German school pauses for Virginia Tech, remembers its own bitter tragedy

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ERFURT, Germany -- Students and teachers at a German high school where a teenager killed 16 people paid tribute Thursday to the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting, weeping and hugging as they marked the fifth anniversary of their own tragedy.

About 1,000 students, teachers and parents observed a moment of silence for those who died in 2002 at the Gutenberg high school in the eastern city of Erfurt, and for victims of the April 16 rampage in Blacksburg, Va.

"We are also pausing to express our disbelief and our sincere compassion for those who are crying for their dead thousands of kilometers away," Principal Christiane Alt told the mourners.

On April 26, 2002, Robert Steinhaeuser shot and killed 12 teachers, a secretary, two students and a police officer before committing suicide in Germany's worst school shooting.

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