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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Denk ich an Deutschland

Denk ich an Deutschland in der Nacht,
dann bin ich um den Schlaf gebracht.
(“When I think of Germany at night, I can no longer sleep”; Heinrich Heine 1843)
Why do I always have to write about bad news here? Is it my German angst, is it only natural that I, a German student, am "usually not "begeistert"? Or is it maybe the state of the world in general and of Doitschland in particular? Judge for yourself:

On April 16, an Afro-German citizen was attacked by two men and one woman in the East-German city of Potsdam. Prior to the attack, the man tried to call his wife from his cell phone, got only her mailbox, and somehow he didn't hang up. Thus we have a recording of the racist insults (e.g. "Dirty nigger") that preceded the attack. The attack left the man severly wounded and he was put in an artificial coma, now still struggling for his life. So far, so terrible.

Immediately after the racist attempted murder became public there was a large outcry of concern and politicians from all over the spectrum condemned the attack. However, several observers suspected that some people might have been more concerned with Germany's reputation than with the racist crime itself, especially only a few weeks before the soccer world-cup will begin (slogan: "The world hosted by friends"). Attacks on foreigners (or those who are believed to be non-German) are not uncommon and this case is by no means unique.

The suspicion about the motives of politicians is furthered by the disgusting remarks of the German minister of the interior, Wolfgang Schäuble (Christian Democrats). In an interview with the public broadcaster Deutschlandradio Kultur four days after the attack he proclaimed: "We don't know about the motives, we don't know the offenders. We should be a bit careful." As if this was not enough, he then fantasized about poor Aryan victims: "Blond, blue-eyed people are also victims of violent crimes, partly even by offenders that possibly don't have the German citizenship. That is no better."

I am so sick!

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