Commemoration for man burned to death in Breda garage

Lanterns launched at the commemoration for Ger van Zundert in Breda, 10 April 2019
Lanterns launched at the commemoration for Ger van Zundert in Breda, 10 April 2019. (Photo: Paul Depla/Twitter)

A few hundred people gathered in the Breda neighborhood of Tuinzigt on Wednesday to commemorate Ger van Zundert. The 49-year-old Breda man died in hospital on Tuesday morning after he was tied up and set on fire in a garage on Sparrenweg on Monday night. A suspect turned himself in on Tuesday. 

A yellow banner was hung on the garage where the brutal incident happened, BN De Stem reports. It reads, translated from Dutch: "The act is incomprehensible. The loss is incomprehensible. But we show that in our hearts Ger is still there."

Just before 9:00 p.m. hundreds of local residents gathered on Sparrenweg. Many left flowers in front of the garage. They loudly applauded when Ger's family, his wife, mother and son at the front, arrived in a procession. Mayor Paul Depla was among the attendees.

"It is incomprehensible. It's been haunting me al day. You may hate someone, but this... you wouldn't do this to an animal", Ankie, a friend of the family, said to BN De Stem. Another friend: "I spoke to him on Saturday. The neighborhood loved Ger. Everyone could go to him, he first thought of others and only then of himself. He was a good person."

At around 9:15 p.m., Ger's friends handed out bottles of Flugel -  his favorite drink - to anyone who wanted it . "He would have wanted this, that everyone take a bottle", his cousin Mart van Zundert said. "That he is no longer there, that good guy, that can not be explained. I am going to miss him." 

Family friend and initiator of the commemoration, Tommy Dieckmann, spoke a few words. He thanked everyone who came. "To support the family, and to show that they are not alone in this fight and to give Ger the send off he deserves, we are now launching lanterns." After 49 lanterns filled up the night sky, a minute of silence was held.