A fire in the town of Bautzen, Germany, destroyed parts of a hotel that was being converted into a migrant shelter early Sunday morning.
The suspected act of arson didn't just spark a fire but also the unashamed delight of dozens of onlookers who cheered and celebrated as firefighters struggled to control the raging inferno in eastern Saxony.
“Some people reacted to the arson with derogatory comments and undisguised joy,” a police officer on site said.
Police said no one was injured and concluded the fire was deliberately set after investigators found traces of fire accelerant at the scene. It is not yet clear whether the building can be restored for habitation.
Authorities said some of the onlookers attempted to stop 70 firefighters trying to extinguish the flames, which destroyed the roof of the Hotel Husarenhof. Two drunken men were arrested after they refused to leave the scene of the crime even after several warnings.
Saxony Minister-President Stanislaw Tillich called the incident as “appaling and shocking” and has branded the perpetrators as “criminals.” He vowed the authorities will hunt down the arsonists and bring them to justice.
This isn’t the only despicable incident associated with migrants in Saxony. Last week, an anti-migrant group of 100 protesters stopped a bus carrying asylum-seekers to a shelter. The followers shouted “We are the people!” — which incidentally was the slogan that helped bring down the Berlin Wall in 1989 and is now copyrighted by a fascist xenophobic party.
German Justice Minister Heiko Mass said in a tweet the people who applauded the fire behaved “abominably and abhorrently.”
Germany has witnessed an increase of attacks on migrant camps since last year. A total of 924 criminal acts directed at refugee centers were documented just in 2015 by the federal crime office — a number that vastly swelled from the 199 attacks in 2014.