German Language Blog

Refugees Welcome? Germany Reacts (Pt2) Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in Culture

Syrian Refugees

Photo: syriafreedom on under Public Domain

Guten Tag! 🙂

In July I posted this article with a collection of interesting news stories relating to the refugee situation in Germany. As this situation has developed significantly over the past few months and is making headline news around the world, I decided to do another post on it with the most recent news articles I’ve collected on the subject. Learning about another country’s politics is important, but I understand that it’s not always easy with so much information out there. So I hope that I can make things a little simpler for you by directly linking you to some of the most interesting news stories I’ve found. My first blog post on this topic is here, and a related post on PEGIDA can be found here.

Thousands form ‘living border’ against refugees
Around 2,500 people rallied on the Czech border with Sachsen (Saxony) to form a ‘living border’ in protest of the refugees being taken into Germany. This was in connection with the group PEGIDA (Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des AbendlandesPatriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West).

PEGIDA founder faces hate speech charges
PEGIDA founder Lutz Bachmann was charged in Dresden for inciting racial hatred. Amongst other things, he referred to refugees as Viehzeug (cattle) on his Facebook page.

Dügida in Düsseldorf - irre Logik

A protester. His sign reads: “- Mein Kampf – The Quran – 2 books/1 ideology. Islam needs to be banned in Germany!” photo: gruenenrw on under CC BY-SA 2.0

“Flüchtlinge und Oktoberfest: Ein schieres Massenproblem”
This article was published before Oktoberfest 2015 began, and talks about the concerns they had in Munich about the huge numbers of tourists, locals and refugees that would be present in the city during the festival. They were especially worried about overcrowding on train travel, the possibility of violence (which they countered with a huge police presence), and the huge delays visitors coming by car were likely to experience on the borders (as caravans, large cars etc. were all being searched at the German border).

AL via i grandi festeggiamenti dell'Oktoberfest!

The number of people attending Oktoberfest fell drastically this year. Photo: viaggioroutard on under CC BY 2.0

Oktoberfest crowds fall due to border controls
Oktoberfest 2015 had just 5.9 million visitors this year – the lowest since 2009. This was very likely due to the complicated rail travel and road delays caused by the influx of refugees arriving in Munich. This, it is believed, put people from neighbouring countries off travelling to the beer festival this year. No disturbances between locals, refugees and tourists were reported, however.

DW’s guide to Germany: first steps for refugees
Deutsche Welle has published a short guide for all refugees arriving in Germany, including guidelines on work, taxes, children, and shopping in German supermarkets.

Mass refugee arrivals don’t scare Germans
A survey done by the German broadcaster ARD shows that 61% of Germans are ‘not afraid’ of the large amounts of refugees arriving in Germany.


Photo: syriafreedom on under Public Domain

Shouting Nazi slogans, Germans riot against asylum seekers
Neo-Nazis in the eastern German city of Dresden chanted Nazi slogans, fought with police, and burned down a government shelter created for asylum seekers. Angela Merkel called these acts ‘abstoßend’ (‘repulsive’).

“Welcome to Germany” – People applaud and greet migrants with gifts as they arrive in Munich
This video shows refugees being welcomed in Munich with cheers and smiles, and being given water, chocolate, and teddy bears, amongst other gifts.

Meet the Germans offering their homes to refugees
Three young Germans started an organisation called Refugees Welcome, which allows German citizens to find refugees to fill spare rooms in their homes. They assumed it would only appeal to students in flat shares at first, but have been overwhelmed with the response from all kinds of people across Germany.

As always, comments are welcome!

Bis später,

Constanze x

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About the Author: Constanze

Servus! I'm Constanze and I live in the UK. I'm half English and half German, and have been writing about German language and culture on this blog since 2014. I am also a fitness instructor & personal trainer.