Cologne was just the tip of the iceberg what has happened New Year Eve (NYE) in a mixture of thefts and sexual harassments involving foreigners and even asylum seekers in several cities in Germany.
The facts just emerged now a week later:
642 complaints have reach the local police stations last days.
516 in Cologne at the Rhine river, 108 in Hamburg, 17 in Stuttgart and same more in Bielefeld.
They involved more than 50 percent sexual harassments, even two rapes, in 266 cases.
This kind of crime in known until now only from Arab states. It happened for example to women on the famous Tahir Place in Cairo during the Arab Spring, called ‚taharrush gamea‘ (sexual harassment in a crowd).
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her governing CDU want to change law to expel criminal foreigner easier. She called the assaults “repugnant”, and vowed that no such behavior would ever be tolerated in Germany.The incidents have put Mrs Merkel, who is following an open-border policy for refugees coming from crisis areas, under considerable pressure in her own party.
A large crowds of men harassed and sexually assaulted women on New Year’s Eve in Cologne. The special investigation unit “Neujahr” (German for new year’s) has been reinforced by another 80 policemen.
According to the police in Cologne a large group of mainly men of Arab/ North African origin flooded the train station and the central square next to the famous city’s landmark, the famous dome (picture). Many of them were from Morocco Algeria, Tunesia, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the local media report. Among them refugees as well.
Most people and women came from outside to celebrate new year in the city.
While more than 1000 people were drinking, shooting fire crackers and having a good time, out of this group around 100 to 200 men, aged between 15 and 35, started their sexual assaults in several smaller groups at the same time, by groping the celebrating women in the crowd and pick-pocketing their victims.
The aggressive young men formed groups of 10-20 and surrounded the women, as well robbing their money and mobiles.
A sex-crime- mob in action.
Katja L. was one of the victims in Cologne. She told newspaper ‘Der Express’ about the incidents:
“I was groped everywhere. It was a nightmare. Although we shouted and beat them, the guys did not stop. I was desperate and think I was touched around 100 times in the 200 meters,” she said. “Fortunately I wore a jacket and trousers. A skirt would probably have been torn away from me.”
Most of the 1000 men were standing by, not helping the victims. 10-20 percent got criminal.
There are 19 suspects in Cologne, among them 15 from Morocco and Algeria and 10 seekers of asylum.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel demands “to punish them hard”. Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas, demanded, a “thorough account of the perpetrators”.
Police authorities like the chief of police in Cologne, Wolfgang Albers, calls the events “a new dimension of crime.” But at NYE he had not send enough policemen to protect the women and issued a report that ” it had been a peaceful start into the New Year”. He had wrongly informed the public and the major of Cologne and was fired January 9th by the Interior Minister of the state of Northrhine-Westfalia.
In Cologne 30 suspect could be identified, mainly with video analysis, among them 18 asylum seekers, most from Syria.
New dimensions entail further questions:
Where was the police during New Year’s Eve? Why didn’t they act?
Some policemen involved told the media: ” We were too few to act”.
But why and why not call more police in?
Only three attackers have been identified so far, and 16 more clear photos saved.
Where should understanding for different cultures begin and where should it end? Is this even an issue of different cultures?
Sexual assault isn’t a thing that happens only in foreign countries, but everywhere. If you are a woman and have visited a public viewing event during the soccer world cup you know what it feels like when a few drunk men touch you while passing by.
Still we are in a situation that makes it difficult to express our concerns without being called racist.
This incident happened some days ago but it didn’t catch the publics’ attention until now. Where was the media? Where were the groups of feminists? Where was everyone to shout out for the victims? More importantly: Where are they now?
Now more than one million refugees have come from Islamic countries, many of them frustrated young men. The very few now darken the image of all.
Germany wants to show understanding for the people who come from different countries and people here try to be curious about new cultures, but now a line has to be drawn when people, no matter where they’re from, threaten people who are just living their life.
It shows that out of the many foreigners living in Germany a minority, mainly young male, go the wrong way. The country has a severe integration problem to solve.
These young foreigners have lost any respect for the German police and the too soft judiciary system. Even when caught, almost nobody has to leave the country or is jailed. A gang-structure has emerged.
No good sign for a peaceful and respectful living together in Germany in 2016.
For sure, Germany needs a zero-tolerance against intolerance policy now.
Better police-planning and many actions including integration and expelling criminal back home.
This is in the interest of the real asylum seekers and all foreign guest, as the few criminal ruin their reputation and the good-will of the German people to support them generously.