Former German president’s son stabbed to death

BERLIN (AP) — The son of former German president Richard von Weizsaecker was stabbed to death while he was giving a lecture at a hospital in Berlin where he worked as a head physician, police said yesterday.

A 57-year-old man is in custody after a man jumped up from the audience at the Schlosspark-Klinik and attacked Fritz von Weizsaecker with a knife on Tuesday evening. Another man who tried to stop the attack was seriously wounded.

“We cannot yet say anything about the attacker’s motive,” said police spokesman Michael Gassen, adding that the suspect is still being questioned.

Von Weizsaecker died at the scene despite immediate attention from colleagues.

The 59-year-old was the son of one of Germany’s most esteemed presidents, who was the country’s head of state — a largely ceremonial post — from 1984 to 1994. The former president died in 2015.

Policemen, firefighters and medical staff stand in front of the hospital after a doctor was stabbed to death as he delivered a lecture at the Schlosspark hospital. PHOTO: AFP

Fritz von Weizaecker was one of the ex-president’s four children.

Von Weizsaecker studied and worked at several hospitals in Germany and abroad, including the Harvard Medical School in Boston and a hospital in Zurich, Switzerland. His fields of expertise were Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.

On Tuesday night, he was giving a lecture about fatty liver disease, an increasingly common medical condition. The lecture was open to everybody and local media reported that several colleagues were among the audience as well.

The murder of von Weizsaecker echoes a similar incident from 2016, when a man fatally shot a doctor at Berlin’s Benjamin Franklin Hospital before killing himself.

The von Weizsaeckers are one of Germany’s most prominent families. Richard von Weizsacker was not only one of the most popular but also one of the country’s most respected presidents.