One of the dozens of women who was groped by members of a mob in Cologne, Germany on New Year’s Eve described the attack but turned her back to cameras to protect her identity.
The unidentified woman described the scene, her voice shaking with tears,”We were fondled, I was groped between my legs. My friends also were fondled. My boyfriend tried to pull me away. There was quite a big group of people, maybe thirty or forty.”
The woman is just one of 120 people who have filed complaints with police about a group of young men of “Arab or North African” appearance. On New Year’s Eve the men fired fireworks into the crowd of people in a plaza located between the train station and the Cathedral. Dozens of women were groped and at least two report being raped. Many others were victims of theft, apparently of the same mob.
The attack has sent ripples through German society, which took in nearly a million asylum seeking immigrants last year from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has pushed Germans to welcome the new immigrants, has said she is outraged by the attacks.
Authorities have been quick to say there is no evidence the New Year’s Eve attacks were carried out by recent immigrants, but police and witnesses did confirm the ethnic identity of the men in question.
Many have noted that news of the mass of attacks on women seemed to come out rather slowly after the event, as if authorities did not want to publicize what had happened.
Similar assaults were reported in two other cities in Germany on New Year’s Eve, though the number of victims was much smaller in those cases.