A village in Germany has released a list of ground rules for migrants. The list covers matters of basic civility – like shopping and the Highway Code – to fundamental principles of Western society; like gender equality, not harassing young girls and learning the native language.
“Germany is a clean country and should remain so” states the document, reminding migrants that, in Germany, “We do our necessities exclusively on toilets, not in gardens and parks, not even in hedges and behind bushes.”
Hardheim, in Franconia Odenwald, is home to just 4,600 inhabitants. Yet approximately 1,000 refugees are currently housed in nearby Carl-Schurz-Kaserne.
Locals produced the document to help migrants integrate into their tightly knit community, and published it on the municipality website.
Some people online have accused the village of “racism,” however, and of indulging “stereotypes,” not respecting “German political tolerance,” and addressing migrant like “animals.” The page has now been taken down.
According to reproductions in the German media, they very politely began:
“Dear stranger, dear stranger! Welcome to Germany, welcome to Hardheim. Many of you have gone through terrible things. War, mortal danger, a perilous escape across half the world. That is over now. You are now in Germany.”
The document asks migrants to “learn as soon as possible the German language, so that we can communicate and you can bring your needs to express to us,” and to not make noise after 10pm in their small village.
Informing migrants they need to, “pay [for] goods at the grocery store before you open them” in Germany, and must not, “enter private property; no gardens, barns and other buildings and also not take fruit and vegetables that do not belong to you.”
More fundamental issue of Western law and culture, which migrants can struggle with, are also addressed:
“It is true that religious freedom is for all [in Germany],” they state. Equality of the sexes is mentioned: “Women must lead an independent life and have the same rights as men,” stating that all women must be treated with respect.
It also instructs the migrants, who are nearly all men, to refrain from making sexual advances on “young women” in the small town, by not “asking of mobile numbers and Facebook contact, harass them, or ask anyone to get married,” it says.
“Germany is a peaceful country,” concludes the statement.