MONTABAUR, Germany — Despite the "unbearable" news that last week's Alps tragedy was apparently perpetrated by one of its residents, the hometown of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz has "only sympathy" for his family, a local pastor told NBC News.
"The mood in the community changed, the people are very affected by this news," said Father Heinz-Walter Barthenheimer, of St. Peter in Ketten church in Montabaur. "The whole town has now gained a negative touch."
However, there was "not a single negative word" written about Lubitz's family in the church's message book, according to Barthenheimer. "I see only sympathy," he said.
The family home of the 27-year-old blamed for the crash of Germanwings Flight 4U9525 has been scoured by investigators and surrounded by the world's media since the tragedy last week.
"I got a lot of private messages and small tokens of support from many people and I will pass them on to the family," Barthenheimer said in an interview with NBC News. "It is a terrible tragedy. I would wish the family a lot of courage for everything that will come. It cannot be turned backwards."
In his interview with NBC News, Barthenheimer also read out a message in the church's message book from a 10-year-old boy. "Why did he do that?" the message said. "Hopefully he will still go to heaven."
Anne Herrmann is an intern for NBC News who is attending the Europaschule Obermayr in Wiesbaden, Germany.