Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, August 9, 2016
Sexual violence in Germany has reached epidemic proportions since Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed into the country more than one million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Gatestone Institute first reported Germany’s migrant rape crisis in September 2015, when Merkel opened up the German border to tens of thousands of migrants stranded in Hungary. A follow-up report was published in March 2016, in the aftermath of mass attacks against German women by mobs of migrants in Cologne, Hamburg and other German cities.
Germany’s migrant rape crisis has now spread to cities and towns in all 16 of Germany’s federal states. Germany is effectively under siege; public spaces are becoming increasingly perilous. Police have warned about a potential breakdown of public order this summer, when young male migrants are likely to see women lightly dressed.
During the month of July 2016, hundreds of German women and children were sexually assaulted by migrants (see Appendix below). The youngest victim was nine; the oldest, 79. Attacks occurred at beaches, bike trails, cemeteries, discotheques, grocery stores, music festivals, parking garages, playgrounds, schools, shopping malls, taxis, public transportation (buses, trams, intercity express trains and subways), public parks, public squares, public swimming pools and public restrooms. Predators are lurking everywhere; safety nowhere.
Dozens of women and children have been assaulted by migrants at summer festivals and public swimming pools–staples of ordinary German life.
In July, at least 24 women were sexually assaulted at the Breminale music festival in Bremen. Women were also assaulted at outdoor festivals in Aschheim, Balve, Gerolzhofen, Grenzach-Wyhlen Heide, Loßburg, Lütjenburg, Meschede, Poing, Reutlingen, Sinsheim, Wolfhagen and Wolfratshausen.
In July, women and children were also sexually assaulted at public swimming pools in Babenhausen, Dachau, Delbrück, Hamm, Hilchenbach, Kirchheim, Lörrach, Marklohe,Mönchengladbach, Mörfelden-Walldorf, Oberursel, Remagen, Rinteln, Schwetzingen and Stuttgart-Vaihingen.
Most of the crimes were downplayed by German authorities, apparently to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiments. Almost invariably, the crimes are said to be isolated incidents (Einzelfälle), not part of a nationwide problem. Information about sexual assaults can usually be found only in local police reports. Rapes are sometimes treated as local interest stories and covered by local or regional newspapers. Only the most spectacular incidents of rape and sexual assault make it into the national press.
Three rape cases did make it into Germany’s national media in July:
- On July 24, a 40-year-old migrant from Eritrea raped a 79-year-old woman in a cemetery in Ibbenbüren. The woman, who lives in a local nursing home, was visiting the grave of her late sister at 6AM when the attack occurred. The migrant, who has been living as a refugee in Germany since 2013, was arrested at the scene. He is unlikely to be deported, however, because Eritrea is considered a conflict zone.
- On July 14, it emerged that one of the women raped by Muslim sex mobs in Cologne on New Year’s Eve became pregnant. She failed to report the attack to police because she felt ashamed.
- On July 3, a 24-year-old woman raped by three migrants in Mannheim in January admitted that she lied about the identity of the rapists. Selin Gören, a Turkish-German woman, initially said that her attackers were German nationals, when in fact they were Muslim migrants.
In an interview with Der Spiegel, Gören, the spokeswoman of Germany’s left-wing youth movement, Solid, said she lied because she was afraid of fueling racism against migrants. She also posted a letter on Facebook to a fictional refugee:
“I am really sorry that your sexist and line-crossing treatment of me could help fuel aggressive racism. I am going to scream . . . I will not stand by and watch, and it can happen that racists and concerned citizens name you as the problem. You are not the problem. You are usually a wonderful human being who deserves as much as any other to be safe and free.”
German police and media have faithfully mirrored Gören’s efforts to protect migrant rapists. German police reports usually refer to migrant criminals with politically correct euphemisms such as “southerners” (Südländer), men with “dark skin” (dunkelhäutig, dunklere Gesichtsfarbe, dunklem Hauttyp) or a combination of the two: “southern skin color” (südländische Hautfarbe).
Germany now finds itself in a vicious circle: most of the perpetrators are never found, and the few who are frequently receive lenient sentences. Most will never be deported. Only one in 10 rapes in Germany is reported and just 8% of rape trials result in convictions, according to Minister of Justice Heiko Maas.
On July 7, the German parliament approved changes to the criminal code that expand the definition of rape and make it easier to deport migrants who commit sex crimes. Under the bill, also known as the “No Means No” (“Nein heißt Nein”) law, any form of non-consensual sex will now be punishable as a crime. Previously, only cases in which victims could show that they physically resisted their attackers were punishable under German law.
The reforms, which are designed to make it easier for victims of sexual assault to file criminal complaints, are unlikely to end Germany’s migrant rape epidemic. This is because Germany’s politically correct justice system is notoriously lenient when it comes to prosecuting, sentencing and deporting foreign offenders.
At the same time, reliable statistics on sex crimes committed by migrants are notoriously elusive. German authorities have repeatedly been accused of underreporting the true scale of the crime problem in the country. For example, up to 90% of the sex crimes committed in Germany in 2014 do not appear in the official statistics, according to André Schulz, the head of the Association of Criminal Police (Bund Deutscher Kriminalbeamter, BDK).
On February 25, the newspaper, Die Welt, reported that authorities in the German state of Hesse were suppressing information about migrant-related crimes, ostensibly due to a “lack of public interest.”
On January 24, Die Welt reported that the suppression of data about migrant criminality is a “Germany-wide phenomenon.” According to Rainer Wendt, the head of the German police union (Deutschen Polizeigewerkschaft, DPolG), “Every police officer knows he has to meet a particular political expectation. It is better to keep quiet [about migrant crime] because you cannot go wrong.”
On January 22, the newsmagazine, Focus, reported that the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes, ADS) put pressure on police in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) to remove a reference to “North African criminal groups” in a press release. According to Focus, the ADS wrote: “There is a danger that people from these countries are placed under a general suspicion. We encourage you to delete the reference to the North African origin from the press release.” NRW Police later removed the offending words because “it could not be excluded that our formulation in the press release could be misunderstood as a discriminatory statement.” The original article by Focus has since been removed from the magazine’s webpage.
On January 8, the newspaper, Bild, published an article titled, “Are the Police Being Prohibited from Telling the Truth?” The paper quoted a high-ranking police official in Frankfurt, who said:
“There are strict instructions from the top not to report offenses committed by refugees. Only direct requests from media representatives regarding specific crimes should be answered. . . . It is extraordinary that certain offenders are deliberately NOT being reported about and the information is being classified as confidential (nicht pressefrei).”
Meanwhile, Boris Palmer, the “progressive” mayor of Tübingen, thinks he has found a solution to the problem of migrants who are raping German women and children in public swimming pools. He wants migrants to become swimming pool superintendents. In a Facebook post, Palmer wrote: “Our municipality has embraced a great prevention and integration measure. We have a Syrian lifeguard who can make known in Arabic and with authority what behavior is allowed and what is not.”
Palmer’s first hire is a 24-year-old Syrian named Aiham Shalghin. In an interview with Schwäbisches Tagblatt, Shalghin portrayed migrants as the victims of their circumstances: “Many male refugees have never before swum with women. In Syria, most public swimming pools are separated by gender. Men do not want to see women in swimming attire.”
[Editor’s Note: The original article includes an appendix detailing dozens of specific cases of migrant sex crimes in Germany.]