German state finance minister commits suicide after worrying about Covid-19

He reportedly left a note behind, citing reasons for taking his own life.

Julia Yeo| March 30, 10:49 AM

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Thomas Schäfer, the finance minister of the German state of Hesse, was found dead near a railway track between Frankfurt and Mainz on Saturday (Mar. 28), German authorities confirmed.

Police believed he committed suicide

Frankfurt, Germany's financial capital, lies in Hesse.

The prosecution believed that he had committed suicide, German news site DW reported.

The politician apparently left a note behind, according to German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, citing sources close to the investigation.

The note, according to the report, referenced Schäfer's reasons for taking his own life.

The 54-year-old politician had regularly appeared in public in recent days to inform the public about financial assistance during the Covid-19 crisis.

Was living with considerable worry and stress due to Covid-19 outbreak

Hessian state Minister-President Volker Bouffier shared his condolences in a statement, adding that the late finance minister had been facing considerable worry and stress due to the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

"His main concern was whether he could manage to fulfill the huge expectations of the population, especially in terms of financial aid," Bouffier said on Sunday (Mar. 29).

"For him, there was clearly no way out. He was disappointed and so he had to leave us. That has shocked us, has shocked me."

Schäfer was widely expected to succeed Bouffier as the next state Minister-President, if the latter did not stand for re-election in 2023.

Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Chief Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said on Twitter that Schäfer's sudden passing "shocked me, shocked all of us" in the party.

"It has hit us and left us sad and stunned," she wrote on Twitter.

Schäfer leaves behind his wife and two children.

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Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444

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Top image credit: Arne Dedert/picture alliance via Getty Images