President Walter Scheel of West Germany warned on Tuesday (25 October) that terrorism will spread "like wildfire over the whole world" unless it is crushed in time.
President Walter Scheel of West Germany warned on Tuesday (25 October) that terrorism will spread "like wildfire over the whole world" unless it is crushed in time. He was speaking at the State funeral of murdered industrialist Dr. Hanns-Martin Schleyer in Stuttgart. Massive security precautions were in force for the funeral service following warnings of guerrilla violence.
SYNOPSIS: More than 1,000 people filled the city's St. Eberhard Catholic church for the service.
Among them were Dr. Schleyer widow, Waltrude who sat between Herr Scheel and Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.
The service was broadcast live on West German television. Thousands of people who were unable to get inside the church thronged outside and listened to the service over loudspeakers.
Dr. Schleyer was the head of West Germany's employers' federation. He was found shot dead in Mulhouse, France, last Wednesday (19 October), six weeks after he was kidnapped in Cologne, West Germany. His kidnappers later said they had killed him because the West German government had refused to bow to their demands for the release of 13 urban guerrillas in West German and Turkish jails.
Delivering the eulogy, President Scheel said the period since the kidnapping of Dr. Schleyer had been the worst in the history of the republic. He called on politicians of all countries to adopt an anti-terrorism convention as soon as possible.
If West Germany had freed the jailed guerrillas it would have been "the beginning of a forest fire" he said, and added that extremists who kidnapped and murdered the businessman were guilty of "naked barbarism".
The extremists were not threatening just democratic freedoms. They were enemies of every civilisation, and the states of the world were beginning to realise this. The President paid a tribute to to Somalia, which allowed German commandos to storm the hijacked Lufthansa plane, and said that it was an excellent example of how even small countries could fight terrorism.