Through an editing error, The Washington Post incorrectly reported in its April 20 editions that U.S., British and French citizens protested to their consulates about a police raid on a party they were attending in Hamburg. The story should have said U.S., Dutch and French citizens.
A fried-chicken dinner given by an American sculptor in Hamburg turned into a surprise party last weekend when a score of West German plain-clothes police carrying submachine guns raided the gathering on a tip that it was a terrorist meeting.
The Saturday night raid turned up nothing, although one person was breifly held by the police, but it is reflective of the heightened tensions among police here since the murder of chief federal prosecutor Siegfried Buback in the southern city of Karlsruhe almost two weeks ago. Security forces nationwide have been on alert since the murder.
Despite obvious West German concerns about terrorism, there is a rising controversy some quarters here about what is viewed as overreaction by police and legal authorities in the aftermath of isolated acts of terrorism.
The Hamburg raid has resulted in protests to their consulates in the north German city by U.S. British and French guests at the party.
The consulates, according to informed officials, are considering a joint complaint to Hamburg authorities or at least raising questions about the legal basis of the police entry.
Two-and-a-half hours before the gathering arrived at artist Cyrill Heck, the police later said that the taxi driver had reported to the police that one of the passengers - James Huysman, 22, of Coral Gables, Fla. - looked like a terrorist wanted in the Buback killing.
"It was damned frightening," said Heck, 33, the U.S. sculptor, who has lived in Hamburg for five years.
In a telephone interview, Heck said, some 20 plainclothes police wearing green helmets and vents and small white armbands burst into his studio apartment - brushing him aside with the muzzle of a submachine gun.
Heck, who speaks German, said he asked several times for identification and search warrants but got no response from the police, who also refused to let him use the phone. A German guest said police did show him some identification.
The polic, Heck said, were in the apartment for about 45 minutes. "After they got in, I think they realized they had made a mistake. But because of the mass acion they seemed compelled to take someone away," he said.
The one they took away - and released several hours later was Huysman, a student in the Netherlands who was visiting Hamburg for the weekend.
Huysman says he was watching an old Marilyn Monroe film on television and eating fried chicken when a plain-clothesman snapped off the set and ordered him to get up.
"When I didn't move quickly enough, he grabbed my by the belt buckle and threw me against the wall with a gun in my back," Huysman said.
"Civilian clothes, machine guns, armbands, Germany. Taking me away to someplace I don't know. I'm Jewish and it kind of freaked me out."
Huysman said his father, a lawyer in Miami, fled Belgium in the Hitler era.
Heck said his girlfriend, who is French, was also put against the wall with a gun on her.
Huysman, who had only his Florida driving license with him at the time for identification, was taken by police "with the whole neighborhood watching," back to the place he was staying, where he produced his U.S. passport.
he was still taken to a police station for two more hours while his passport was run through a computer to check any past criminal record. Huysman said he has none.
A police officer then failed to identify Huysman from photographs of suspected terrorist but sill; Huysman Said, they demanded that he be fingerprinted.
Huysman objected, saying he had never been fingerprinted and certainly did not want to have that done here. He said he has asked the U.S. consulate in Hamburg to demand the return of the fingerprints.