Sabine Kratze

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Sabine Kratze was a German student who committed self-immolation in order to protest against what she believed to be the unjust trial of six Buddhist monks which had taken place on August 15, 1995. Kratze, who was 25 at the time, set herself on fire with gasoline on September 3, 1995, at Hô Chi Minh City, in a room at a small hotel on Ly Tu Trong Street.

A few days before setting herself on fire, she told Buddhist leaders of her intention to pursue self-immolation, but all efforts to dissuade the young woman failed. It is because of this previous announcement that her intentions are known; the police did not find a letter or anything other direct record of her motives after her death.

Sabine Kratze travelled to Vietnam in 1991 to become a student at Hô Chi Minh City University. She graduated in 1994 and then she started a course of traditional medicine. Since her arrival to Vietnam, she was particularly interested in Buddhism and she became quite close to other Buddhists. After reverend Thich Tri Tuu and three other monks had been arrested and then condemned to prison on August 15, she made the decision to set herself on fire.

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