ALTHOUGH there are always people ready to blame immigrants and refugees for all sorts of wrong doing, the actions of a number of out of control male gangs apparently of middle eastern or north African appearance on New Year’s Eve has sent shockwaves through German society.
It is reported that more than 90 women have made complaints of criminal assault or robbery to the police following the drunken activities of up to 1,000 men who congregated in gangs at Cologne railway station on the evening of December 31.
There were similar outbreaks of sexual assault and theft in Hamburg and Stuttgart, but it was Cologne which was the most heavily affected and although no individuals have been positively identified as refugees or migrants, it has fuelled the fire of prejudice of those German citizens who opposed the opening of the borders by Angela Merkel.
She, herself, contacted Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker and expressed her “outrage over these disgusting attacks and sexual assaults”. In addition she is quoted as saying authorities need “to find the perpetrators as quickly and comprehensively as possible and punish them, regardless of their origin or background”.
According to the BBC, Cologne police chief Wolfgang Albers called it “a completely new dimension of crime”.