January 19, 1996 |
At least 10 people, four of them children, were killed in a suspicious fire early Thursday morning at a hostel for foreign asylum-seekers in the northern city of Lubeck. Police took three German men into custody. If the blaze turns out to have been an arson attack, as widely feared, it would be the worst anti-foreigner atrocity in modern German times and would rekindle fading concerns about the safety of foreigners and minorities in this country.
December 23, 1995 |
Who, at the beginning of the Yugoslav wars, would have thought that Germany would become the refuge of choice for the shellshocked, homeless Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Just three years ago, Germany was being pilloried, with critics calling it an abject failure in protecting foreigners already in its midst. Racist skinheads and neo-Nazis were prowling its streets, roughing up Africans, laying siege to Vietnamese workers' hostels, chanting, "Foreigners out!"
October 14, 1995 |
One of modern Germany's most emotion-laden trials ended Friday in guilty verdicts for four young men accused of fatally firebombing a Turkish family's house in the western city of Solingen. The 1993 arson attack killed five young women and girls and critically injured three other people, including small children.
March 4, 1994 |
Germans must accept that their country has become a melting pot with at least 6.5 million immigrants, and they must adopt anti-discrimination laws to fight racism, the government's representative for immigrant affairs said Thursday. Despite a number of fatal extreme-rightist attacks on foreigners in recent years, immigrants are moving to Germany in growing numbers and staying longer, Cornelia Schmalz-Jacobson, the representative for the interests of foreigners, told reporters.
August 25, 1993 |
A state government Tuesday ordered an urgent investigation into reports that residents of a small community near Berlin paid right-wing extremists to burn down a youth hostel refurbished to house asylum-seekers. Although the accusations remain unproven, this macabre twist to the problem of attacks against foreigners has sent a shiver through German officialdom. "This case has the highest priority," said Hans-Otto Braeutigam, justice minister for the eastern state of Brandenburg.
July 17, 1993 |
If mentioned at all, they are usually the last item on the evening news and pass with about as much impact as the weather report that follows. They are the arson attacks against foreigners--a phenomenon virtually unheard of in the years before unification but one that has become part of life's background noise in democratic, reunited Germany.