some words from Germany

Total Posts:  1
Joined  15-07-2017
15 July 2017 16:10

As much as I appreciate this podcast, I find the title and some of the content quite alarmist. I am german and live in the south-west of my country. Last year we as a country took 800 000 refugees, and the south-western part had more than his share. In my town of 25 000 people we had roundabout 500 refugees - and nearly nothing ever happened. There has been a slight increase of bodily harm, because of disputes among refugees. But this was mostly due to the living conditions they where forced into, beeing packed into a hall with 200 people without privacy and nothing to do the whole day. As the housing situation is easing of there are no more reports of assaults.
Shure there are problems with refugees, but this is not a unique situation for us. In the 1990s our former cancelor Helmut Kohl took in way more than one million russian-germans (people from russia with german ancestors). On the paper those where (mostly) christian germans, but in reality they had a hard time to integrate into a modern liberal society. And some still have. In average they tend more to conservative and right wing political parties, have more patriarchic worldviews and less sympathy for womens- or LGBT rights. But they didn’t change the course of our society - some days ago our parliament voted for full marriage equality for homosexuals.
I am not blue eyed with respect to the integration of many muslims into our society. There have been and will be serious incidents that are in part connected to the religion of the refugees. But to blame everything only on religion ist to onedimensional for me. Take the New Years Eve incidents in Cologne. The police was not prepared and there have been sexual assaults, mostly of north african young men. This incident was in the newspapers for weeks and even made its way to the US.
But the state reacted as he should, the police investigated, the justice did its work and the next year the authorities where perpared.
Take on the other hand the Octoberfest in Munich. Every year in the two weeks of the big party there is a significant rise in sexual assault and rape in Munich. But noone ever talks about that. Maybe because it would be bad for the marketing and because it has nothing to do with refugees or migrants. But it has a lot to do with the combination of young men and a lot of alcohol (as in Cologne).
No society could take every year 1% of immigrants and stay the same and if 2017 would have had the same numbers as 2016 there would have been realy big problems in Germany but even this would not have been primarily due to religion. Integrating one million (mostly muslim) refugees (in Germany) is a great challenge for us, but the end of Europe is not at hand.
I am more concerned about the end of the United States of America as we know it. Considering Trump, the Republican Party, christian fundamentalism, science scepticism… But maybe I got a wrong perspective form my side of the Atlantic (at least I hope so).

Total Posts:  1056
Joined  21-10-2016
15 July 2017 16:47

Thank you for giving your point of view, goedselhoeg.