German Police Union Head: Migrant-Background Youths Behind Mass Pool Brawl

12 August 2021, Berlin: Bathers enjoy themselves at the Humboldthain summer pool. In view of the visitors in the outdoor pools, the Berliner Bäderbetriebe are happy about the summer temperatures. Photo: Paul Zinken/dpa (Photo by Paul Zinken/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Paul Zinken/picture alliance via Getty Images

The federal head of the German police union has largely blamed migrant-background youths for a mass brawl at a Berlin swimming pool over the weekend, stating that politicians “shy away” from the backgrounds of those involved.

The mass brawl, which involved around a hundred people, took place Sunday afternoon at an outdoor swimming pool in Berlin’s Steglitz district at around 4:25 pm and saw the young men yell and beat each other after an incident with a water pistol sparked the violence.

It took a total of 13 police vehicles with at least a hundred officers including part of a police task force to arrive on the scene to calm those engaged in the brawl as mothers rushed to remove their small children from the two brawling groups, German tabloid Bild reports.

Rainer Wendt, the head of the German police union claimed most of those involved came from migrant backgrounds saying, “Politicians shy away from the debate about the perpetrator clientele, which we also obviously see here. It is young men, not all, but most of them with a migration background, who obviously claim this public space for themselves.”

“Any nightclub owner who has a proper bouncer can ensure that such clientele is not allowed in. The police can’t always come. The police are a law enforcement agency and not a lifeguard club. We cannot be present in all swimming pools with hundreds. That is the task of the organisers,” he added.

As a result of the brawl, several young men were injured, including two people that claimed to have been attacked by a young man with a knife and a ten-year-old who was punched in the head. A 21-year-old is also under investigation for attacking and beating a security guard working at the pool.

While large-scale brawls in swimming pools in Germany are generally relatively rare, sexual harassment and assault by migrants and those with migrant backgrounds have been reported since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015. In the summers immediately following that enormous new migration into Europe, brawls and sex assaults at public pools in Germany became a regular feature of the news landscape.

In 2016, a leaked police report from the city of Dusseldorf claimed that there had been a surge of sexual abuse, particularly of children and linked migrants to many of the assaults.

Several years later in 2019, the Cologne-based feminist magazine Emma acknowledged that migrants were behind many of the sex assaults in German swimming pools.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.