Moritz Dietz, a 21-year-old parishioner, said Ndjimbi-Tshiende was a smart and enlightened man. “He even prayed for those who sent him those evil letters,” Dietz said, adding that he was shocked by the priest’s departure and did not know what had triggered his decision to leave.
Zorneding’s deputy mayor, Bianka Poschenrieder, said the anonymous threats and abuse came after Ndjimbi-Tshiende in November publicly criticised a local politician’s assertion that Bavaria was being overrun by refugees. “I don’t know why he now left in such a rush,” Poschenrieder said. “It actually seemed like things had calmed down in recent weeks.”
The deputy mayor condemned the death threats, saying: “For our community this is very sad, and I personally find it horrendous that these death threats have succeeded in pushing our priest out.”
Munich prosecutors, who have been investigating the case, say the priest was sent three threatening letters, with one declaring: “We will send you to Auschwitz.”
The prosecutors’ spokesman, Ken Heidenreich, said the message was considered a murder threat. The other two letters stated: “We know where you live. We know where your car is.”
The anonymous letters were sent to the priest between November 2015 and January 2016, Heidenreich said.
A postal worker dropped off a small package and assorted mail for Ndjimbi-Tshiende at the deserted, snowy rectory on Tuesday. The postman, who declined to give his name, said the number of letters to the priest had at least doubled since he took a stand against racism.