity and motive of the driver were not immediately known. (Photo by Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 25: Police stands next to a car that crashed into the outer gate of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office in Berlin, Germany on November 25, 2020. Multiple police units responded to the scene, blocking off the area of the incident. The identity and motive of the driver were not immediately known. (Photo by Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 25: Police cordone-off the area in front of the Chancellery after a car crashed into the outer gate of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office in Berlin, Germany on November 25, 2020. Multiple police units responded to the scene, blocking off the area of the incident. The identity and motive of the driver were not immediately known. (Photo by Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 25: Police cordone-off the area in front of the Chancellery after a car crashed into the outer gate of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office in Berlin, Germany on November 25, 2020. Multiple police units responded to the scene, blocking off the area of the incident. The identity and motive of the driver were not immediately known. (Photo by Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 25: Police steps into an ambulance in front of the German Chancellery after a car crashed into the outer gate of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office in Berlin, Germany on November 25, 2020. Multiple police units responded to the scene, blocking off the area of the incident. The identity and motive of the driver were not immediately known. (Photo by Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 25: Police cordone-off the area in front of the Chancellery after a car crashed into the outer gate of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office in Berlin, Germany on November 25, 2020. Multiple police units responded to the scene, blocking off the area of the incident. The identity and motive of the driver were not immediately known. (Photo by Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 25: Police cordone-off the area in front of the Chancellery after a car crashed into the outer gate of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office in Berlin, Germany on November 25, 2020. Multiple police units responded to the scene, blocking off the area of the incident. The identity and motive of the driver were not immediately known. (Photo by Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

At that time, he drove a similar, if not the same, car into the same gate but caused no damage. The car carried a slogan scrawled in white paint on the side that condemned climate change and the man was taken into custody.

Reports in 2014 said the man had done something similar before.

Interior Ministry spokesman Steve Alter said he did not know whether the suspect was listed as a possible threat.

The chancellery sits in central Berlin next to the Swiss Embassy and across from the capital's parliamentary offices. The exterior gate that was hit can be accessed from public streets.

"For the chancellor, other members of the federal government, and the people employed in the chancellery there was no danger at any time," Mrs Merkel's office said.

There was no immediate indication of what prompted the incident, but it came on the day that Mrs Merkel was to meet with state governors to talk about extending a partial coronavirus shutdown that started on November 2.

The government's approach toward slowing the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions enjoy widespread support among most Germans but they have also prompted occasionally violent protests in some major cities.

Read Full Story Click here to comment

FROM OUR PARTNERS