Property of German arms manufacturer’s CEO hit by arson attack

A “confession” message purportedly by the perpetrators claims their action is linked to Rheinmetall’s deliveries to Ukraine

A garden house belonging to Armin Papperger, the CEO of one of Germany’s leading arms manufacturers, has been targetted by arsonists, multiple media outlets reported on Wednesday. “Left-wing extremists” claiming responsibility for the attack linked it to Rheinmetall’s weapons deliveries to Ukraine, according to a post on the Indymedia platform.

Bild says the incident took place in the early hours of Monday morning in the village of Hermannsburg in Lower Saxony and that federal police have taken over the investigation

Since the start of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia in February 2022, Rheinmetall has provided Kiev with military hardware including Leopard-type tanks. Last month, the German government placed an order with the manufacturer for an additional 20 Marder infantry fighting vehicles for the Ukrainian military. 

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A message purportedly from the perpetrators was posted some hours after the attack on the Indymedia platform, according to reports. German media descibes the portal as one favored by left-wing extremists. The authors of the message claimed that the arms manufacturer was hoarding various types of tanks “that can now be sold to Ukraine along with munitions at a hefty profit.” The anonymous statement added that “Rheinmetall plans, produces and murders, not only domestically.”

According to the media outlet, which cited local authorities, the alleged arson attack did not endanger human life. Police have launched an investigation and are checking the authenticity of the message by the supposed perpetrators. 

Back in 2020, left-wing protesters staged a protest outside Papperger’s property, denouncing Rheinmetall’s business.

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