Pretending the problem does not exist

Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 22:42 | Posted in Germany | Leave a comment
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Does a problem go away if you pretend that it does not exist? Apparently so, at least according Rudolstadt deputy mayor Georg Eger in Thuringia, Germany. As is the case in many places in what used to be the communist East Germany, Rudolfstadt seems to have an atmosphere poisoned by racism and xenophobia.

Commenting a description by Miriam Neuschäfer, a German with a dark complexion, how she was spat at by a local teenager in a public park, deputy mayor Eger said:

“Spat at? I can’t imagine that,” says Georg Eger, the deputy mayor, vigorously shaking his head in his office on the second floor of the Rudolstadt town hall. He raises his finger and continues: “I even rule that out.”

Racism, xenophobia and hate crime do indeed exist in East Germany even if there are those who try to pretend away the problem. During the first free electoral campaign after the German reunification CDU appeared under the slogan “Freiheit statt sozialismus”. Maybe they should have rephrased it to “Nazismus statt sozialismus”.

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