Cologne and its aftermath

The New Year’s Eve events in Germany have had a predictable effect in Hungary. As usual, Hungarians are divided on the issue. The majority, those who were against immigration in the first place, feel justified, while the minority tries to find some sensible explanation for what happened.

Giving an accurate summary of the events is not an easy task in light of the conflicting reports released by the police and contradictory comments by German politicians. The numbers of incidents reported to the police are also changing constantly. By now, police have received 516 complaints in Cologne alone. And the number of assailants varies from a few hundred to a thousand.

Although we know that Cologne was not the only place where these events occurred, most of us have no idea about the other locations or the number of victims. I found a good summary, from which I learned that police received 50 criminal complaints in Hamburg, 39 of which were sexual in nature; in Stuttgart two 18-year-old girls were surrounded and groped by a group of about 15 men; eleven women filed criminal complaints in Düsseldorf; and in Frankfurt there were seven criminal complaints, including the case of three women who were surrounded by a group of 10 men and “massively” groped. In addition, some reporters include the rapes of two girls that took place in Weil am Rhein, close to the Swiss border. These rapes, however, were not part of the events on the streets of Germany’s larger cities. Two girls were gang raped by three or four Syrian young men at a party in the apartment of one of the men.

The Cologne police were incompetent, starting with their total absence from the streets where the revelers were celebrating the coming of the new year. Even under normal circumstances one expects them to be there, but given the threat of terrorist attacks in several European countries, including Germany, their absence is really unforgivable. The second problem was that the story broke only three days after the events. Although most people blame the delay on mistaken notions of political correctness, which may or may not be the case, I’m astonished that attacks on hundreds of people by as many as one thousand men could be kept quiet for that long.

By January 7 the police were convinced that finding and convicting the perpetrators would be very difficult, given the time that had elapsed. Witnesses believed that they were men of North African and Arab appearance. Police at that point called attention to earlier “criminal gangs that operated in strength for several years in the area, turning it into a place many Cologners avoid after dark.” They are locally known as antänzer (waltzers). They snuggle up to their victims, twisting a leg around them. As the result the victims lose their balance. A few seconds later their wallets or cell phones are missing. If, however, the attackers were newly arrived refugees, they couldn’t have known about the tricks of these organized gangs. And indeed, at this point the police announced that they had no knowledge of who the perpetrators were.

During the next three days the Cologne police identified a total of 19 suspects, all foreigners. But what is interesting is that these people were not from Cologne but travelled there from other German cities. As of yesterday, police believe that the suspects came from North Africa.

The other issue on which no consensus exists among police officials and politicians is whether these simultaneous attacks were organized. On the basis of secret police reports, Bild am Sonntag claims that the North African groups organized the attack on Cologne online. Heiko Maas, Germany’s minister of justice, shares that widely-held opinion, which most likely is correct. The most revealing statement came from Holger Münch, head of Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office, who said that “the same conditions were in place at different locations…. I’m not saying that there was no organization, but it is not organized crime. That would have a different quality for me. We would be talking about … hierarchical groups.” However, “what we see here is perpetrators communicating with each other and making arrangements.” So, in brief, gangs organized the attacks online. This is a very different story from the generalization that men from Muslim countries, because of their cultural differences, are unfit to live by European rules and to learn that in their future home men and women have equal rights.

Reaction from the extreme right was swift in Cologne and elsewhere. A rogue band of “bikers, hooligans and bouncers” organized a “manhunt” on Facebook before attacking a group of Pakistanis in Cologne. Two Pakistani men needed hospital treatment after being attacked by 20 vigilantes. Soon enough a 39-year-old Syrian national was assaulted by a group of five people.

But the worst anti-migrant violence occurred in the Connewitz section of Leipzig, where police arrested 211 far-right extremists. While they were smashing windows and setting several cars on fire, members of the xenophobic group LEGIDA, the local version of the Dresden PEGIGA, marched, demonstrating against the asylum seekers. Supporters of Viktor Orbán can rejoice. Among the posters they carried was one that read “Köszönöm—1956, 1989, 2015.” Meanwhile, five police officers were injured. Leipzig politicians were shocked. The general secretary of Saxony’s Social Democrats, Daniela Kolbe, wanted to know “how can it be that a mob of 250 violent Nazis can rampage through Connewitz without the intelligence agency warning of this danger beforehand?”

Viktor Orbán, the idol of the German right

Viktor Orbán, the idol of the German far right

While LEGIDA members demonstrated in one part of the city, thousands of Leipzigers also turned out in the rain yesterday in opposition to LEGIDA. The gathering was organized by a broad coalition of trade unions, churches, NGOs, and businesses such as Porsche and BMW, who had called on citizens to form a human chain around the city center to demonstrate against LEGIDA.

I should also mention something the Hungarian media doesn’t report: A survey was conducted by Forsa, a polling group, for RTL Television, which showed that 60% of respondents saw no reason to change their attitude toward foreigners after the assaults. About 37% said they viewed foreigners more critically. In any case, as of today, Germany’s laws concerning deportation will be tightened. “Any custodial sentence for crimes against another person’s bodily integrity, including sexual assaults, as well as violent thefts, would be grounds for deportation.” Meanwhile, let’s hope that calm can be maintained and far-right, neo-Nazi groups restrained.

 

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Istvan
Guest

This video in English gives a slightly different breakdown of those arrested for the Cologne violence New Years Eve than Eva does. See http://dw.com/p/1Habs?twvia@dwnews In the video Tobias Plate a spokesperson for the German Interior Ministry states there were 31 suspects: 9 were Algerian citizens, 8 Moroccans, 4 Syrians, 5 Iranians, 1 Iraqi, 1 Serbian, 1 American, and 2 German citizens. Of these 31 suspects 18 were asylum seekers. None of these 31 suspects have been charged with sexual assault because apparently those cases are “more difficult.”

Guest

One thing is for sure for some reason these asylum seeker men behave “slightly” differently in their chosen country then those who left Hungary in 1956. At least I don’t remember any similar news on east European emigrants in US, Canada, Australia or anywhere else. It would also be strange to read the same news in Cologne but with Chinese emigrants in Germany. So I don’t believe we cannot disregard the country of origin of the perpetrators.

tappanch
Guest

“”What happened in Cologne has been happening here in Berlin for a year, but on a smaller scale,”
“Yasaroglu works in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin. In recent months, he has seen how, time and again, women are verbally harassed, then groped, then robbed. “This is not some sudden loss of inhibition, but calculated action by criminals.” Thieves intentionally distract women with sexual assaults, he says, and many of those responsible are from countries in North Africa. Some of them have had their applications for asylum rejected, leaving them with a “tolerated” immigration status and a miserable life.”
“A dozen gangs, roughly 10 to 15 people in size, have divided the neighborhood up amongst themselves and are increasingly terrorizing residents and tourists. ”

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/cologne-attacks-trigger-raw-debate-on-immigration-in-germany-a-1071175.html

Guest

The following article from Deutsche Welle, is so far the most intelligent analysis of the Cologne events.

Written by Lale Akgun, a Turkish born Muslim, and German politician, it focuses on the sexually repressive nature of most Muslim countries, and the inherent disrespect for women, who are deemed to be worth simply half the value of a man.

whttp://www.dw.com/en/lale-akg%C3%BCn-muslim-migrants-need-to-accept-german-social-norms/a-18967945

Wondercat
Guest

A remarkably efficient summary of a tangled business. Thank you.

Guest

Lale Akgün says it quite clearly – Islam has to adapt to the modern world – just like Christianity has to!

Two small corrections:
That link of course works only if you delete the first letter .
The right wing group is called PEGIDA – really abominable creatures there! It’s also typical and telling that this movement started in former Communist Germany …
I’m not saying that we don’t have similar people in West Germany, but somehow those 45 years of Communist rule have left their marks – in Hungary as well as we all know.

PS:
Still I find it funny that so many new people (Fidesz trolls?) appear here, now that there are problems outside of Hungary – trying to divert from Orbán and his Mafia’s machinations?

Latest news:
Our newspaper reports that in most cases of sexual harassment in Cologne purses and/or mobile phones were also stolen!
The women only realised this often after overcoming their shock at being groped.
So this seems to have been an organised activity.

Tyrker
Guest

What I infer from your comment – as well as those made by other Wessies – is that the Bundesrepublik has, by and large, failed at integrating the Ossies (i.e. their own flesh and blood!) in the past 25 years, so how can you expect it to integrate masses of Afghans, Persians, Arabs and other non-German, non-European elements?

Guest

“Some” Ossies don’t (want to …) accept democracy and capitalism after having lived in so called communism for so long – just as some Hungarians have similar problems.
Whether and how those “non Europeans” will accept our rules will have to be seen – I know many positive and negative examples …

Ron
Guest

“The general secretary of Saxony’s Social Democrats, Daniela Kolbe, wanted to know “how can it be that a mob of 250 violent Nazis can rampage through Connewitz without the intelligence agency warning of this danger beforehand?”

Is she living under a rock? This is going on for a long time in Leipzig. It is partly due to overcrowding and housing issues, “extreme left” fighting with police last year, and now a clash with the extreme right and of course fighting between these two parties.

I believe the problem is much more complex, but mainly due to lack of discussion of these problems, Due to extreme positions by the politicians and media, either you are against refugees (you are extreme right), you are for the refugees (you are extreme left). There is no middle position.

On top of this Germany like Holland do not kick people out if committed petty crimes.

observer683
Guest
There are criminals among all groups “Albanian mafia” running drugs, Hungarians running prostitution and steeling cars, Ukrainians ditto + contraband, etc., even Swiss S.Blatter is suspect. By circumstances certain groups “specialize” in certain crimes (street gangs don’t embezzle FIFA millions and Blatter & co wouldn’t steel cars) . “ ..young men who grope women on the street could seem like an isolated phenomenon. But they’re not; they’re part of a bigger problem..” These complex problems can be resolved only with the involvement of the whole society without much PC. Mass immigration has shock effects, just as any sudden change, creates new problems (e.g. need language and job training, multi cultural co-existence issues) or exacerbates existing ones. Certain (e.g. ethnic or religious) groups show statistically higher incidence of problematic, e.g. low school attendance/achievement, drunkenness, rowdy, aggressive) or criminal behavior. Changing large group’s culture is a difficult, long process measured in generations, i.e. it looks impossible from the prospective of an individual’s lifespan. Finally, the basis of liberal and democratic societies is the individual’s freedom to choose occupation, lifestyle, religion, political orientation, sexuality etc. without much interference from state, organization, or individual. These same societies plan to “integrate” the often unwilling immigrants… Read more »
Observer
Guest
There are criminals among all groups “Albanian mafia” running drugs, Hungarians running prostitution and steeling cars, Ukrainians ditto + contraband, etc., even Swiss S.Blatter is suspect. By circumstances certain groups “specialize” in certain crimes (street gangs don’t embezzle FIFA millions and Blatter & co wouldn’t steel cars) . “ ..young men who grope women on the street could seem like an isolated phenomenon. But they’re not; they’re part of a bigger problem..” These complex problems can be resolved only with the involvement of the whole society without much PC. Mass immigration has shock effects, just as any sudden change, creates new problems (e.g. need language and job training, multi cultural co-existence issues) or exacerbates existing ones. Certain (e.g. ethnic or religious) groups show statistically higher incidence of problematic, e.g. low school attendance/achievement, drunkenness, rowdy, aggressive) or criminal behavior. Changing large group’s culture is a difficult, long process measured in generations, i.e. it looks impossible from the prospective of an individual’s lifespan. Finally, the basis of liberal and democratic societies is the individual’s freedom to choose occupation, lifestyle, religion, political orientation, sexuality etc. without much interference from state, organization, or individual. These same societies plan to “integrate” the often unwilling immigrants… Read more »
Member
“Bild am Sonntag claims that the North African groups organized the attack on Cologne online. Heiko Maas, Germany’s minister of justice, shares that widely-held opinion, which most likely is correct… So, in brief, gangs organized the attacks online.” Eva – My problem with this analysis is that juvenile delinquents (many of whom are North African-looking) have been groping women on New Years Eve in European cities for decades. I myself was involved in an incident on New Year’s 1991-92 in Brussels’ Grand Place where I pushed several leather-clad boys away from a young woman. Over the years, I have heard of numerous similar incidents during Fasching celebrations, Oktoberfest and other festivities. Nobody talked about online organization in previous years. Why would they need to organize online in 2015-16? Let’s look at what Germany Justice Minister Maas actually said: “Nobody can tell me that this was not co-ordinated or prepared . . . When such a horde meets to commit criminal acts it looks like it was planned in some form.” So, it LOOKS LIKE it was planned. Maas sounds like he was just guessing. And let’s remember Maas is a member of the Social Democratic Party, which would love to… Read more »
Zoli
Guest
In terms of the last point with the 60% who did not change their views on foreigners, author seems to automatically assume that those 60% had good views of them, which did not change. It may be that many of the 60% had negative views, which did not change, but only re-affirmed. As for the whole deportations thing, She” Merkeled” it once again. It is one way to do nothing about this, while sounding like she does. Of the up to 1,000 men who may have taken part in the “festivities” in Cologne, so far about 30 were detained, and of those who knows how many will be charged, maybe none, so how many will be deported of the ones who perpetrated those assaults? Nothing however in regards to the bigger potential problem of the wave of asylum seekers bringing their culture with them, thus forever changing German society, and as we can see, not for the better. German women are already starting the process of losing their cultural rights, through the threat to their safety. Eventually, perhaps in a few generations, they may lose their legal rights as well, if the Muslim asylum seekers keep coming at the current… Read more »
petofi
Guest

I’m far from being a refugee supporter but it would be ridiculous for those groups to worsen their situation in the country that is openly welcoming them.

More likely, right-wing elements, and the ever-present bogeymen–the FSB (or KGB) are out to muddy the waters and weaken Europe’s
only true leader–Merkel.

Member

Please stop with conspiracy theories.

Among 1 million people suddenly showing up, there are going to be some bad apples. It is that simple. It is not really something that should be a political issue, even though both sides try to make it one (right claiming it will bring down European culture and the left acting as the three blind, deaf and mute monkeys).

Cultural Anthropology 101: Those that come to Europe have different cultures and social norms to Europe, and these need to adapted to European cultural values. But they have not yet done so. This is not a “immigration” issue, it is not a “FSB/KGB” conspiracy. This is simply some degree of German political denial of social differences that need to be addressed ASAP.

Others countries are more honest and socially aware of this issue.

http://truckerworld.uk/posts/2015/12/norway-is-teaching-male-immigrants-how-to-treat-women/

Because that is what it really is: just an “issue”. Not the end of the world. Not the end of European civilization (unless national political leaders continue to stick their collective heads in the ground).

spectator
Guest
“Cultural Anthropology 101: Those that come to Europe have different cultures and social norms to Europe, and these need to adapted to European cultural values. But they have not yet done so.” With all due respect — just when and how they were supposed to adapt? I mean, most of them arrived recently, and I hardly think that they even have been properly informed, let alone warned of the possibility of such problem and the consequences to come. Add to the picture a few “helpful” people who may have ‘explained’ to them, that this is the day when everything goes, and that the scream and protest of the women only part of the game. Do you think that only my imagination run wild? If we just look at their respective “different cultures” – just where exactly these people could have learned such behaviour, where is a common practice to go out at NY’s eve and try to grope as many women as possible? The Tahir square occurrences point rather to another kind of behavioural pattern than culturally inspired: the strength in numbers, the (relative) impunity, the free-of-consequences situation, the mass pressure and gang-mentality, so I wouldn’t go down and compare… Read more »
e-2016
Guest

Petofi maybe absolutely right.

The Arab Spring was taken over by organized thugs.

The Fradi thugs can be called up for riots in Budapest at any time.

A few packs of cigarettes, money. promise of fun and looting. are enough to organize public disturbance.

The police must use undercover agents to catch the ringleaders.

petofi
Guest

@e-2016

And what makes you think that the police (or undercover agents), in places like Hungary, are on the level?

Lumpy Lang
Guest

The German ruling class (yes the folks who brought you Auschwitz) are now abandoning their longstanding liberal pretenses and drawing straight from Orban’s successful political playbook.

The sharp rightward turn against migrants and refugees, for which the Koln events have provided the most recent pretext, is expressed in media working up the most backward elements of the population into a frenzy of racial-sexual hysteria, portraying in primordial images gangs dark-skinned sub-humans outraging innocent white womanhood. This filth comes on top of the racist “War on Terror” tropes already being played to the hilt.

Orban’s Hungary has gone from being the anomaly in Europe to the trail-blaizer for a very dark future.

Observer
Guest

Right, but you forgot the punch line of the script. “Orban is winning”

spectator
Guest

Yeah..!
And his similarly bright followers yet to figure out that their ‘Greatest Leader Ever’ wasn’t even that certain blob of protein — what his long time friend and ally Simicska referred to — in 1956!

At least the word “KÖSZÖNÖM” spelled right.

Guest

The Budapest Business Journal just reported that North Korean State TV M1 put out a video from Cairo – claiming it was shot in Cologne …

“The video was taken on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, and it was recently uploaded to the largest video sharing site. Dozens of migrants surround a blonde woman, who has no chance of escaping. Her shouts and attempts to push the migrant men away failed, as they did not let her go. The video might have been taken with a phone by one of the migrants, exposing the incident.”

http://bbj.hu/politics/report-m1-shows-cairo-sex-assault-video-says-its-cologne_109821
Propaganda at its finest!

gdfxx
Guest

Just a reminder: Arab Spring “revolutionaries” had raped a CBS reporter in Tahrir Square in Egypt, while celebrating their “freedom”. A sexual assault is reprehensible wherever it happens. Far from me to defend Kim Jong Un and his gang but what difference does it make, to quote Hillary…

Palika
Guest
Whilst I have been fascinated by the divers and intelligently expressed contributions to the blog it maybe difficult to deny that there is a problem the magnitude of which may be too soon the assess. Large population movements create problems and the ones we have just seen in Germany are the early manifestations of what might be in store. On the one hand we there is the point that the reported behaviour may or may not have been accurately told. On the other there is the reaction to it by the local population whether well motivated or otherwise. i am tempted to make the point that the assaults by migrants on local girls has been absent from the news from Hungary and therefore Orban could and no doubt will say that he told us all along. This is however an issue of utmost sensitivity. It can be argued with some force that migration on the scale we have recently seen will create huge problems. The very presence of migrants on this scale is quite likely to contribute to disharmony and other risks to public order. Our aim should be to maintain harmony in our communities. The huge numbers of migrants… Read more »
Izobar
Guest

Too many idle (uneducated) young men is always a recipe for disaster. Both in Germany, and Egypt as well as Los Angeles or in Putnok or Kisvárda.

This situation is exacerbated by local customs which make it difficult for poor men to marry (while in addition in some countries rich men may have multiple wives) and the systemic infanticide against baby girls.

It’s not a surprise that even in Hungary more crimes are committed in places with a relatively young roma population. The roma kids are uneducated, poor and have no jobs, no wonder they get aggressive especially when in a group. When the local white population is primarily made up of middle-aged and elderly people, the contrast between the young, aggressive, unruly roma and the docile white population may appear even bigger.

Zsuzsa
Guest

Three men detained by the police? My husband recalls that in Saskatoon, in the late fifties, the RCMP arrested three Hungarian “freedom fighters” for raping a young woman in an apartment down the street. The police even took away a mattress as evidence. The remaining occupant stood on the street lamenting the loss of the mattress. There was no organized protest against the Hungarian refugees.

Ndy - a complot (fr.)...
Guest
Ndy - a complot (fr.)...

Perhaps after all this riot was an organized, thing – started by German right wingers who thought to discredit the new arrivals en bloc.

A small minority of these right wingers could have sent in a willing African organizer to present the occasion to some north-Africans as an opportunity for some “new Year’s fun”.

My experience with some Moroccans for example is that they may see for example blond women -wholesale- as whores. Even after a few years in the West, some find it hard to grapple with the notion of the ‘permissively’ acting or attractive young females as available for sex at the calling…. which in effect is not at all the case.

Evidently it is a cultural bias and could in a fair number of cases result in aggressive behavior after drinking or an aggressive ‘escapade’ trying for an opportunity of ‘fun.’…

Just maybe someone in the higher police hierarchy is adopting a silent attitude vis-a-vis the right wing origins of this pre-planned meleee….

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