Local news translated – Feb 23, 2024

Graphic by U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

Host Nation Update, Feb. 23, 2024

Was a medical emergency the cause of the U-Bahn crash?

It is one of the most serious U-Bahn accidents since its introduction in the fall of 1985 and even prompted the mayor to rush to the scene of the accident in Wangen. The collision between two light rail vehicles resulted in demolished trains and numerous injuries. “I am shocked by the scale and extent of the accident,” says Nopper.

A train on the U4 line, which was traveling in the direction of Untertürkheim, crashed into the rear of a stationary light rail vehicle on the U9 line in Inselstraße at around 10 am. The U9 had stopped on its way to Hedelfingen. The force of the impact was so great that the train derailed.

A total of 15 people were injured in the accident. “One passenger had to be resuscitated,” says police spokesman Stephan Widmann. The 26-year-old woman’s life was in danger at press time. The driver, who was trapped in the severely deformed driver’s cab of the rear light rail vehicle, was freed by the fire department using hydraulic cutting tools. The 47-year-old was taken to hospital with serious injuries. Nine other passengers who were sitting or lying on the road when the emergency services arrived were treated on the spot and then taken to hospital. They had moderate injuries. Four other injured people sought medical treatment on their own.

According to an initial estimate by the Technical Director of Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen AG, Thomas Moser, the damage amounts to a total of around one million euros. Repair costs of around 200,000 euros are to be expected for the light rail line U9. The lion’s share will apparently be needed to repair the U 4 line. The SSB board spokesman could not yet say anything about the cause of the accident. “It will be determined in the next few days.” New findings are expected, among other things, from the evaluation of the tachograph and the video recordings from inside the trains. “In general, the braking distance of a light rail vehicle should not be underestimated,” he says. It weighs 60 tons on the tracks. At the scene of the accident, the trains are typically traveling at 40 kilometers per hour. “That gives you a braking distance of around 30 meters.”

However, it is still unclear whether the driver of the rear train even tried to stop it. So far, it cannot be ruled out that she may have hit the stationary light rail train without braking at the clear spot due to a medical emergency.

At times, more than 140 people were deployed during the accident investigation. Both light rail vehicles had to be towed away, and the U9 train also had to be re-railed. The rescue operation was completed at around 3.30 p.m. and the line was then reopened to traffic.

(Stuttgarter Zeitung, 23 Feb. 2024)

Dieter Schwarz no longer the richest German according to “Forbes”

According to the business magazine “Forbes”, entrepreneur Dieter Schwarz from Heilbronn is no longer the richest German. He is displaced by logistics entrepreneur Klaus-Michael Kühne.

Heilbronn native Dieter Schwarz, who founded the Schwarz Group with Lidl and Kaufland, has been overtaken in the real-time ranking of the richest people in the world by US business magazine “Forbes” by logistics entrepreneur and HSV patron Klaus-Michael Kühne. The native of Hamburg is thus the richest German with a current fortune of 42.6 billion US dollars (as of February 22). Converted, he owns a fortune of around 39.4 billion euros. Dieter Schwarz’s fortune “shrinks” Lidl and Kaufland founder Dieter Schwarz, according to “Forbes”, has a fortune of 38.5 billion US dollars, placing him in second place. Last year, the magazine estimated his fortune at 42.9 billion US dollars. He is currently ahead of Künzelsau resident (Hohenlohe district) Reinhold Würth and his family. The founder of the Würth Group is attributed a fortune of 33.7 billion US dollars. The daily updated information is based on estimates and takes into account developments in the stock market as well as the various holdings of billionaires.

Dieter Schwarz Foundation primarily supports educational projects In contrast to the richest German Klaus-Michael Kühne, who does not shy away from the public, Dieter Schwarz never stands in the spotlight. There are only a few photos of him. Nevertheless, the 84-year-old entrepreneur is present in the city of Heilbronn. The billionaire founded the Dieter Schwarz Foundation, named after him. It primarily supports science and research. At the same time, Dieter Schwarz’s group is one of the largest retail chains in the world. In the past fiscal year, the group generated sales of over 154 billion euros. This is also why the rich rankings are sometimes controversially discussed. Because the question is how various business magazines arrive at the wealth estimates and what is included in them. For example, the estimates also include the company assets that the billionaires themselves do not have access to. (SWR Aktuell, 23 Feb. 2024)

Pforzheim: Demonstrations and Candlelight Vigil Planned for Memorial Day on Friday

In Pforzheim, people will commemorate the destruction of the city during World War II on Friday. More than 17,000 people died in the bombing raid in 1945.

With a wreath-laying ceremony, Pforzheim will remember the bombing raid of 1945 today. On February 23, 79 years ago, the city was largely destroyed in an air raid. Repeatedly in recent years, right-wing marches on Wartberg have caused trouble. Neo-Nazis regularly hold so-called torch vigils on this day. However, far more people also regularly attend the memorial events in the city. Memorial day aims to reach as many Pforzheimers as possible

With a diverse program, this year’s memorial day aims to reach as many citizens as possible. It includes peace vigils, historical film recordings, and a poetry slam. The city theater is hosting a reading featuring texts and poems about war and peace. At the Osterfeld Cultural Center, two actors will juxtapose texts by Anne Frank and Adolf Hitler. Since Monday, the City Youth Council has reopened its “Rubble Café,” serving dishes from wartime.

In the afternoon, the traditional wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the main cemetery. Several hundred people are expected to attend the memorial ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on the marketplace, featuring a candlelight vigil and interreligious blessing. From 7:50 p.m., the time of the bombing raid, all church bells in the city will ring for 20 minutes.

The day always calls for a commitment to democracy and cohesion in society, said Mayor Peter Boch (CDU) ahead of the memorial day. The candlelight vigil is also intended to symbolize the diversity in the city’s society, where people from numerous nations peacefully coexist.

(SWR Aktuell 23 Feb. 2024)

Commemorative Event in Winnenden

In 1944, an American bomber was downed, marking its 80th anniversary this year. On February 25th of that year, a Friday, the aircraft was shot down by two German fighter planes over Berglen, located in the Winnenden district, in the airspace between Lehnenberg and Hosslinswart. The wreckage came crashing down below Lehnenberg.

This Sunday, February 25th, around 1 p.m., a commemorative event will take place with the participation of eyewitnesses. The gathering will commence at 1 p.m. at the club center SSV Steinach-Reichenbach in Erlenhof, located in the Winnenden area. Following this, a memorial ceremony will be held at the memorial stone dedicated to the deceased Americans, presided over by the Lord Mayor of Winnenden, featuring several commemorative speeches. (Winneden Zeitung 23 Februar 2024)