Sexual assault of women en masse was unheard of in modern Germany since the rape of Berlin in 1945, following the invasion of Soviet troops. But it became an abrupt reality again in 2016.
The news from Cologne shocked Europe, though the incidents were at first covered up to protect migrants. Police reports show that more than 2,000 men were involved in the sexual assaults. Only 120 of them were ever identified by the authorities. Those who were found were given suspended sentences of a year or less.
Both the scale of the crimes committed and the nationalities, religion and ethnicities of the assailants were obscured by both government and the media. Similar attacks in Hamburg and Stuttgart were simply not reported by journalists at all.
But recent interviews with victims have revealed the scale of the horrors they endured. One 23-year-old woman recounts: “They were everywhere with their hands. I had fingers in every orifice. I screamed the entire time.”
Women report having their underwear ripped off and being pushed to the ground after being circled by up to 50 men. One policeman described these events as rapes accompanied by thefts and robbery.
There are several reasons these attacks have not been reported on, or been reported on inaccurately. Firstly, the German police force itself covered them up. The Cologne police report released on January 1, described New Year’s Eve as “peaceful” and “relaxed.”
Even more astonishingly, an interviewee on Polish state TV has claimed CCTV footage of Cologne was deleted by senior police officers.
Germans aren’t surprised by such reports any more. According to the tabloid Express, the government is trying to find and prosecute a leaker in their own ranks who gave the press confidential information – namely, that the German government requested that Police did not include the word “rape” in their Cologne report.
The German media has been complicit in these machinations. State-funded ZDF initially refused to report on the incidents for reasons that remain unclear. After a massive wave of criticism and mockery on social media the broadcaster was forced to issue a public apology, after which the ZDF started extensively reporting on Cologne, but not on similar incidents in Stuttgart and Hamburg.
Among the German population there are now repeated accusations that German media has an agenda set by the government and that it sets editorial demands in line with the government’s wishes, which are dictated by politics and ideology.
Additionally, scandals like ZDF lying about Vladimir Putin in one of their documentaries, to garner support against him, are being revealed. This has raised suspicions even further, to the point where its critics, citizens and politicians alike openly call ZDF a “state-funded propaganda broadcaster.”
Lack of coverage isn’t the only issue at play. Many German media outlets refused to name or indicate the ethnic origin or religious affiliations of the assailants, fearing that they would feed racist and xenophobic sentiment. The Police did the same and it was only later revealed that they were under orders not inform anyone about the criminal activities of migrants.
Some politicians on the left and some parts of the media still refuse to acknowledge that it was overwhelmingly refugees and Muslim migrants, as stated by the chief prosecutor Ulrich Bremer, committing these sexual assaults. Others go so far as to attempt to re-frame the issue.
It has become clear that these are not isolated incidents driven by “toxic masculinity.” Yet Claudia Roth, a member of Germany’s Grüne party and Vice President of the Bundestag said the following: “It is wrong to pretend that the events of New Year’s Eve was one of the first breakouts of sexual violence against women. The same thing happens around carnival and Oktoberfest.
“A large portion of the current rage is not directed against sexual violence, but on reports that the potential assailants are North-African and Arabic in appearance. An internet mob is trying to call out a hunt on non-whites and exact revenge on them.”
Germany’s interior minister, Ralf Jäger, was quick to try and one-up her, going so far as to say that what was happening in right-wing chat rooms after the Cologne attacks was at least as bad as the attacks themselves.
At the same time, Muslim leaders such as Imam Abu-Yusuf in Cologne have publicly said:”The women themselves carry responsibility for the attacks, when they run around half-naked and perfume themselves.”
It seems he isn’t alone in his assessment of his situation — nor in his fondness for victim-blaming. Austrian police, months later, took a similar stance, telling female assault victims to dye their hair dark and not to dress provocatively. Cologne’s mayor, Henriette Reker, was the quickest to propose that, “women in the city should adhere to a dress code to prevent further attacks.”
Politicians and the media appear afraid to name the the origins of the Cologne attackers, possibly believing that such facts would be politically incorrect, destroy cultural cohesion in Germany, go against Angela Merkel’s plans or have some other, mysteriously undisclosed social consequence.
In Germany today, accusations of racism and Nazi affiliations are quickly deployed if someone refuses to tow the party line, or becomes too politically incorrect. Many Germans still carry with them a sense of collective guilt and believe they have to make up for the sins of their grandfathers. This is especially true of older generations.
The fear of being accused of racism or neo-Nazism results in quick retractions and apologies in public life. The mere allegation of racist or nationalistic sentiments can endanger jobs, alienate friends and attract sensationalist media coverage.
Additionally, social media in Germany is heavily censored and has been for some time, in a manner unknown even in the UK and to an extent unimaginable to American citizens: Facebook has hired ex-Stasi agents to find and delete “hate speech.” Twitter and Google collude with the government to delete discussion of immigration.
Now the German government has begun raiding the homes of people who leave comments that the police interpret as hate speech, focusing almost solely on anti-immigration commentary.
One such commenter posted a picture of Adolf Hitler underneath a migrant-related discussion. Another wrote: “To Auschwitz with you.” Many readers will find such sentiments unpleasant, but they hardly justify a police raid of a private residence.
Those observing the events unfolding in Germany will be shocked by what they read in international media and the internet. But they will even more surprised by the lethargic response to them from German citizens. That is because most of them simply have no idea about how gruesome the crimes being committed are, nor how terrifyingly common they have become.
The scale not only of sexual assaults but of journalistic malpractice, police cover-ups and government involvement in the censorship of private citizens’ opinions is not widely known in Germany because it is not reported. Only thanks to new community-run social networks did the events of Cologne become such a national scandal that mass media had no choice but to start covering them.
There is no sign that any foreign-born criminal, legal or illegal, will be deported for his crimes. State president Hannelore Kraft said they can’t be, as their home countries wouldn’t accept them back. Officials doubt any of them will be convicted, supposedly due to the sheer number of men involved and unusable CCTV footage.
So Germans have started taking their protection into their own hands. Pepper spray, stun guns and gas pistols are now in high demand. One arms dealer reported he sold as much in four months as he’d usually sell in four years. Young women, ranging from 14 to 30, are so worried they are enrolling in self-defence classes.
The common German citizen does not believe the police are willing or able to protect them and feel alienated from their own government.
German citizens know what's going on. ("Waffenschein" means weapon permit.) pic.twitter.com/VsC1TGGkrJ
— Milo Yiannopoulos ひ✘ (@Nero) July 13, 2016
Residents of Düsseldorf formed a city watch that has over 13,000 members, with the goal of protecting women. Immediately, media and politicians denounced the group, demanding proactive measures taken against it, under the pretence of a fear about “mob justice.”
Accusations of racism and far-right politics were instantly dished out by the government. In other words, Germany’s elected representatives have begun to punish Germans attempting to protect themselves because the government won’t do its job. Again, the media has been complicit in spreading the party line.
Perhaps as a result, trust in the press is at an all-time low, only comparable to the Weimar era. 60 per cent of Germans have little to no trust in the media while the remaining 40 per cent only have a moderate amount of confidence in them.
One in five of Germans believe that the media deliberately lies about events to push left-wing political agendas and calls the media Lügenpresse, meaning “printer of lies.” Lügenpresse is a term that reaches back to 1848 and was used by the public extensively before the First and Second World Wars.
Asylum centers in Germany are being treated as lawless zones by the Police, who either do not have the ability to deal with them or have lost the willingness to act. Should your phone be stolen and located in an asylum center, the police will refuse to process the crime and not even try to retrieve it.
The scope of asylum-seekers’ criminality is particularly apparent in Austria, where, on average, every second one is criminally charged. Worse yet, the statistic shows that per 100 asylum applications, Nigerians, Georgians and Algerians, commit over 100 crimes.
No one can fault the growing number of German and Austrian citizens who not only believe the government is unwilling to protect them, but is actively fighting against their interests.
How did it come to this?
The established German political parties have experienced a gradual transformation over the past 20 years. In the 1990s, the parties that rule today were politically conservative.
As late as 2010, Merkel herself said that “Multiculturalism is a sham” and that it, as a project, multiculturalism had absolutely failed in 2010, referring to Turkish immigrants who entered Germany after World War II who have refused to integrate and created a parallel society in Germany. In Berlin almost every second one is unemployed, 75 per cent don’t have the equivalent of a high school diploma.
The problems Turkish immigration brought to Germany, although similar to the present crisis, weren’t nearly as severe. But they are still worrying, and they ought to have given Angela Merkel food for thought before she effectively opened Europe’s borders to Muslim migrants.
Before the Syrian migrant crisis, parts of cities were already culturally homogeneous ghettos and formerly growing districts became crime ridden “no-go zones.”
Rape rates increased and forced marriages became regular occurrences. The media called them Tragischer Einzelfall, meaning “tragic, isolated cases,” a term that Germans have begun to mock when they see it in the newspapers because it is used so often.
Still, Turks have tended to stay in their own, contained areas and mass sexual assaults of the type seen in Cologne did not happen before 2016.
Germany’s political parties allowed themselves to be pushed further and further to the Left by constant accusations of racism, Nazism and xenophobia, a phenomenon known to some in the American Republican party as “cuckservatism.”
Despite the problems of today far outstripping those of 2010, Merkel has changed her position on multiculturalism, in defiance of every available piece of evidence. Her slogan has become: “We can do it!” She brazenly admits, “Migrants are ‘more criminal’,” while demanding that German citizens do all they can to accommodate the influx.
Merkel’s meek acceptance of this culture of criminality has caused entire city districts in Berlin to be lost to Arabic family clans, according to Die Welt.
The German bank chief says refugees are a blessing for Germany, but official statistics, studies and interviews paint a different story. The Department for Refugees and Migrants says current regulations allow for the government to easily be scammed by migrants and that fraud occurs in an alarming number of cases.
Up to 10,000 asylum seekers arrived daily at the height of Germany’s open border madness, with over a million already in the country. It is estimated that they will cost German taxpayers €25 to 55 billion per year. The number of migrants is estimated to rise to 3.6 million by 2020, according to the Federal Government.
The result is that hospitals now need professional security and police to treat their patients, to stop assaults on hospital staff and to prevent sexual attacks on female employees. One Czech doctor describes the conditions in German Hospitals in a letter to Czech media, detailing that Muslims refuse to be treated by female staff and insult doctors.
In one case, a child died in one of the best clinics after two days in Germany following the migrant family’s 3 month-long travel. The doctor was stabbed. According to the Czech broadcaster, German media was forbidden from writing about the incident and nobody was punished.
Now, faced with international outrage, Merkel is considering making deportations of criminal refugees easier. The only Germans still cheering #refugeeswelcome are paid protestors in Thüringen and the far-Left, who protested a week after Cologne against “sexism” and “racism”.
On top of that, Vera Lengsfeld, a former representative in the Bundestag (German Federal Parliament), has accused the government of funding Antifa, an extreme far-Left organization, counter-demonstrating at anti-immigration events.
Her accusations went without notice, response or investigation, although many suspected before and after that this was the case.
Violence and immediate police intervention is guaranteed whenever Antifa rears its head. Often they sabotage right-wing protests and the media quickly follows by claiming the fact that it was the fault of the “far-right.”
German Antifa protestors carry signs and placards like, “Bomber Harris do it again!” [referring to the fire-bombing of the civilian city of Dresden in WW2], “I <3 Volkstod” [I love nation-death], “Nie wieder Deutschland” [No more Germany] and “Deutsche sind keine Menschen” [Germans are not people].
In Germany, “justice is blind in only one eye” is a common phrase, but people are shaking off their apathy: The opposition to the Merkelian status quo, called ‘Alternative for Germany’ [AfD], is a euro and immigration-sceptic right-wing party founded in 2013 that is currently enjoying soaring poll ratings.
The party has been resolutely opposing the euro currency and the establishment’s approach to the migrant-crisis. Left-wing activists and the establishment had to respond to their rising popularity — for instance, by sabotaging AfD’s funding.
There are constant calls of racism, sexism, Nazism, “hate speech” and “islamophobia” while far-left activists, as reported in Focus, physically attack AfD with knuckledusters for putting up campaign posters and throw bricks into offices belonging to the AfD.
For those following the sometimes violent, always hysterical, response of the left to the rise of Donald Trump in America, what’s happening to the AfD should be no surprise.
Only recently did the Verfassungsschutz [Germany’s constitutional watchdog] come out and actively state that they saw the AfD as “non-dangerous.” The judgement was immediately ignored by the establishment and the left.
It isn’t surprising that events like these led to one protester building a gallows with Merkel’s name on the noose. It is a sign of where the future is headed and what many Germans are beginning to think. Even her party members are warning her that, “If she continues on this course, she won’t be Chancellor in 2017.”
Merkel, the German government and the police have been continuously under pressure and even the most clueless of Germans are noticing the fallout. The AfD has now reached over 25 per cent of votes in certain regional elections, which has left the establishment in a panic at how quickly the party is rising.
Merkel’s response has consisted of teaming up with Die Grünen. The Greens, the old and far-left party, has been repeatedly caught covering up, advocating and engaging in pedophilic activities since the 1980s. Now they are allied with Merkel with only one purpose: to hinder AfD from any action and to slow their growth.
The bad decisions don’t seem to stop coming. Now Merkel is under fire for agreeing that a comedian who insulted the Turkish president should have charges brought against him. The comedian, Jan Böhmermann, had presented a poem about Erdogan on ZDF.
The poem was since removed from the ZDF media library and is being censored on YouTube and Facebook, but is and was talked about extensively on German media. The public’s reaction to the comedian’s treatment is overwhelmingly negative. Most see it as silencing freedom of speech and a gross violation of journalistic freedom.
A turning point
The tide is turning quickly: Internet comments that once openly called for violence when rapes occurred have become more subtle and patient, yet twice as numerous and far more determined. Rage is slowly being replaced by cold wrath, not primarily at the refugees or Muslims in Germany, but at the established parties and especially Merkel for her perceived betrayal.
Refugee volunteers are burning out and end up being utterly disillusioned after their first-hand experiences. One stopped his volunteer work and had his worldview changed completely, going so far to say that “things that I used to believe were right-wing propaganda and lies are simply reality.”
Crowds of Germans booing establishment politicians like Justice Minister Heiko Maas and the president Joachim Gauck, who was greeted with chants of “traitor” until he fled the stage, are becoming commonplace. Politicians are being chased out of town by angry Germans — a remarkable sight in a country with a modern reputation for placidity.
Only recently has the media and the establishment been struck with the realisation that they can’t stop the AfD any more. There was a time where the public could have been appeased. But now the AfD is set to become a major player.
Britain’s exit from the EU will only make the establishment’s problems worse as Merkel will have to try and pull every string to keep the EU together and the Euro afloat while chorus of raging voices tears her party apart from within.
Germany likely will be one of the last countries to leave the euro and therefore it will receive the full financial fall-out as the currency becomes worthless, dealing what is sure to be a death blow to Germany’s economy and overburdened social services.
Marc Geppert tweets as @Darian_Wolf