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August 1 in Vienna and other cities of Austria passed demonstrations in memory of the young doctor Lisa-Maria Kellermayr, who committed suicide the day before. Kellermayr posted a tweet last fall criticizing a rally against mandatory covid vaccination – after which her life turned into hell. Unknown people sent her such detailed and nightmarish death threats that the young woman turned into a recluse and spent all the money on security. The doctor claimed that neither the police nor the politicians were doing anything to help her, but committed suicide shortly after the investigation had a real lead.
On November 16, 2021, 35-year-old Lisa-Maria Kellermayr, who has just opened a private practice in the Austrian outback, published in twitter video from demonstrations opponents of mandatory vaccination against coronavirus. The rally, which was attended by about 600 people – mostly nurses and nurses – was held at the hospital in the city Welswhere Kellermayr lived.
“Today in Wels. A demonstration by conspiracy theorists went astray and, right in front of law enforcement officers, blocked both the main entrance to the hospital and the exit for an ambulance, ”the doctor wrote in her twitter, which she maintained for several thousand subscribers.
By that time Kellermayr, according to her, has already spent one and a half thousand hours on home examinations of patients with covid. She believed that she was well versed in the disease, was a supporter of vaccination and even entered into conflict with pharmacological companies, trying to convince them of the effectiveness of the drug budesonide.
Kellermayr’s tweet attracted the attention of local police, who saw it as a criticism of his work. The police responded by posting own tweetin which she called Kellermayr’s statement “an unreliable message” – and clarified that the demonstration was allowed, and its participants did not block the exit for the ambulance.
Kellermayr’s words about the demonstrators blockading the hospital and the police’s response went viral on the German-language Internet – and have become a virtual meme among anti-vaxxers. Many saw in this doctor’s tweet, an attempt to manipulate information and “shut up” the protesters. Kellermayr herself believed that the police actually gave permission to harass her.
In the fall of 2021, the issue of vaccination against coronavirus split the entire German-speaking space, and it was Austria that attracted special attention, where the government decided to take a radical step – mandatory vaccination first for medical staff (there was a demonstration against this measure), and then for all citizens. Numerous German opponents of vaccination supported their Austrian associates. As a result, the Austrian authorities abandoned plans for mandatory vaccination.
Within hours of Kellermayr and the Austrian police exchanging tweets, threats and insults began to be sent to the doctor on social networks. At the same time, it turned out later that the tweets do not contradict each other. Doctor was right: the demonstrators did block the ambulance exit, however – she did not know this at the time of the publication of the tweet – another exit was working in the hospital. Kellermayr nevertheless deleted her tweet and asked the police to do the same. The police did not go forward – this tweet is still available.
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“You are a doctor and you know how a lobotomy works. And I’ll try it on you”
I won’t just blow your brains out. It would be too easy. I will come to your practice disguised as a patient, and when we are alone in the office, I will beat you and tie you to a chair. You will be allowed to see me cut the throat of one of your employees. I will decorate him so that he will splatter you with his blood. When he’s done with, I’ll kick him a couple of times and let you enjoy this scene. You will not be able to do anything, you will be in your personal lockdown on a chair.
This is a quote from letters, which Kellermayr received in November. In the first days after the publication of the tweet, the doctor received thousands of messages with insults and threats. The author of one of them described in detail what kind of reprisal he was going to arrange for several employees of the practice in front of the doctor, and then her own painful death – from an injection with a coronavirus vaccine directly into the brain opened with the help of a lobotomy. The letter was signed “Claas”.
The doctor turned to the police for help. They promised to send a patrol to her medical practice once a day and advised her to reduce her activity on Twitter. From that moment on, Kellermayr, she said, no longer felt safe. According to Austrian journalists, she, not counting on the rare visits of the police, turned her doctor’s office into a shelter with alarm systems, a “panic button” and secure doors. In addition, with her own money, she hired an armed guard who, during the seven months of his watch at the door of the practice, confiscated four knives from her patients. In total, the doctor spent more than 100 thousand euros of personal funds on her safety.
Kellermayr’s life in the seemingly safe Austrian province changed completely. Now she only left her house to go to work and went to the supermarket once every two or three weeks, trying to do it on different days of the week and at different times to make it harder to track her down. Sometimes she attended talk shows and talking with journalists – but after each such outing, the flow of threats against her only increased.
“I talked to her for hours on the phone. She was traumatized, shocked and could not stop thinking about the horrors that her persecutors wrote about. She was afraid that she would never be able to see patients again, ” remembers journalist Florian Klenk.
The woman really desperately – and unsuccessfully – tried to get help from the police and politicians. “Everyone I contacted thought that I urgently needed help and what was happening to me was terrible. It’s just that nobody did anything.” He speaks she is. The situation was worsened by constant hints that she herself was to blame for this situation, she was overly dramatic or eager to become famous, which a woman heard by the police, politicians or medical organizations.
In March 2022 Austria refused from plans to introduce mandatory vaccination against coronavirus, including for healthcare workers. Health Minister Johannes Rauch said that the discussion about vaccination is splitting families and teams, and in times of war and rising prices for goods on store shelves, people need solidarity.
However, the nightmare for Kellermayr was not over. In May, “Klaas” wrote to her second letter: “You yourself do not think that you will get out of this situation alive? Do you think the corona has passed and everyone has forgotten everything?
This time, he described a scenario in which he kidnaps a woman and tortures her in his basement.
At the end of June, the doctor announced virtual bankruptcy on her Twitter: she is forced to close her private practice, because security concerns eat up all her income. It was only then that help suddenly came to her.
“It’s scary how far you need to get so that someone starts working”
Help in the search for Klaas was offered to the doctor by 24-year-old Nelly Al-Lami, a hacker from Germany (she herself prefers call it a “hacktivist” Ukrainian-Romanian roots, according to her Twitter profile.
After spending six hours and using only open sources, Nelly, according to her, could reveal the identity of “Klaas”. It turned out that this is a Berlin right-wing radical (his name is not disclosed in the interests of the investigation), against whom the German police are already investigating for similar threats. Austrian journalists repeated the “hacktivist” method and also contacted a certain German neo-Nazi group, although they could not identify the specific identity of the author of the letter.
The Austrian police, according to her, gratefully accepted the information about the suspect from the “hacktivist” – an investigation is underway, which is complicated by the fact that the alleged perpetrator lives in another country. Spiegel Magazine writes that Germany is currently investigating two suspects – residents of Berlin and Bavaria. The Austrian intelligence service, the State Security and Intelligence Directorate (DSN), is also conducting its own investigation.
“On the one hand, it’s scary how far the situation must reach for someone to seriously take up their work. On the other hand, I feel incredibly relieved that there is someone to whom I can turn for help. commented these events are Kellermayr herself in a podcast that aired on July 23.
Shortly before this, in mid-July, a 36-year-old woman attempted suicide. After a night in the psychiatric ward, the doctor was allowed to go home. The press found out about this much later, Kellermayr herself did not talk about the suicide attempt, but her depressed state (the woman was tormented by thoughts, including about the debts in which she found herself after paying bills for security services) was clearly visible on last interview. On Friday, July 29, a woman committed suicide in her non-working medical practice for a month.
On Monday evening in Vienna and other cities in Austria (for example, in Linz, Wels and Graz), hundreds of people took to the central square to honor her memory. Many put on pink clothes – it was Lisa-Maria Kellermayr’s favorite color. There were also many who accused politicians and the police of not doing enough to protect the doctor from harassment, and demanded more protection for women – “both online and in real life.” Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen and his wife Doris Schmidauer entrusted flowers before Kellermayr’s medical practice.
“It would be too ‘cheap’ to claim that the police share the blame for the death of this doctor. However, she is responsible for the fact that this woman was never able to come to peace. The police did not help her in any way, but they spent a lot of energy defending themselves and the sloppy investigation from criticism, ” writes journalist Florian Klenk, who personally knew the doctor.
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