Posted on December 15, 2023

Berlin to Build 2 Monuments for Migrants for €500,000

John Cody, Remix, December 14, 2023

At a time of soaring inflation and economic downturn, Berlin’s government, led by the conservative-left coalition between the Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) plans to spend half a million euros to construct two monuments for migrants.

“It’s a good time for this,” SPD MP Sevim Aydin, who is of Turkish origin, told dpa. “People needed workers back then and that’s why they brought in the guest workers.” He argues that the monuments, one of which will be dedicated to the mostly Turkish guest workers who arrived in the 1960s, are relevant to today’s discussion on migration and the need for labor in Germany.

The other monument will be dedicated to East Germany’s foreign contract workers.

According to the SPD MP, the “Guest Worker Memorial” will be about the first generations of Turks and southern Europeans who arrived in Germany following the Second World War.

“They contributed to the prosperity of this country and showed that immigration is in the interests of this country,” he said.

The monuments, slated for the 2024/2025 double budget, however, come at a time when polling shows a clear majority of Germans say that migrants bring more disadvantages than advantages and wish for a halt to mass immigration.

Furthermore, the “guest workers” from Turkey, who have been continuously praised by the political class, have actually served as a major problem for Germany.

As Remix News previously reported, although Turks who came to Germany after the war aided the country regain its footing following a critical manpower shortage, the “guest workers” were never supposed to stay. However, many of them did. They are now considered the worst-integrated of all immigrants despite their long track record in the country, according to a report from the Berlin-based Institute for Population and Development.

The report found that immigrants of Turkish origin were “the least successful in the labour market: they are often jobless, the percentage of housewives is high and many are dependent on welfare, the study said. The state of Saarland was found to have the worst record – 45 percent of its Turks had no educational qualification of any kind..”

Even second- and third-generation Turks struggle to integrate into German society despite having decades-long roots in the country. They feature some of the highest rates of welfare of any immigrant group and high crime rates, including a large organized crime network. As Der Spiegel wrote, many young Turks have failed to integrate into German society and some of them say that they feel there is “nothing” good about the country. In terms of work prospects, severe challenges remain:

“Almost a third of all men and women with foreign roots between the ages of 25 and 35 have no professional qualifications. The data is especially alarming for the roughly three million Turkish immigrants, Germany’s largest minority. The share of young Turks with no professional qualifications rose from 44 to 57 percent between 2001 and 2006. This figure alone — 57 percent — perfectly illustrates the sheer magnitude of the failure on both sides.

A research report by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees concludes that four out of five Turks in Germany between the ages of 38 and 64 have no more than a junior high school education, while only a little more than a quarter have at least five years of schooling.”

Turks in Germany are also highly illiberal. The evidence that perhaps best defines this phenomenon is the voting patterns of Turks, many of whom are dual citizens and have the right to vote both in Germany and Turkey. Data showed that nearly 500,000 voted in the 2018 Turkish elections, which is about half of those eligible to vote. Of that number, 65 percent voted for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, widely seen as a radical Islamic autocrat. With only 52 percent of Turks voting for Erdoğan in Turkey, that means Erdoğan dramatically outperformed in Germany compared to his own country.

Berlin’s mayor is actually Kai Wagner, of the CDU, a party whose federal branch is taking an increasingly skeptical position on immigration. He pushed for a monument to contract workers from the GDR, who mostly came from Vietnam, Mozambique, Nicaragua, and Hungary.