Elton John makes donation to survivors of German school massacre

BY Advocate.com Editors

June 18 2002 12:00 AM ET

British pop legend Elton John has donated the proceeds of a concert he held in the eastern German city of Erfurt to the relatives of 16 people slain by a vengeful former pupil at a school there in April. John, who performed in Erfurt Sunday night, has promised an estimated $160,500 to a fund set up to support the relatives of the victims of Germany's worst postwar massacre, a spokeswoman for the city said. The out pop star said he and his band had considered calling off the Erfurt concert after learning of the attack while in Australia. "Musical concerts should always be happy occasions.... We hope to do justice by playing our very best," John told an appreciative audience of 8,000 in the city.

Nineteen-year-old Robert Steinhaeuser stormed into Erfurt's Johann Gutenberg school in April, killing 13 teachers, two pupils, and a police officer before turning his gun on himself. Survivor funds have so far collected around $300,000. In the coming months, veteran tennis star Boris Becker will play an exhibition match in Erfurt, while the German World Cup squad has pledged to play a friendly game against a local team.

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