Germany and the refugee crisis

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Germany and the refugee crisis

Postby Yessica » 07 Sep 2015, 07:29

Germany is in the haedlines for acceptin 800.000 refugees this year.

I am not sure if anybody still reads here but if yes I thought you might like to know what it is like for a German.

For weeks now we Germans have not been able to open a newspaper or watch a newschannel without hearing about the refugees plight over and over and over. There seem to be no other news.

Our government seems to be unable to provide the basics for all the refugees coming to our country. For days now we have been asked to donate in the state news programme.

We hope Merkel has a plan what to do and how to house all those people before the winter comes, how to provide the basics for them but we are no longer sure if this is the case.

The council where I live has asked us to donate clothes, toys but even things like sanitary napkins for ladies.
A recent poll showed 88% of Germans have donated fdor the refugees so far.

Many cities seem to be unable to house the refugees in decent living conditions and have put up tents or are using gyms, which means that pupils cannot have sports class anymore.

The refugees typically arrive in Munich and because there are not enough police men they cannot be registeres anymore and are shipped to other cities. I don't know if thery are registered there.

How is the mood in the German population? Hard to say. If the comment sections of online news papers can be trusted many people are afraid of a islamisation of our country.
Many fear the there might be IS fighrts among the refugees.We also hear that people inm Kos have killed to get a place on the ferry and wonder if the murderers are going to other country now.
99% of the comments are negative of our countries current politics.

Yet many people, even those who hold a negative opinion about what our country does, help because they basicaslly think that they are many good people among the refugees who cannot be blamed for our countries actions. We have been asked by our government to give them welcome celebrations and many do.

We have been told only 31.500 of the 800.000 refugees are going to stay in our country and the rest will go to other European countries. I wonder if they will leaving willingly if their destination would be a poorer country like Poland.

There havce been riots in refugee camps about religios conflicts. Christians have been threated with violence.
There also has been right wing violence, right wing rallies. Refugee camps have been set on fire.

In my well to do rural neighbourhood we notice nothing of the refugees (apart from being asked to donate). All the faces on the streets are still white and though we have several gyms non of that houses refugees so far. Our lives are as always. In the next town which is a small rural town the same picture, no refugees though there was plenty opportunity to house them.
My husband passes a poorer neighbourhood on his way to work and there he saw tents with refugees. Lots of them.
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Re: Germany and the refugee crisis

Postby Yessica » 07 Sep 2015, 07:31

By the way I wonder how people from the countries the reugees pass to enter Germany think about us now.... Macedonia, Hungary and so on.
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Re: Germany and the refugee crisis

Postby Yessica » 07 Sep 2015, 08:00

I noticed that rightwing and leftwing are not what they used to be anymore. That is very confusing.

There are suddenly people within the SPD who demand that Germany takes no more refugees while parts of the CDU want more. Other parts of the CDU bitterly criticized Merkel (CDU).
I talked with my friends about this topic and we agreed that nobody knows which party exactly wants what.

You probably know that Germany used to be bigger and the people where expelled from that regions. They formed organizations. While I was never interested in that from what I heard those organisations where known to be quite right conservative and progressives sneered at trhem. Now I heard one of their spokeswomen asked us to give the refugees a warm welcome. Suddenly progressives seem to have discoverd their heart for people from that regions and the get compassionate mentions in leftwing nespapers.
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Re: Germany and the refugee crisis

Postby Gavin » 07 Sep 2015, 22:38

Hi Yessica. True, it's very quiet these days, people seemingly thinking Europe's demise is virtually a fait accompli now, but I am very interested in your posts. Please keep this info coming if you have time - it is very interesting to know how ordinary Germans feel.
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Re: Germany and the refugee crisis

Postby Yessica » 08 Sep 2015, 16:07

I think most ordinary Germans are worried for our countries future.I know my friends are. Most of them are liberals but they still think that those are far too many people to be integrated - if they should stay.

I don't know anybody who is enthusiastic as your media and ours makes it look. We just donate and do welcome celebrations because we are asked to by our government because we think it is not those peoples fault our leaders are so stupid to invite the world and it's dog.
I donated ut not because I hope for more people to come. I did because I don't want the ones who are already here to live in degrading conditions.

We do not know if they will stay. As I said we are told only 31.500 are going to stay and that those 31.500 are not goping to stay forever but will be given temporary asylum and return to their country when the war is over.

If that is true Germany will have done a good deed by letting them in and they will be thankful and everything will be fine... but we do not know if it is true.

We already have a big unitegrated muslim minority.

Today in the news: Certain things like cheap beds, matresses and so on are becoming scarce.
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Re: Germany and the refugee crisis

Postby Nathan » 08 Sep 2015, 19:35

Thanks for writing about this, Yessica - I was curious what you made of it all.

From my perspective reading about the number of people you have pledged to take in just feels like mourning the death of somebody close to me. It is just incomprehensible how anybody can think this is a good idea. Quite a few people who know I speak German and have an interest in Germany have asked me, quite simply, "Why are they being so stupid?" The people I've spoken to it about have been quite open about how it obviously poses trouble.

I think you and I know perfectly well that very few of these people will ever choose to go home. You asked what the people in SE Europe think about your government attracting refugees to come and break through their countries to get to Germany - I'm afraid people over here don't think too much of Merkel either for making the idea of coming to Europe so appealing to so many people and then putting pressure on us to take our share as if we wanted anything to do with the idea!

I suppose one good thing about this crisis is that people are talking about how blatantly we are being manipulated to feel sympathetic to these mobs of largely aggressive young men forcing their way across Europe with their "Do as we say!" charm. To be honest I find a lot of the media coverage too sickly to watch or read, even though I can't stop wanting to know more about what is going on.

Where has Pegida been in all this, I wonder? Is there anybody important or respectable openly speaking out against this invasion? Is there social pressure to have "the right opinions" about it? I ask this in particular because I was looking through the Spiegel website today and saw this cartoon, and wondered if this was making fun of the excessive appealing to emotion we've had so much of or was just propaganda.

http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fluec ... 848-3.html

(Left: "I have nothing against the refugees, but..."
Right: "I have nothing against you, Jutta, but your 'but' makes me sick")
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Re: Germany and the refugee crisis

Postby Jonathan » 08 Sep 2015, 20:20

I think in a few years we will be looking back at these days, thinking 'this is when it started to change'.

For the first time, refugees acting as a group have successfully pressured European governments to get their way. Until now, it's all been done on the individual level, like lying about your country of origin to get in, arranging a fictitious marriage to get your cousin in, working off the books to keep your benefits, etc.

Now, crowds have gathered, forced their way onto trains, marched across borders, and the universal reaction has been capitulation. This will increase their boldness, and their propensity to work in larger and larger groups.

Fifty tents will appear in a field in your town. They will be supplied by the government, and donations. It will never be enough. Even if it is enough, they will hear of a group in a nearby town that got more, and suddenly enough won't be enough any more. What will they do? Until yesterday, you would have gotten individual action (e.g. begging, working, filing applications for more money from the government). Now, you will get group action. Groups of young men will taunt and abuse people walking by alone. Sometimes they will boldly demand money. Then riots, slowly getting larger, louder, more violent. Stones will be thrown, tires will be burnt. Passers-by will be attacked, families will be pulled out of their cars, and the cars flipped over and burnt with molotov cocktails. This happens in the West Bank every few years (it's on the rise right now). Firm government action (posting more soldiers, building fences, closing off roads, putting in cameras) usually quells it for a while. In Europe, the media will equate firm action with Einsatzgruppen.

The media will portray the violence as a natural reaction to poverty, suggesting with every word that a little more generosity will fix it. Occasionally someone will fight back, and an Arab will be killed or wounded. This will always be a hate crime, triggering sanctimonious investigations. The media will portray a sickeningly one-sided version (I say this because I see it every day in the European news about Israel). When the poor man is released, he will flee to another town for fear of reprisals. If the death was caused by an innocent automobile accident, it will make no difference (this is how the first intifada started).

Arabs will appear on television explaining that they have a right to be here, that Germans have a duty to feed and house them, and buy them expensive shoes. The reasons will make you weep to hear them; That Germans must pay back for the Crusades (crazy? Israel has been sued in Egypt for reparations for the Exodus), that Germany is the only reason Israel exists, and that everything bad that ever happened to any Arab is because of Israel, and therefore Germany must pay (crazy? The same man will turn out to admire everything that Hitler did). Palestinian leaders today deny there ever existed a Jewish temple in Jerusalem, a fact which their predecessors a hundred years ago openly acknowledged. Syrians in Germany will state untruths to make Goebbels weep, all reported unquestioningly by a media in the name of fairness.

And it's all being done willingly by European leaders. I can't understand it. At this rate, in fifty years there will be millions of Germans emigrating to any place which will accept them. There will be lines outside Israeli embassies of Germans trying to prove they had a Jewish great-great-grandfather to a clerk whose great-great-grandfather survived Auchwitz. The irony will be impossible to explain to later generations.

It has all happened before, and described better than I could by an Englishman whose works seem to be unread in England.

http://www.ccel.org/g/gibbon/decline/vo ... 6.htm#vict

The twelve paragraphs starting from 376 describe perfectly well exactly what's in store for us.
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Re: Germany and the refugee crisis

Postby Nathan » 08 Sep 2015, 21:10

You're quite right Jonathan, what message is it going to send back to the rest of the Arab world that we have been seen to have completely disarmed ourselves against what is essentially an invasion force? I would just love to know what people in the Arab world are saying about us right now and how many more are thinking of trying their luck to get here.

What has been the Israeli line on this? I know a lot of the other countries bordering Syria have had large influxes of refugees, have any gone to or tried to go to Israel? What would the reaction be if it was your border that mobs of people were trying to storm through, both in terms of political action and public opinion?
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Re: Germany and the refugee crisis

Postby Jonathan » 09 Sep 2015, 19:42

The Arab press is likely to show very different reactions in English and in Arabic. When interviewed on the BBC, all you're likely to hear is accusations of European heartlessness. The purpose of that is to shame the West, thereby increasing the speaker's honor. If this also results in some concessions, so much the better.

In Arabic, there's a greater chance of finding self-criticism, though some of it will be a thin disguise for throwing the blame on Assad or Iran. There's quite a varied sample to browse through on memri.org, if you want:
http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/8742.htm

The Israeli position on accepting Arab refugees has always been no, no, a thousand times no. There are about five million Arabs descended from the Palestinian refugees, who claim a right to inundate Israel just as Europe is now being inundated. If any right is granted to Syrian refugees, all these millions will transform overnight into Syrians by the simple expedient of tearing up their identity cards. Israel has no plans to become another Syria, or a Lebanon circa 1975, or to repeat the terrible struggle of 1948. The border with Lebanon has long since been fortified; the one with Syria is being strengthened, and the long fence with Egypt was completed about half a year ago. The papers recently announced plans to start working on the fence along the border with Jordan. And that's without counting the fences around Gaza and the West Bank. Israelis view a tsunami of refugees as a serious threat to be averted by serious means, not as an occasion for moral grandstanding.

That said, there is some room for moderation and humanity. For the past few years, Israel has been treating Syrian wounded who approach the border - and returning them to Syria when they have recovered. When the fighting approached the Druze villages in the Syrian Golan a few months ago, Israel warned Jabhat-a-Nusra not to attempt a massacre of the Syrian Druze. How much influence these threats had is difficult to gauge. Three years ago a crowd of Syrian demonstrators pushed across a weak sector of the fence - they were returned without bloodshed, and plans were laid to reinforce the border. Certain Israeli humanitarian groups have been distributing blankets and food to Syrians in the refugee camps in Jordan. Admiration for these people has been limited, because they tend to exude a fanatic belief that with enough such gestures (only from the Israeli side, of course) peace would naturally ensue - a belief which seems shockingly naive to most of the country at this stage.

Accepting refugees? No. When one politician recently suggested receiving a symbolic number, the act was universally mocked as a desperate attempt to garner public attention at any price.

At work, the topic comes up almost every day during the lunch break. There's no argument about European policy. No discussion of its merits. Nobody even tries to explain it. We usually just shake our heads together ("they're crazy") and mumble something about Eurabia, and then start cracking jokes about Hungarians trying to stop the trains 71 years too late, and whether finding work in Germany will finally make the Arabs free. Wry, wry Holocaust humor. It feels suitable. Something horrible will come of this.
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Re: Germany and the refugee crisis

Postby Charlie » 12 Sep 2015, 07:38

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Re: Germany and the refugee crisis

Postby Charlie » 13 Sep 2015, 12:01

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Re: Germany and the refugee crisis

Postby Charlie » 13 Sep 2015, 12:54

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Re: Germany and the refugee crisis

Postby Yessica » 15 Sep 2015, 06:46

Meanwhile Germany has started to control the borders again.
The party basis of the CDU/CSU seems to be increasingly unhappy with Merkel. The CDU/CSU used to be our conservative parties.

We do not hear of the AfD. I wonder what happened...
Lucke has left the party in June. Since that one does not hear much about them.

I don't live there or even near but according to what we hear Munich is on the brink of collapse.
In my neighbourhood still not much has changed. Only thing unusual: We had beggars on our door who claimed to be Syrian but looked more like gipsy.
We are still constantly asked to donate in the papers and on TV. Now they don't only ask after the news but have banners during movies.

Nathan, you asked if there is diversity of public opinion. In the newspapers and TV news there is not much diversity. The only newspaper I know which is critical of the recent developments is "Die Welt".

Many citizens are very worried. Most people I know are liberals, have been voting for the green party before and so on. Even those are very worried.
They talk about this with their friends but they do not talk about this in public.

Let's analyze the German psyche a bit.

1. Germans (Wester Germans more so than Easter Germans) think that they did not get what they deserved after WWII. They think that what they got, the Marshall plan and so on, was better then what they deserved and that their current wealth is mostly undeserved, maybe even "stolen". They believe that they only reason they have a good life is the fact other people have a bad life.
2. Germans believe in working for the common good. It is stressed in the schools, with all their recycling clubs, "help your neighbour" clubs, sponsored walks and so on. One of the worst thing you can tell a German: "you are selfish"

Germans wrongly believe that the world is adoring them now for letting so many refugees in. While nearly everybody is worried and talking about this to his friends rather few people speak out in public because they are afraid the world will point their fingers at them and say "Look at the Nazis. They are so selfish - enjoying their undeserved wealth and not sharing".

What you need to tell them is that 1) You think their wealth is the result of hard work and that 2) You think they are selfish for letting everybody in.... and selfish it is. They are burdening other countries with integration problems and they are "stealing" skilled workers and middle class persons from developing economies who could be more useful developing their countries - because let's be honest. Most of the refugees do not seem to be Syrian. I heard of a reporter who wemt to interview a fiew and none of them spoke Arabic.

Believe me that most Germans care a lot for what other people think.
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Re: Germany and the refugee crisis

Postby Gavin » 15 Sep 2015, 18:11

Yessica, it's fascinating to receive your insight into what is a world-changing phenomenon: the mass (indeed, forced) immigration of thousands of Muslims into the relatively civilised west. It does seem to be a kind of European suicide, with Germany at the forefront for a number of reasons, including shame over the war (will that ever be allowed to end?!), national character and perhaps having a female leader (deciding on grounds of emotion and idealism rather than reason and realism). Please keep the posts coming!
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Re: Germany and the refugee crisis

Postby Jonathan » 15 Sep 2015, 20:00

They think that what they got, the Marshall plan and so on, was better then what they deserved and that their current wealth is mostly undeserved, maybe even "stolen".


Wow.

I think I could ask every person I know "Why is Germany the wealthiest country in Europe?", and every single one would say it is because of innate German virtues (hard-working, organized, efficient, responsible). I wonder if the Germans are the only ones who see Germans in this way. You'd sort of think that the temptation to believe nasty things about Germans would be greater in Israel than in most other places, but I don't think anyone would say what you said. Maybe I'll run a quick poll at work tomorrow, and see if I'm mistaken.

Objectively, even if we agree that receiving the Marshall plan was undeserved, it does not follow that Germany's current wealth is undeserved. The Saudis have gotten trillions in oil revenues, without producing an economy like Germany's. The Palestinians have gotten billions in aid, and all they've produced is airplane hijackings and suicide bombings. What would the Greeks do with a Marshall plan? The fact is that Germany's current wealth is primarily because Germans have used their virtues to pursue a sound and moral goal (economic development), and I think this fact is incontestable, regardless of what opinion one might hold regarding moral/historical questions.

I guess Germans have trouble allowing themselves to believe that there is any particular way in which they are better than other peoples.
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