Women are sniggered at, insulted, and find men’s hands down their tops and between their legs. Dark corners are dangerous; girls who are drunk and alone are chased and raped. Security and police are nowhere to be seen. Welcome to Oktoberfest, Munich’s annual beer saturnalia. The worst, say barmaids, are Brits and Italians.
Cut to New Year’s Eve in Cologne. Crowds of people, mostly young men in various stages of inebriation, gather on the square between the cathedral and the station to let off fireworks and let themselves go. The crowd, about 1,000 strong, is watched by around 200 police, worried about youths throwing fireworks at each other.
But something more sinister is going on. Women and girls are surrounded, poked and jeered at as “whores” and “cunts”; their blouses are ripped and their underwear torn off. “I had mens’ hands on every body opening,” a distraught girl told the police. More than 100 women file sexual molestation charges against men “of north African or Arab origin”. Yet the station is not cleared, few arrests are made and, the next morning, the police report a “quiet night”. It takes almost four days for Germany to wake up to what happened.
Since then, the country has been talking about little else. North Korea’s H-bomb? The Charlie Hebdo anniversary? Europe’s descent into petty nationalism? Forget it. “Cologne” has become a byword for all the fears, prejudices and – let’s face it – real problems associated with mass immigration. German railway stations were symbols of Willkommenskultur, with crowds welcoming refugees from Syria and elsewhere. Now a station has become a symbol for what some are calling Islamic “rape culture”.
Questions remain. Who were the men? A leaked police report says many waved asylum papers – their only ID – in officers’ faces, then tore them up, saying they’d soon get new ones. One reportedly said: “You can’t touch me. I’m Syrian: Merkel wants me here.”
Asylum workers deny that refugees were in the majority and say gangs of Moroccans and other north Africans control the pickpocketing around stations in Cologne, Hamburg and Stuttgart, where incidents of sexual harassment were also reported. Then there’s the police: 200 officers ought to be able to manage 1,000 mostly drunk men. Why didn’t they intervene? Why did they lie? Was it political correctness? Or a feeling that molesting women is part of a good night’s fun?
Pour lire la suite : http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/09/germany-sex-attacks-cologne-immigration