Alarmist headline? Not really.
No matter what you think of Germany's PM Merkel and her decision to allow hundreds of thousands of refugees into Germany, this is extremely disturbing. I loved Cologne when we briefly visited the city. It was such an alive city, full of a diverse range of real people and in spite of being heavily bombed during the war, there was still plenty of history. There seems to have been an attempt at a cover up, and once the story was out, no one would say anything about race or origin of the perpetrators, but eventually the story broke properly, or did it? Did you hear about it? It is futile to attempt cover ups in these fast communication days and it is futile to not name the origins of people who perpetrate crimes. Even the most prominent do gooders in society need statistics and information about problems with those they support. The stupid mayor, herself the victim of a knife attack by extremists, suggested women should keep men at an arm's length to protect themselves. A woman encircled by twenty North African and Arabic men intent on sexually assaulting her should take note. Keep the men at an arm's length. Very sad business indeed for women out to have some fun on New Year's Eve.
Do remember that Merkel is a conservative party politician, and conservative parties are always looking for factory fodder workers to break down the working conditions and pay of those born to the country.
This text from the wonderful Guardian electric newspaper
German police are investigating reports that scores of women were
sexually assaulted and mugged in Cologne city centre during New Year’s
Eve celebrations, in what a minister called a “completely new dimension
Authorities and media were accused of a cover-up linked to initial
indications that, according to the police, those allegedly responsible
for the sex attacks and numerous robberies were of Arab and north
Sixty complaints were filed to police, a third of which were linked
to sexual assault. Cologne’s mayor, Henriette Reker, called an emergency
meeting of high-ranking security officials on Tuesday, saying her aim
was to ensure the city centre did not turn into a “lawless zone”.
Between 500 and 1,000 men described as drunk and aggressive are
believed to have been behind the attacks on partygoers in the centre of
the western German city. Whether they were working as a single group or
in separate gangs remains unclear.
Women reported being tightly surrounded by groups of men who harassed
and mugged them. Some people threw fireworks into the crowds, adding to
“Sexual crimes took place on a huge scale,” said the police
president, Wolfgang Albers. “The crimes were committed by a group of
people who from appearance were largely from the north African or Arab
He said one of the victims had been raped. A volunteer policewoman was among those said to have been sexually assaulted.
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, called Reker to express her
outrage, according to a statement from her office. She called for
authorities to find the perpetrators as “quickly and comprehensively as
possible and to punish them without regard to their origin or
Officers are working on the assumption that the men had organised
their plan of attack. They said many of the perpetrators were known to
them and some may have been asylum seekers, though not new arrivals to Germany.
Similar attacks are believed to have taken place on a smaller scale
in Hamburg’s red light district of St Pauli on New Year’s Eve, according
to a police spokesman.
In Cologne, police said the men appeared to have come from Morocco,
Algeria and Tunisia and were on average in their mid-20s. They had
gathered on the square in front of the main train station next to the
city’s towering Gothic cathedral and smaller groups of men appeared to
repeatedly leave the group to target female revellers, many of whom had
arrived via train from the provinces around Cologne to celebrate the new
year in the city.
Heiko Maas, Germany’s justice minister, condemned the attacks and
called for better police protection in German cities. “The despicable
attacks on women will not be tolerated. This is obviously a completely
new dimension of organised crime,” he tweeted.
Barbara Steffens, the minister for emancipation in the North Rhine
Westphalia (NRW) government, said the New Year’s Eve incident was “the
tip of a very unpleasant iceberg”. She called for a “larger societal
condemnation of a male abuse of power”.
The density of the crowds in Cologne meant that hundreds of police
were deployed on Thursday night. Questions are being asked as to how
they failed to realise until much later that crimes were taking place on
such a large scale. Police say the full extent of the attacks only
became clear in the following days as increasing numbers of victims
began to come forward. It is believed that many women have yet to report
assaults, and police appealed for people who had not already done so to
Arnold Plickert, head of the police trade union in NRW, told the
Deutsche Presse Agentur that the incidents were “of a new quality … What
we’ve been able to establish is that this is an organised method.”
He said questions needed to be asked as to “how it was possible that
this thousand-strong group was able to come to Cologne and meet up
Police in Hamburg said some aspects of the attackers’ methods were akin to those of skilled pickpockets operating in the city.
Officers of Operation New Year, set up to investigate the attacks,
will examine CCTV footage from in and around the station in an effort to
identify perpetrators. Reker said a discussion on installing further
cameras would form part of her emergency talks.
One of the victims, identified only as Katja L, told the Kölner
Express: “When we came out of the station, we were very surprised by the
group we met, which was made up only of foreign men … We walked through
the group of men, there was a tunnel through them, we walked through … I
was groped everywhere. It was a nightmare. Although we shouted and hit
them, they men didn’t stop. I was horrified and I think I was touched
around 100 times over the 200 metres.”
One investigator told the Kölner Express: “The female victims were so
badly pushed about, they had heavy bruises on their breasts and
Critics of Merkel’s open-door policy
on refugees were quick to blame it for the attacks, despite the
police’s insistence that the alleged perpetrators were not new arrivals.
One tweet attributed to a follower of Pegida, the anti-Islam,
anti-immigrant protest group , stated: “Merkel … you’re an accessory to
the abuse at Cologne.”
On Pegida’s Facebook page, a woman identifying herself as Angelina
Southern got more than 500 likes for her comment: “I could puke when I
read this, and there are still so many deluded idiots who say ‘Welcome
refugees’ … Close the borders now. For God’s sake, Merkel belongs on the
The attacks have been the main talking point on Twitter in Germany,
with some people accusing the media of a cover-up and others expressing
their concern that the incident would be seized on by anti-refugee
On New Year’s Eve worldwide attention had been focused on the
southern German city of Munich where areas around the main station and
another station outside the centre were closed after intelligence
reports indicated that Islamic State supporters planned to launch attacks. It followed the cancellation of a football match in the northern city of Hanover in November after a French tipoff that Isis planned to target the stadium.
In October, Reker, was the victim of a vicious attack over her
refugee-friendly policies when she was stabbed in the neck by a man
during her campaign as an independent candidate for the mayorship.
Each subsequent incident has prompted an escalation in the fierce
debate over whether Germany is making itself more vulnerable due to its