Women Forced to Run Gauntlet of Migrants at the Austrian Station So Risky It’s Been Dubbed ‘the Terminus of Fear’
Allan Hall, Daily Mail, February 23, 2016
Hordes of drunk, predatory migrants have turned an Austrian train station into a ‘no-go zone’ for local women, who dub the station ‘The Terminus of Fear’.
Linz Station has become a gathering point for migrants rejected by Germany at the border a few miles away–drawn to its free internet, cheap drink, fast-food joints and heated passenger halls as they calculate their next move.
But pack mentality has set in, creating a ‘Cologne-light’ mentality, which sees women subjected to having their breasts and buttocks grabbed and the alcohol-fuelled men try to steal kisses, all the while slurring lewd sexual insults in pidgin German.
The men fight, they fall down, they vomit, they defecate in the bushes on the greensward outside the station entrance, women told MailOnline.
One woman interviewed by MailOnline outside was too frightened to give her name. But in terse sentences, delivered in the staccato of a firing machine gun, she said: ‘Come here at night? I would rather order a taxi straight to hell.
‘What’s it like? It is terrible. Fearful. I would say shameful. They are predators, they are drunk and they are all over the place.
‘I hate what they have turned this into. I am a decent person, I am not a Nazi, not a hater of people. But they have no right to behave the way they do in my city. Or anywhere. How dare they make my station a place of fear.’
Police or any other local authority have refused to identify the troublesome migrants. They are collectively referred to as North Africans, citizens of countries like Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco that are now no longer considered danger zones by Germany.
But one senior lawman told MailOnline that the majority of the troublemakers turning the concourse into a no-go zone for females at night are from one country; Morocco.
The Linz problem was highlighted in an embarrassing–for the bureaucrats at least–letter by a father of a 16-year-old girl to the local governor Josef Puehringer. Identified only as Franz H., he said: ‘My daughter is 16 and is terrified when she has to come through Linz train station in the evening.
‘As a result, we have now arranged a travel group with other parents. My wife and I went to see it for ourselves. We travelled the same route that our daughter did and we found out that it was even worse than she described.
‘There was not a policeman in sight and in a country like Austria it cannot be the case that our children are scared going to and from work.’
Two 16-year-old students, probably just like his daughter, named Damaris and Joanna, had a profound mistrust of the new arrivals which seemed out of step with their youth and innocence.
‘Come down here at night? You must be joking!’ said Joanna. ‘We have read too much in the papers and seen too much on the TV for that.
‘We have heard how women have to be escorted on to trains, how migrants are raping people. I don’t want that to happen to me.’
Damaris just nodded in agreement before both moved off before dusk began to fall.
But Franz H.’s protest was not in vain. Teams of police from the ‘Lentos’ unit–hardened officers deployed at violent demonstrations and to quell brutal fans at football matches–are now to be seen marching confidently, overtly, through the station, the body language telegraphing to potential troublemakers that they will come off on the losing end of any confrontation.
‘I think we can say that the situation is quiet now thanks the massive police prescence in the station.’ Police Oberrat David Furtner, an engaging senior officer, gave Mail Online the lowdown on what has gone on in recent weeks, and how law and order is responding to it.
‘It is true that in the past few weeks there have been problems with a group of, largely, North African men,’ he said, not referring to their race. ‘There have been between 40 and 50 of them at any one time, aged between 18 and 30.
‘They have been up to all sorts of things–from sexual harassment to public drunkeness, drug taking, even causing actual bodily harm.
‘Most of the suspects, we have to say, are severely drunken. Three Red Cross workers were attacked by some of them at their nearby post in January and needed hospital treatment. They will not operate now without a permanent police presence.
‘Cologne was the thing that changed everything for Germany and for us. We have not experienced such things before January 1 and suddenly we are: women complaining of sitting alone on station benches and suddenly being approached. One on one side, one on the other and one right up close in her face saying the most terrible things.
‘It is too early to give an accurate number because we are so early into the new year–but, yes, there has been an increase in the number of complaints from women complaining of sexual harassment and we can link that directly to what happened at Cologne. Women are more willing to come forward as a result of that.’
But the volatile mix of booze, drugs and a growing mood of impotency and anger that many testosterone-fuelled young asylum seekers feel, is not only a threat to women hurrying to catch the train home from work.
On January 13, a Moroccan slashed the neck of an Afghan refugee in the bicycle park area of the station, wounding him gravely. For whatever reason, he was not arrested for that crime but, nine days later, was caught shoplifting a bottle of scotch and several tins of beer and ended up in a brawl with the security personnel of Austrian Railways, whose patrols are now also highly visible inside the railway station.
The man is now incarcerated in a mental hospital. The hope is that there are not many others like him, but logic dictates that the next incident can only be just over the horizon or around the corner.
At the local Caritas charity centre Ahmed Al-Ghalibi, one of the leaders of the effort to help refugees, said; ‘We have to call the police three, four times a day because of the problems.’ He meant the problems caused by Moroccan youths.
Police and politicians believe that only massive pressure on the countries that the troublemakers come from will lead to a permanent solution: until then the police are a Band Aid applying pressure to staunch a wound that threatens to bleed at any moment.
Young mother Vanessa Zellner, 22, hugging her young daughter Caitlyn, four, outside the station as she waited to collect a friend, said: ‘I personally cannot say anything bad about refugees because I have personally not had a bad experience with them.
‘But I know people who have and I have read so much about the trouble here at night. God, I can’t imagine it. I wouldn’t want to be here.’
The troubles at Linz come in a week when there was mixed news about crime in Austria.
Latest statistics show that crime carried out by asylum seekers in Austria increased from ‘around’ 10,000 incidents in 2014 to 14,000 offences last year, even though in 2015 there were 500,000 criminal charges, whereas in 2014, there were around 528,000.
This kind of number crunching has no meaning for people forced to run a gauntlet of fear and suspicion every day.
The atmosphere was poisoned by Cologne and its toxic aftermath has drifted hundreds of miles to the Alpine state where the scare factor has seen a corresponding rise in the purchase of pepper sprays and other personal defence items.
Anke and Kristina, both 18-year-old students at the fashion school in Linz, made it clear that they appreciated the new heavy presence of the police in the station–but also that they would, like so many, avoid it during the hours of darkness.
‘I heard a woman got raped and was rolled on to the tracks,’ said Anke. ‘I don’t what that to happen to me.’
It didn’t happen. But truth is as much a casualty of the immigration crisis along with the age-old securities that most took for granted.
‘For good or bad,’ said one officer on patrol in Linz station on Thursday night, ‘nothing will ever be the same for any of us.’