BERLIN – Former German President Richard von Weissaker's son was stabbed to death while delivering a lecture at a hospital in Berlin, where he works as chief medical officer, police said Wednesday.
A 57-year-old German man has been arrested after jumping from an audience at Schlosspark-Klinik and stabbing Fritz von Weissaker on Tuesday night.
A police officer in the audience who tried to stop the attack was badly injured and had to undergo surgery.
Von Weizsaecker died at the scene, despite immediate attention from colleagues.
"We still cannot say anything about the attacker's motive," said police spokesman Mike l Gassen.
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Police later reported that the man, who was not a patient at the hospital, was questioned overnight. Police are also investigating whether von Weisseker or his family have received threats in the past.
The 59-year-old son is the son of one of Germany's most respected presidents. Richard von Weissecker became West Germany's head of state in 1984 and, when the country united, became the first president of a new nation to serve until 1994. He died in 2015.
Fritz von Weissecker is one of four expats children. His sister Beatrice posted a picture of Jesus on the cross on Instagram after the murder of her brother.
Christian Lindner, leader of the Free Democrats party, of which Fritz von Weissaker is a member, expressed shock at the murder.  "I'm stunned and need to share my sadness," Lindner tweeted. "Once again wondering what kind of world we live in."
The board of Berlin's Charité Hospital said they were "deeply shocked by the violent death of a highly regarded friend and colleague. Our thoughts are with his family and his colleagues at Schlosspark-Klinik. ”
Von Weizsaecker studied and worked at several hospitals in Germany and abroad, including Harvard Medical University in Boston and a hospital in Zurich, Switzerland. His areas of expertise were internal medicine and gastroenterology.
On Tuesday night, he gave a lecture on fatty liver disease, an increasingly common medical condition. The lecture was open to all, and local media reported that several colleagues were among the audience.
The murder of von Weisseker repeats a similar incident in 2016, when a man fatally shot a doctor at Benjamin Franklin Hospital in Berlin before killing himself.
The von Weizsackers are one of the most famous families in Germany. Richard von Weisseker is not only one of the most popular, but also one of the most respected presidents in the country.
In 1985, then-West German President von Weisseker called Germany's Nazi victory a "day of liberation" in a speech commemorating the 40th anniversary of the end of the war. His words were supported by most Germans, and to this day speech is often quoted by politicians and taught in schools.