A mob men of reportedly North African and Arab origin assaulted women in downtown Cologne on New Year’s Eve, in attacks Mayor Henriette Reker characterized as “monstrous” and “lawlessness.” Deutsche Welle reports:
Some 90 criminal complaints, including one allegation of rape, have been brought to the Cologne police department after women said they were molested by a crowd of men who had gathered in the city’s famous square between its central train station and towering Gothic cathedral. Authorities expect more victims to come forward in the next few days.
City police chief Wolfgang Albers said the crowd was composed of up to 1,000 heavily intoxicated men who gave the appearance of being “Arab or North African” in background.
The police chief told German news agency dpa that the incidents represented “an intolerable situation” for Cologne. His department has already assembled a task force to deal with the matter
It’s worth taking a moment, in light of the luridness of these allegations, to note that Deutsche Welle is an impeccably mainstream source, the German state-owned international broadcaster—the equivalent of BBC World Service or VOA. DW has an explicit mission to portray Germany as a “liberal, democratic state based on the rule of law.” Meanwhile, Henriette Reker, the Mayor, is an independent supported by the Greens as well as the CDU, and she has previously been stabbed by an anti-immigration extremist. In other words, these serious allegations are not coming from far-Right sources, but from the center of the German establishment.
These kinds of stories could well change the face of refugee politics in Germany. Thus far, Angela Merkel has been successfully playing “good cop” to her partner Horst Seehofer’s “bad cop“—a dance meant to secure the sensible center from the rise of fringe actors in Germany’s politics. That little dance may not be sustainable in the face of these kinds of reports. As TAI Editor Adam Garfinkle presciently noted in September, as German elites publicly preened about their high-mindedness for flinging open the doors to the miserable masses hurtling their way from the chaos in Syria:
[W]e are about to witness the biggest boon for right-wing xenophobes since the 1930s. All this moral unction reminds me of the reality-challenged 1920s in Europe, which gave rise to the very ugly 1930s […] and we all know what happened next. How is the thinking in Berlin now different in essence from the calamity of Kellogg-Briand and Locarno?
European leaders, having embarked on the project of rapidly integrating large numbers of immigrants from a failing society into their own, may have a day of reckoning ahead, perhaps sooner than most people expected it to come.