Son of German Former President Richard von Weizsäcker Stabbed to Death

The son of Germany’s ex-president Richard von Weizsäcker was stabbed to death while giving a lecture in Berlin on Tuesday night, local police have confirmed.

Fritz von Weizsäcker, a 59-year-old medical doctor, was delivering a lecture at the Schlosspark-Klinik hospital in the west Berlin district of Charlottenburg, a Berlin police spokesman told CNN.

At about 7 p.m., a man approached von Weizsäcker in the lecture room and stabbed him with a knife. Despite efforts to save him, von Weizsäcker died at the scene. Police said a 57-year-old German man was arrested.

A 33-year-old off-duty police officer overwhelmed the attacker, allowing him to be taken into custody by police, authorities said.

In the course of intervening, however, the policeman was seriously injured and subsequently required medical treatment. His injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.

Police-officers-arrive-at-the-Schlosspark-Clinic
Police officers arrive at the Schlosspark Clinic, where the day before Fritz von Weizsaecker, a son of former German President Richard von Weizsaecker, was stabbed to death by an assailant on Nov. 20, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

Police have since launched a murder investigation but a possible motive for the attack remains unclear. The suspect is due to appear before a magistrate Wednesday.

Von Weizsäcker specialized in internal medicine and gastroenterology.

He began his career as a resident at the University Medical Center at the University of Freiburg, and had studied and worked at a number of hospitals overseas including Harvard Medical School in Boston and the University Hospital of Zurich.

Since 2005, he had held the position of chief physician of the department of internal medicine at Schlosspark-Klinik.

Schlosspark Clinic
A sign hangs at the entrance of the Schlosspark Clinic, where Fritz von Weizsaecker, the son of former German President Richard von Weizsaecker, was stabbed to death by an assailant yesterday on Nov. 20, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)

He was one of the former president’s four children.

Richard von Weizsäcker held the largely ceremonial position of president between 1984 and 1990 and was in post during the fall of the Berlin Wall and Germany’s reunification.

One of the country’s most respected heads of state, he is remembered for his thoughtful speeches, including an address in 1985 when he warned against forgetting Germany’s past in a speech marking the 40th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Richard von Weizsaecker and his wife Marianne
Former German President Richard von Weizsaecker and his wife Marianne arrive for the memorial service for Loki Schmidt, wife of former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, at the St. Michaelis Kirche on Nov. 1, 2010 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

2019 CNN Trademark