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Refugees Welcome? Germany’s Reactions Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in Current Events

Hallo! Wie geht’s? 🙂

refugees welcome - gegen rassismus IMG_9957

From a Berlin street. Photo: rassloff on flickr.com under CC BY 2.0

In März I wrote this post on PEGIDA and the German word Überfremdung (‘over-foreignisation’). Since that time, the topic of immigration in Germany has been making headline news – mostly due to the refugees coming to live in Germany. According to the interior minister, Germany is expected to receive a record number of applications for asylum by the end of the year. The majority of applications come from Syria, with significant numbers also coming from Kosovo, Albania and Serbia. This is causing political unrest across the country, with many people clearly dissatisfied with the current situation; just yesterday Deutsche Welle posted this article entitled “Attacks against Germany’s refugee homes on the rise”.

I have been following the news on this subject for the past few months and have bookmarked several articles on it that I find interesting. Now I’d like to share them with you all to read at your leisure!

German TV show films ‘German only’ bus experiment A West German TV channel filmed an experiment using actors of different ethnicities and religions to test people’s reactions to discrimination. They set up ‘German only’ areas on the bus, and had a fake conductor tell any ‘non-Germans’ to go and sit at the back.

Angela Merkel attacked over crying refugee girl Angela Merkel was criticised recently for her ‘cold’ treatment of a young Palestinian girl facing possible deportation from Germany. Although Merkel was heavily criticised by the media, the girl, Reem Sahwil, has since defended Merkel for her honest response that ‘politics can be hard’. Watch the video here:


PEGIDA aims to launch political party
As a reaction to Germany’s ‘growing anti-refugee sentiment’, the aforementioned PEGIDA are planning to take things one step further by launching a political party ahead of the German general elections in 2017.

German nightclub bans refugees
The owner of ‘Amadeus’, a nightclub near Munich, faced criticism after announcing his decision to ban refugees from his club. Stating his reason for the ban, Martin T., the owner, said, “The blacks have a problem with women and the Arabs have a problem with aggression”. He also said he’d never had any trouble at his nightclub until new refugees came to live in the local housing centre for asylum seekers.

Coffins at Reichstag draw attention to EU refugee crisis A protest art group named Center for Political Beauty set up a mass funeral outside German parliament to emphasise the thousands of people who died trying to reach Europe in boats. This was set up in disgust at the EU’s treatment of refugees. Some members dressed as the grim reaper, and carried coffins bearing the German & EU flags. They wanted refugees to be seen as human beings, not another political issue.

no border, no nation

The writing on the cross reads GRENZEN TÖTEN, which can either mean ‘borders kill’ or ‘kill borders’. Photo: floffimedia on flickr.com under CC BY-SA 2.0

Berlin allows Muslim woman to work with headscarf
A young Muslim woman won the right to wear her headscarf to work at Berlin Town Hall after being told that she can’t start her traineeship if she wears one, as no one who works at the Town Hall can show any outward signs of religious persuasion. This is due to the Neutralitätsgesetz (neutrality law), which may well come under review in light of the sensitive political situation Germany is currently in – especially regarding PEGIDA and Islamophobia.


What are your thoughts? If you have any other interesting articles to share, leave the links in the comments!

Bis bald!

Constanze x

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About the Author:Constanze

Servus! I'm Constanze. I'm half English and half German. I write here because I'm passionate about my languages and my roots. I also work as a translator & group fitness instructor.


  1. EP:

    I think these reactions you see against refugees, although to a certain degree xenophobic, are directed more against the politicians who refuse to take these and other concerns of those protesting seriously. Just look at the Greek drama. Nobody “up there” is listening to those “down here” and this resentment has to find an outlet. These politicians are trapped in their politically correct corset and fear addressing these legitimate concerns, “rightly” so. Otherwise they will immediately be labeled as being racists or Nazis. See Theo Sarrazin. It’s very, very heard for people these days to sit down and calmly discuss things as adults.

    • Constanze:

      @EP You make a very good point about the frustration being directed towards the politicians rather than the refugees themselves!!

  2. Joseph T. Madawela:

    Thank you Constanze for highlighting a problem that seems one of Germanys biggest problems.

  3. Allan Mahnke:

    I add my own thanks. This is a difficult topic, which has a variety of causes and slightly different manifestations in many countries. Perhaps we all need to ask more questions before presuming to offer answers. Here in the US we have the somewhat odd situation that most of us come from immigrant families and many of us have not been here more than two or three generations. You give us helpful background on the challenges Germany faces. Many, many thanks!

  4. Weitere Boni:

    Große Reden schwingen, das war noch nie sowas für mich, aber bumsen tue ich wie keine Andere.