2018 Burgwedel stabbing

On 25 March 2018, a 24-year-old woman, Vivien K was stabbed by a Syrian migrant in Burgwedel, Germany. She received life-threatening injuries and was put into an induced coma.[1][2] She woke up three days later, with broken ribs and part of her pancreas as well as her spleen removed.[3][4]

Since the culprits were teenage refugees, the case sparked a discussion about migration policies, and as it was part of a string of knife attacks, it led to concerns about a rise in knife crime in Germany.[5]


At 19:30, the victim and her partner went to a supermarket in the Lower Saxony town near Hannover[6] and had a dispute with two young Syrian migrants, 13 and 14 years of age which ended peacefully. The youths had been fighting inside the supermarket and the victim had tried to get them to separate.[7] In addition, Domenic, Vivian K.'s partner, is said to have pulled one of the youths' ears.[8] Later, another 17-year-old Syrian migrant, Abdalla M., joined the first two on scene and they later encountered the couple again.[9] Another argument ensued and Abdalla M. targeted the woman with a knife stab to the abdomen.[10] She got up on her feet after being stabbed, but collapsed shortly afterwards.[10][11] The attacker fled but was arrested shortly and taken into custody on suspicion of grievous bodily harm[1] and the murder weapon was secured.[10]


The 17-year-old perpetrator, Abdalla M.,[9] and his extended family came to Germany in 2013 as refugees from the outskirts of Damascus, the capital of Syria.[10] The 13-year-old is his brother and the 14-year-old his cousin.[12] In April, the perpetrator confessed.[13] The defense lawyer raised the hypothesis that the Syrian refugee may be mentally ill and therefore not responsible.[10]

Abdullah A. explained that in their culture whenever the family honor is involved stabbing with a knife was justified.[11]


On 21 August 2018 the trial of two brothers, 17 and 14 years old respectively, began in Hanover Landgericht. The elder Abdullah A. was tried for attempted manslaughter (German: versuchten Totschlag) and grievous bodily harm and the younger brother Mohamad A. for assault.[11] While Abdullah A. initially was only suspected of grievous bodily harm due to only having stabbed once, but according to medical expertise the stab by Abdullah A. stab was a deadly attack as he damaged internal organs as well as breaking two ribs of his victim.[14]

Abdullah A. was sentenced to five years of youth prison, a shorter sentence was given due to his low age.[14] His younger brother Mohamad A. was sentenced to 14 days in custody and 10 hours social upbringing.[15] The 13-year-old cousing was not tried due to his low age.[16]


The attack, which was one of a spate of knife attacks by asylum seekers, several of whom were teenage, precipitated a debate about youth crime and the integration of migrants.[17][12][18][19] Stephan Weil, the Prime Minister of Lower Saxony expressed his sympathies for the victim.[20] The municipality of Burgwedel stated its continued commitment to integration on its Facebook page, which were derided in comments. In early April, ten of the comments were investigated for constituting hate speech.[21] As a result of the comments, the Facebook page was closed, with the municipality concerned that such comments might damage its reputation.[22] The anti-immigration AfD party was accused of "exploiting" the attack after it set up a booth in Burgwedel following the attack.[23]

The leader of the CDU party in the Lower Saxon Landtag, Dirk Toepffer, commented the attack with that the hypothesis that family reunification of migrants with parents or siblings as means to reduces excessive violence, as promoted by the SPD party, had been disproven.[24]


  1. ^ a b "Jugendliche verletzen Frau mit Messer". n-tv (in German). 25 March 2018. Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  2. ^ "Großburgwedel: 24-Jährige nach Messerattacke im künstlichen Koma". Die Welt (in German). 2018-03-26. Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  3. ^ "Stadt bis auf weiteres bei Facebook offline". Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). 2018-03-31. Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  4. ^ Voltmer, Mirko (28 March 2018). "„Jeder soll sehen, was unserer Tochter angetan wurde"" ["Everyone should see what has been done to our daughter"]. Bild (in German). Retrieved 15 April 2018. The doctors had to remove her spleen, and part of her pancreas. Her ribs are broken. On Wednesday, four days after the knife attack, she woke from the artificial coma.
  5. ^ "String of knife attacks further fuels debate over refugees and violence". The Local. 27 March 2018.
  6. ^ S. SIEVERING (26 March 2018). "BLOODY WEEKEND: knife attacks throughout Germany". Bild (in German). Retrieved 15 April 2018. Burgwedel in Lower Saxony, a tranquil town near Hanover with about 20 000 inhabitants. Early on Saturday evening, a woman, 24, goes shopping with her partner
  7. ^ "Brutal knife attack: parents of injured Vivian K. seek the public". Focus (German magazine) (in German). 29 March 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2018. The attack arose from Vivien K. trying to separate two 13- and 14-year-old cousins who fought in front of the supermarket.
  8. ^ "Knife victim Vivien (24) awakens from coma - parents show shocking photo". Tz - Munich (in German). 29 March 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2018. Then Vivien asked the two boys to stop their brawl. A relative also testified that Domenic pulled a boy's ear.
  9. ^ a b Tobias Morchner; Martin Lauber; Peer Hellerling (29 March 2018). "Why did Abdalla M. stab?" (in German). Retrieved 15 April 2018. A relative of the two, the 17-year-old Abdalla M., intervened in the dispute.
  10. ^ a b c d e Simon Polreich (10 April 2014). "Is the stabber guilty?". Neue Presse (in German). Retrieved 15 April 2018. The question is whether the Syrian is mentally ill. His lawyer asked us to investigate,
  11. ^ a b c "Messerangriff in Burgwedel: Brüder aus Syrien vor Gericht". HAZ – Hannoversche Allgemeine (in German). Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  12. ^ a b Online, FOCUS. "Frau von 17-Jährigem niedergestochen - jetzt ist das Opfer aus Koma erwacht". FOCUS Online (in German). Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  13. ^ Peer Hellerling (12 April 2018). "17-year-old admits knife attack on 24-year-old". Hannoversche Allgemeine. Retrieved 15 April 2018. The 17-year-old, who stabbed a 24-year-old woman in Burgwedel at the end of March, confessed to the crime.
  14. ^ a b "Attacke vor Supermarkt: 5 Jahre Jugend-Haft für Messerstecher Abdullah A." bild.de (in German). Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  15. ^ "Messerattacke in Burgwedel: Landgericht Hannover verurteilt Angeklagte - RTL Nord". RTL Nord (in German). Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  16. ^ "Messerattacke: Fünf Jahre Haft für 17-jährigen Syrer". HAZ – Hannoversche Allgemeine (in German). Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  17. ^ "String of knife attacks further fuels debate over refugees and violence". The Local. 27 March 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  18. ^ "24-YEAR-OLD STABBED BY TEENAGERS: THE VICTIM". Tag 24 (in German). 29 March 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2018. The deed has triggered a political debate on juvenile delinquency and the integration of refugees.
  19. ^ "Youth knifing spate alarms German police unions". Deutsche Welle. 2 April 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Niedersachsen: Opfer von Messerattacke aus Koma erwacht". FAZ.NET (in German). 2018-03-28. ISSN 0174-4909. Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  21. ^ "Nach Messerattacke: Polizei prüft Hass-Kommentare". Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). 2018-04-07. Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  22. ^ "Stadt bis auf weiteres bei Facebook offline". Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 2018-04-07.
  23. ^ Lauber, Martin (2 April 2014). "Marktbesucher bieten AfD-Slogans Paroli". Hannoversche Allgemeine (in German). Retrieved 15 April 2018. "They exploit that!", annoyed market visitor Alexander Veth said about such slogans.
  24. ^ "Messerattacke entfacht Debatte um Familiennachzug". Göttinger Tageblatt (in German). Retrieved 2018-04-19.