Annette Barthelt-Stiftung e.V.

35 years of commemoration of the terror victims of Djibouti


In memory of the terror victims of Djibouti, Annette Barthelt, Daniel Reinschmidt, Marco Buchalla and Hans-Wilhelm Halbeisen, who were taken from their lives by a bomb attack on March 18, 1987, shortly before their participation in a major marine science expedition into the Indian Ocean. In January 1987, the German research vessel Meteor 3 set sail for an expedition that was supposed to last almost ten months. For four young researchers, it was a journey into deaths, and for four others it was a horror experience that continues to have an impact until today. The Djibouti attack was an attack carried out on behalf of Libya by a Palestinian terrorist organization in Djibouti. The terrorist attack on March 18, 1987, killed 13 people and injured 41 others.

Even though reports of attacks against the civilian population are now much more present worldwide due to communication in the social media on the Internet, there were also devastating bomb attacks in the 1980s, for example, the attack at the Munich Oktoberfest in 1980. However, while nowadays crisis intervention and psychological care for traumatized persons after such drastic experiences or accidents are almost a matter of course, such support measures were not yet established in the 1980s. The survivors of attacks as well as the relatives of injured and fatal victims were largely left to cope with their experiences on their own. In this sense, the commemoration is not only for the victims, but also for the survivors and relatives who had to endure inconceivable suffering as a result of the attack in Djibouti.

The Djibouti bomb destroyed the dream of - but not the memory about the young Kiel researchers. Even 35 years after the attack, it lives on with the scientists who are being honored with the Science Award of the Anette Barthelt Foundation