Journalists at Berlin’s public service broadcaster were surprised to discover hardline attitudes to newcomers among established migrants in Germany, with some of those interviewed admitting they would like to see many newcomers deported.
Migrants who have lived in Germany for decades said a recent influx of foreigners to the area has had a negative effect on residents’ quality of life, and feel that politicians are not representing their interests.
The footage has recently come to light after an English-language translation was published to YouTube. Although references to the programme survive on the network’s Facebook page, the original video which aired in September is no longer on the broadcaster’s website.
Asking about local issues in Berlin’s Neukölln and Kreuzberg districts, reporters heard “refugees” have driven up rents and damaged the atmosphere in the neighbourhoods they inhabit.
Rbb24’s first interviewee, a woman who has lived in Germany for 40 years, described the recent migrant influx as a “catastrophe”. “The refugees, they have to go away!” she exclaimed. Asked whether she believes they should all be deported, the woman shrugs, asserting “they don’t belong here”.
“Today’s refugees get social housing, welfare payments. And this, and that, and this. Why?” the woman questions. Asserting, “I’m a foreigner myself”, she proudly tells the reporter she votes for the nationalist National Democratic Party (NPD).
A woman wearing a colourful hijab also expressed annoyance at the way resources are being used on migrants. Commenting on the recent surge of foreigners to the area she says: “It’s become a little… terrible around here. Not like it used to be.”
”Too many people came to Neukölln. When they come they have to earn a living. They have to give something else — don’t give them our apartments for example. Don’t give them our jobs,” the woman explained.
A migrant who has worked in Germany for decades also lamented the effect recentimei numbers waves of migrants have had on the area. “I’ve had my market here for 20 years. It used to be good people around here that bought my goods. But now, no one buys anything any more… The Germans all moved away,” he said sadly, adding: “Now there’s only refugees and foreigners here.”
One foreign man asserted that more recent migrants are badly behaved and called for tougher treatment in dealing with offenders. “I’ve been here for almost 39 years, I’m happy, I have a family. I’m proud of my son, I have good children,” he says.
“But the foreigners who come now, the ones who came two or three years ago — they’ve caused so much shit in Germany. If I were a German mayor, the mayor of Berlin, I swear to you… When these foreigners steal something — even if it’s small — deport them. Immediately. But they always ramble about a ‘free country’ and ‘democratic’. What the hell does that even mean?”
Other foreigners interviewed by the network bemoaned the effect mass migration has had on the rental market. Asked what he thinks is the biggest problem for people living in Berlin, an African man identified housing. “There’s a problem with the rental prices — it’s uncontrollable. You can no longer get an apartment where you’d like to. It has become too expensive,” he argued.
Reporters heard from another Berlin resident that mass migration has sent rental prices “skyrocketing”. The man pointed out that, as a result, “people who have been living here and working here for a long time” are unable to find an apartment.
A younger interviewee told journalists: “It would be nice if people who don’t have as much money — students or the unemployed, or people who didn’t have the best jobs — it would be great if they could afford a normal apartment and not only ones in the outskirts or way out in the countryside.”
On a post promoting the feature, on the television network’s Facebook page, a number of Germans remarked that white people expressing the opinions voiced by the foreigners in the segment would be labeled as Nazis. One user wrote: “If a German went on camera and said what these people have said, they would be put in jail.”