The Social Democratic Party has once again fallen away in opinion polls ahead of a crucial state election in North Rhine-Westphalia.
It's a potential disaster for SPD chancellor candidate Martin Schulz.
"The Love Parade disaster traumatized the whole city," he said. It's important to take their concerns seriously and that's part of the planning." At this early stage, it isn't clear yet where exactly the shopping center would be built.Twenty-one crosses line the narrow stairs that thousands of young men and women tried to reach on July 24, 2010, when crowds were pushing onto the Love Parade grounds from all sides and several hundred people were injured in the stampede. "People come here on the anniversary of the disaster, on their loved ones' birthdays, on Christmas. "Right away there was the question of what would happen to the memorial," said Jürgen Widera, a Protestant pastor and Duisburg's ombudsman for those who got injured in the Love Parade stampede and for the families of the victims.He is confident that Duisburg citizens realize how detrimental the outlet center would be to their city and hopes that enough people would vote against it in a referendum.The coming months will show whether such a vote will even come to pass.
Dating portal test Duisburg
And there are many other reasons why parties want a strong showing in North Rhine-Westphalia. The SPD is back where it was before Martin Schulz's nomination: in a rut.Whether he can actually threaten Merkel's chances at re-election remains to be seen, says Volker Wagener.The leader of the Green Party group in Duisburg's city council still vividly remembers being on vacation in Britain in July 2010 and receiving a call from her son, who told her he didn't get hurt in the Love Parade.She said she finds the plans to build a shopping center so close to the memorial problematic."People go there to grieve and to deal with what they've experienced," Leisse said.
"This quiet area would be affected if there's happy hustle and bustle going on next to it." Another factor in the outlet debate that the two sides disagree on is what the shopping center would mean for downtown Duisburg.
The director of the Lower Rhine area's Retailers Association predicted that the shopping center would have negative consequences for downtown Duisburg.
"If customers get pulled away from downtown [by the outlet center], some of the stores in the city center will have to close," Bommann said.
Some fear that this is where shoppers could walk to their cars in just a couple of years.
Two letters from Svenja's father, headlined "Svenja - my angel." A little stuffed mouse with a heart that says "I miss you" in German.