Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, February 12, 2016:
- Despite snow, ice and freezing temperatures across much of Europe, a total of 91,671 migrants entered Germany during January 2016.
- German taxpayers could end up paying 450 billion euros ($500 billion) for the upkeep of the million migrants who arrived in Germany in 2015. This would presumably double to nearly one trillion euros if another million migrants arrive in 2016.
- A 19-year-old migrant from Afghanistan sexually assaulted four girls between the ages of 11 and 13 at a swimming pool in Dresden. The migrant was arrested but then set free.
- Three teenage migrants from North Africa tried to stone to death two transsexuals in Dortmund after they were seen walking around in women’s clothing. The victims were saved by police.
- Bild reported that politicians in Kiel had ordered the police to overlook crimes perpetrated by migrants.
- “The topics we cover are determined by the government. … We must report in such a way that serves Europe and the common good, as it pleases Mrs. Merkel. … today we are not allowed to say anything negative about the refugees. This is government journalism.” – Wolfgang Herles, retired public media personality.
- The European Commission called for the “rejection of false associations between certain criminal acts, such as the attacks on women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, and the mass influx of refugees.”
In January 2016, the German public appeared finally to wake up to the implications of their government’s decision to allow 1.1 million — mostly male — migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East to enter the country during 2015.
After more than a thousand Muslim migrants sexually assaulted hundreds of women in cities across Germany on New Year’s Eve, Chancellor Angela Merkel began to face a rising voter backlash to her open-door migration policy.
Merkel’s government has responded to the criticism by: 1) attempting to silence critics of the open-door migration policy; 2) trying to “export” the migrant problem to other countries in the European Union; and 3) announcing a series of measures — branded as unrealistic by critics — to deport migrants accused of committing crimes in Germany.
What Merkel has steadfastly refused to do, however, is reduce the number of migrants entering the country. Despite snow, ice and freezing temperatures across much of Europe, a total of 91,671 migrants — an average of around 3,000 migrants each day — entered Germany during the month of January 2016.
The following is a review of some of the more notable stories about the migration crisis in Germany during January 2016.
January 1. More than a thousand migrants sexually assaulted hundreds of German women in the cities of Cologne, Hamburg and Stuttgart. The government and the mainstream media were accused of trying to cover up the crimes, apparently to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiment.
January 1. As Muslim migrants were causing mayhem on German streets, the Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, said he could not understand public concerns about the “alleged Islamization” of Germany. In an interview with Die Welt, he said: “If you look at the facts, this fear is unfounded. We have a stable democracy and a free society. State and religion are separated. How should Muslims, who represent a minority, Islamize our society?” When asked why Germans are afraid, Kretschmann replied: “People are afraid of strangers they do not know.”
January 1. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that 1.3 million asylum seekers would enter the European Union annually during 2016 and 2017.
January 2. A fight between children as young as 11 at a refugee shelter in Stockach near Konstanz turned into a mass brawl after parents of the children joined in the fighting. Police were deployed to restore order. Seven people were injured.
January 3. A 16-year-old Moroccan migrant went on a rampage after a judge in Bremen ordered him to be jailed for stealing a man’s laptop at knife-point. On the way from the courthouse to the jail, the Moroccan seriously injured a police officer by kicking him in the face. Once inside the jail cell, the migrant ripped a toilet from the floor and smashed it against a wall.
The chairman of the Bremen Police Union, Jochen Kopelke, said that migrants were attacking city police with increasing frequency: “The tone has become extremely aggressive; sometimes the police must apply massive force to get a situation under control.” According to Bremen Senator Ulrich Mäurer, “the excesses of violence against police officers show that these people have no respect for our constitutional order and its representatives.”
January 3. More than 50 migrants were involved in a mass brawl at a refugee shelter inEllwangen near Stuttgart. Police said migrants attacked each other with fire extinguishers, metal pipes, rocks and stones. According to local media, mass brawls have become commonplace at migrant shelters in the area.
January 3. Hans-Werner Sinn, one of the best-known economists in Germany, cited estimates that German taxpayers could end up paying 450 billion euros ($500 billion) for the upkeep of the million migrants who arrived in Germany in 2015. This estimate would presumably double to nearly one trillion euros if another million migrants arrive in Germany in 2016.
January 4. An internal report written by a senior federal police officer revealed chaos “beyond description” in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. The report, which was leaked to the news magazineDer Spiegel and published in full by the newspaper Bild, said that women were forced to “run a gauntlet” of drunken men of a “migrant background” to enter or depart the main train station. “Even the appearance of the police officers and their initial measures did not stop the masses from their actions.” One migrant told a police officer: “I am Syrian; you have to treat me kindly! Mrs. Merkel has invited me.”
January 5. Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker said: “There is no reason to believe that those involved in the sexual assaults in Cologne were refugees.” Cologne Police Chief Wolfgang Alberssaid: “At this time we have no information about the offenders.”
January 6. Former Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said it was “scandalous that it took the mainstream media several days” to report on the sexual assaults in Cologne. He said public media was a “cartel of silence” exercising censorship to protect migrants from accusations of wrongdoing.
January 7. A charity called Refugees Welcome Bonn, which organized a Rhine River cruise as welcoming party for migrants in Bonn, apologized after it emerged that migrants groped and sexually harassed some female guests during the event.
January 8. The Interior Ministry revealed that of the 32 suspects identified in the Cologne assaults, 22 were asylum seekers. Cologne Police Chief Wolfgang Albers was fired for withholding information about the assaults from the public.
January 9. A vigilante group began patrolling the streets of Düsseldorf to “make the city safer for our women.” Similar groups emerged in Cologne and Stuttgart.
January 10. Three teenage migrants from North Africa tried to stone to death two transsexuals inDortmund after they were seen walking around in women’s clothing. The victims were saved by police, who happened to pass by in a car. One of the victims said: “I never could have imagined that something like this could happen in Germany.”
January 11. A 35-year-old migrant from Pakistan sexually assaulted a three-year-old girl at a refugee shelter in Kamen.
January 12. In an interview with Bild, Frank Oesterhelweg, a politician with the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU), caused a scandal when he said that police should be authorized to use deadly force to prevent migrants from raping German women:
“These criminals deserve no tolerance, they have to be stopped by the police. By force if necessary, and, yes, you read correctly, even with firearms. An armed police officer has a duty to help a desperate woman. One must, if necessary, protect the victims by means of force: With truncheons, water cannons or firearms.”
Police union leader Dietmar Schilff was irate: “These statements are outrageous and do not help the police at all. There are clear rules for using the service weapon. What would have happened in Cologne if the police had used clubs and guns?” According to Bild, many German police officers are afraid of using lethal force “because of the legal consequences.”
January 12. A YouGov poll showed that 62% of Germans believe the number of asylum seekers is too high, up from 53% in November. According to the poll, the growing resistance to immigration was being driven by the hardening of attitudes by German women.
January 13. An Interior Ministry report leaked to Bild warned that jihadist attacks like those in Paris could take place in Germany “at any time.” The report said that attacks would likely be spread over several days and against “various target categories.”
January 13. A 20-year-old migrant from Somalia was sentenced to four years in prison for raping an 88-year-old woman in Herford. His defense attorneys argued for leniency because, according to them, the man was traumatized by his flight from Somalia. In Gelsenkirchen, four migrants attacked a 45-year-old man after he tried to prevent them from raping a 13-year-old girl.
January 14. The Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, approved a plan to provide all refugees with identity cards that will contain information such as fingerprints and country of origin. The cards will be linked to a centralized refugee data system. The plan may be too late: the German government has lost track of the whereabouts of hundreds of thousands of migrants who entered the country in 2015.
January 14. Prosecutors in Cologne said they were offering a reward of 10,000 euros ($11,000) for information leading to the arrest or identification of those who committed the sexual assaults and robberies on New Year’s Eve.
January 14. A Bavarian politician sent a bus carrying 31 refugees on a seven-hour journey to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office in Berlin to protest her open-door refugee policy. Merkel sentthe migrants back to Bavaria.
January 14. City officials in Rheinberg cancelled this year’s carnival celebrations. Local police said that in wake of the sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, they were unable to guarantee the safety of female revelers.
January 15. A 36-year-old migrant sexually assaulted an eight-year-old girl at a public park in Hilden near Solingen. A 31-year-old migrant from Tunisia was arrested for attempting to rape a 30-year-old woman in Chemnitz. A 31-year-old migrant from Morocco appeared in court for raping a 31-year-old woman in Dresden. A migrant sexually assaulted a 42-year-old woman inMainz. A migrant sexually assaulted a 32-year-old woman in Münchfeld. An African migrantsexually assaulted a 55-year-old woman in Mannheim.
January 15. Male migrants were banned from a public swimming pool in Bornheim, near Bonn, after they were accused of assaulting female patrons at the facility.
Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. His first book, Global Fire, will be out in 2016.