Scared away, but without a home (

Niko and George live in Sendlinger Tor. Passers-by left them presents.

Photo: Michael Trammer

Shortly before Christmas, there is an eerie emptiness in downtown Munich at night. Kaufinger Strasse, Munich’s central shopping mile, is hung with fairy lights and garlands. The kitsch flashes from all facades. Traditional Christmas carols whisper from loudspeakers in the Oberpollinger department store.

An elderly man is wrapped in a sleeping bag in a corner listening to pop music on a pocket radio. A delivery driver cycles through the pedestrian zone. Two police cars drive past at high speed shortly after 9 p.m. There are only those on the road who cannot help themselves. The corona pandemic and the ever increasing number of infections have Bavaria firmly under control: a nationwide night curfew has been in effect since December 22nd.

Markus Söder announced the new measures on December 13 with a serious expression. If you want to leave the apartment between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., you need it now “good reasons”. These include medical emergencies, work, caring for those in need, minors and the dying, walking or walking the dog “Similarly weighty and irrefutable reasons”. Private celebrations and meetings are to be prevented. In the inner city areas of Bavaria, unreasonable groups of people would have met to drink mulled wine and violated hygiene recommendations. That makes the step necessary.

If you violate the curfew, you have to pay a sensitive fine of at least 500 euros. Since December 16, this has been the case in Bavaria in districts that have a 7-day incidence value of more than 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants. The Bavarian Constitutional Court ruled that the curfew did not violate the Bavarian Constitution, the rule of law, or fundamental rights.

At Christmas, Munich’s inner city area shows what the state government’s measures look like in practice. At 9:20 p.m., shortly after the curfew came into effect, four hastily parked patrol cars were parked on Sonnenstrasse. Several police officers surround two people sitting in the entrance of a closed shop and talk to them. Both are led away – why remains unclear. “Communication is very difficult to say the least … I only know that he is dark-skinned”, an official’s message can be heard from a loud radio. The cars drive away quickly.

About 50 meters further on, another group is sitting on the floor in front of the Hieber Lindberg music store and observing the situation. They are wrapped in sleeping bags, winter jackets and blankets. They have also had problems with the police, they say. Every day it is a game of cat and mouse. They would be scared away, but had no home to stay.

A short time later, police officers in the entrance of a deserted cinema control and search a young man who does not-White is. After bags and body searches, he is allowed to go. Selected at random or is it racial profiling?

The officers deployed actually do not want to talk to journalists and refer them to the press office. Only the fact that the violations in the inner city area subjectively increased can be elicited from the officials.

On request, the Munich police say that 100 to 200 officers are tasked with checking the nightly curfew in Munich alone. The Ministry of the Interior has already identified over 3000 violations across Bavaria since December 16. How many of the proceedings are directed against people without a permanent residence, the Ministry of the Interior cannot provide on request. It is at least questionable whether the situation of homeless people is given special consideration when planning police operations.

Already in the summer, after a video of a violent police operation with a racist dimension at Munich’s Gärtnerplatz went viral on Instagram, the Munich city society came to a dispute with the expanded powers of the police in the wake of the corona pandemic. The Left Party then asked the police via the city council, according to which criteria people were elected for controls. There was no answer.

The impression remains that those who are already marginalized, marked as foreign and undesirable, are affected by the curfew controls. The rest of society stays at home for fear of astronomical punishments or passes by quickly and purposefully. The curfew should continue to apply until January 10th.


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Racial Profiling: With the “wrong” skin color (

Photo: dpa / Jonas Walzberg

One afternoon in November 2017, Barakat H. (35) and Rasmus L. (35) were in the fitness center and shopping. Now they wanted to go home to Hamburg’s Hafenstrasse, which has been made famous by squatting since the 1980s. Their way led them to the Baldwin staircase, one of several squares in the Hanseatic city, where drugs have been traded for years and where the police hold and control mainly Africans. Two policemen came towards the two of them from a side street. “They definitely want to control us,” said Barakat H. to his neighbor and friend. H., who was born in Togo, is now used to being targeted by the police because of his skin color. But he doesn’t want to put up with it. With the support of the “European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights”, he initiated a second trial against the City of Hamburg for “racial profiling”. In 2017, the administrative court ruled that the police had acted unlawfully during a suspicion-independent inspection of Barakat H. The lawsuit has been expanded to include three cases for the new procedure.

That afternoon, the friends were asked to identify themselves. A reason was not given, they refused. The police report will later state that they made a move to quicken their pace when the officers approached them and “made frantic movements with their gym bags.” Bakarat H. was nervous. In November 2016, on his way home from a German course, he was stopped by a civil servant at a traffic light. When he refused to show his ID, he was handcuffed to the legendary Davidwache and detained for half an hour.

Barakat H. voluntarily opened his sports bag, which also contained fruit. “Oh, bananas,” one of the policemen commented. Meanwhile four more officers had arrived to reinforce the situation. An older woman joined them and spoke up for her neighbor H. He and Rasmus L. gave in and showed their papers. When the two men in turn asked the police officers for names or service numbers, they did not respond. Barakat H. asked the friend to take photos. He shouldn’t do that, a police officer warned him, “otherwise the cell phone is gone.”

Rasmus L. is now asked by the presiding judge whether he himself has been checked more often. Only when he “was in contact with black people,” he replies.

The area around the port street houses is considered a “dangerous place”. The police can inspect without cause. However, this is not a complete license for police action. In 2016, the Higher Administrative Court of Rhineland-Palatinate found that an inspection independent of suspicion is not legal if the skin color is the only or decisive criterion. A “Task Force Drugs” is supposed to take action against dealers in St. Pauli, in the red-light district of St. Georg and in the “left-alternative” Schanzenviertel.

At one point it got loud in the hearing before the administrative court when the lawyer for the city of Hamburg wanted to hear from Rasmus L. whether, in his estimation as a local resident, most of the drug dealers were black. That brings the lawyers Carsten Gericke and Cornelia Ganten-Lange, who represent Barakat H., into armor. To do this, you have to kindly submit separate evidence requests and consult experts.

The court explicitly attached political importance to the trial. For groups like “Copwatch Hamburg” the “Task Force Drugs” promotes racial discrimination. With banners such as “Stop racist controls” they protested against “racial profiling” based on characteristics such as skin color. The trial will continue on November 10th.


Wasn’t that bad after all (

Photo: dpa / Rolf Vennenbernd

“That’s it already. Can you see it. Wasn’t that bad, was it? ”The policeman gives me back my passport. He’s grinning. I don’t feel like laughing. Almost everyone entering from Greece would be checked, he says. I look demonstratively forwards and backwards. The only person who is stopped by the four officers and asked in English where I am going is me. From where I come. Where I live. What I’ve done abroad. Then it’s my travel companion’s turn. Wasn’t that bad after all.

This meeting was only a few weeks ago. What do I feel in such situations – anger, sadness, or humiliation? – I haven’t remembered for a long time, because I’ve developed an automatic mechanism for this: I ask why I am stopped, what the reason for the check is and whether others are also checked. After the inspection, I like to stand in sight and see if anyone else is stopped. So also on that day.

I am being watched by the officers. A short time later, they stop a couple. Both PoC, People of Color, so phenotypically non-white Germans. I can tell from their passports that they are German, at least on paper. That’s it So the four of us. The only non-whites from the plane. Nothing new. Another check out of numerous. They are so many. And yet I can remember almost all of them. Even those in my childhood. The one on the border with Denmark, when my father had to get out and sheepdogs searched our car. The one at Hamburg Central Station when I was out with my brother. The one at Mannheim Central Station. The one at the Berlin train station. The ones at every airport. The one on our doorstep.

And these are just the ones we saw before September 11th. After the terrorist attacks in 2001, racial profiling, i.e. unprompted identity checks based solely on external characteristics, achieved a special quality. General suspicion came with the raster search in the early 2000s. The logic: All Muslims and those who look like Muslims are terrorists or could be terrorists. Be that as it may, police checks are appropriate. Better safe than sorry.

With that, many lost their voices. And although we knew what was happening, we lacked the words. After all, it was about security. But who is protecting us? We can’t rely on the police. We’re too foreign for that. Too migrant. Too black. Too poor. We have nothing that is worth protecting. Not even our life. The NSU has proven that to us. And hall. And Hanau. And the NSU 2.0.

“We shouldn’t complain. Don’t provoke, ”said my mother. She grew up in London in the 1970s. She knows racist violence, whether by skinheads or the police. It’s 2006. We want to go to the train that will take us to her sister in Copenhagen. Officials have already followed us at the train station. They see which train we’re getting on, secure the exits and then go straight to my brother. They search him. There are at least 15 other people in the car. But the officers are only interested in my brother. When my mother calls her sister after the check-up to tell her in English, in a whisper and a shaky voice, what has just happened, the person in front of her turns around, rolls his eyes, puts a finger on his mouth and says, “Now but that’s enough. Wasn’t that bad after all. “

Wasn’t that bad after all. And actually I think to myself: yes. Wasn’t that bad after all. Maybe we were just lucky? But what about Oury Jalloh? Or Achidi John, Christy Schwundeck, Yaya Jabbi, Amad Ahmad or Mohamed Idrissi and the more than 160 dead who, according to the organization Death in Custody, have been victims of institutional racism since 1990?

The problem is, the people who think we should be quiet as long as it’s not that bad don’t say anything even if it gets bad. But as long as luck decides whether my life is endangered or not, the sense of protection is wrong.


Lawyer represents victims of racism: “Would that have happened to a white person?”

Blaise Francis El Mourabit is a lawyer. He represents people who have experienced racist violence and racial profiling – pro bono.

Thousands of people protest against racist police violence in Germany too Photo: Stefan Boness / Ipon

taz: Mr. El Mourabit, in June of this year you offered on Instagram to represent cases of racism pro bono. How many people have contacted you since then?

Blaise Francis El Mourabit: I stopped counting. The latest status is 700 messages on Instagram. There are also emails. Of these 700 messages, not all are cases. There is also a lot of encouragement and references to certain topics. There are over 250 legal questions or cases. Sometimes I can clear up a question in a half hour conversation and let people go on alone. But sometimes there are serious cases that become long-term proceedings and that definitely go to court.

How much time do you spend doing this unpaid work?

An average of five hours a day. I still have my main job, so I work at least eight hours. The five hours, however, only since I started to filter strictly and learned to say no. In the beginning I accepted everywhere. That meant I worked through the night and only slept two or three hours. You can’t keep it up in the long run, my body has given me warning signals.

works in an international group as a compliance officer. In his free time he advises people who have been victims of racist violence or racial profiling – pro bono.

How exactly do you decide who to represent?

I try to take on the most serious cases in the first place: cases of racially motivated physical violence, whether by police or private individuals. I accept everything that is below this threshold, as far as I have the time to do so. But I don’t leave people completely alone. In a 15-minute phone call I give you tips on how to position yourself legally and how to proceed, and if necessary I also try to find a lawyer, which is unfortunately not that easy.

Besides you, are there any other lawyers who pro bono represent those affected by racism in Germany?

No, unfortunately not. The big problem with referral isn’t money. Often times, the people whose cases I take on offer to pay me. I then explain to them that I work pro bono as a social commitment and that I earn enough in my main job. The problem is more that I get some terrifying messages, like white Lawyers deal with such cases. People are not taken seriously and hear sentences like “As an intelligent woman, you have to be above that.” That was the case with a woman who was racially insulted at work.

Or another glaring case: A man collided with a group of young people in the swimming pool on his swim ring. It wasn’t a big deal. But then has a whiter Boy asked the man to leave the pool and called him a “fucking black guy”. The man was completely perplexed and told the boy that he would not leave the pool. The boy then said that if the man did not leave the pool, he and his girlfriend would go to the lifeguard and tell him that the man had touched the boy’s girlfriend. That’s what the two of them did. Fortunately there was a video camera and it was clear that nothing of the sort had happened. Unfortunately, the man’s lawyer did not advise him to make a counter-report for faking a crime, which is a criminal offense. I am shocked when I hear such a thing. Then I wonder if that was a bad lawyer or if it was racist.

What kind of cases are you taking on?

Unfortunately, many cases of racist attacks on the street, racial profiling and police violence. In addition, insults in school by teachers. Rejections due to external characteristics in the training area and terminations on the job. I have several cases of dismissals during the probationary period. Some college people refuse to work with the new person for racist reasons, which creates a bad mood in the company. The company then simply terminates the probationary person rather than addressing the real issue of racism.

You represent people all over Germany. How exactly does the help work?

Most of it is done by phone. When people live in the region, we meet in person. Then I check critically whether it is racism. I need some evidence that something was racist. The question is roughly: “Would that be one white Person in this situation happens the same way? ”If there is a clear racist reference, I start to examine what is legally possible. Are there claims for damages or injunctive relief, can criminal charges be filed?

Unfortunately, it is often the case that the situation is defensive – especially when it comes to police violence. So you don’t start the procedure yourself, but the clients are reported for resistance or an alleged assault on enforcement officers because they reported the police officer. The goal in such cases is an acquittal. There is also therapeutic work. For example, when I have to explain that I cannot help legally because too much time has passed. Then I don’t just hang up, but plead courage. This is especially important with younger people.

The EOTO association. in Berlin is currently carrying out the Afro census. How important is such data collection in the fight for more justice?

Data collection is always important. Therefore I absolutely cannot understand the cancellation of the racial profiling study in the police. The more facts there are, the better it can be understood where there is a need for action. Open-ended and ideally neutral, such surveys are very helpful.

In your opinion, what should change in the fight against racism on a legal level? Is the Berlin State Anti-Discrimination Act a first step?

It is a first step, but we need a federal anti-discrimination law. We urgently need independent, objective authorities in the state and the police who are responsible for investigative proceedings against police officers in cases of racism in order to guarantee neutrality. When we speak publicly about racism in the police, the police as an institution is under pressure. This is why no police officer is interested in uncovering cases at the expense of the police. We also need regulations on body cams. The body cams are available in all federal states because of violence against police officers. The regulation on use is therefore one-sided in favor of the police.

The police officers are allowed to turn on the cameras for their own protection, so the reverse must also be permissible if the fundamental rights of citizens are interfered with. Furthermore, there must be a labeling requirement for police officers. This does not exist in all federal states, although it is legally permissible. I have already had cases in which police officers have given false names and service numbers on request or have refused to provide information. Furthermore, cell phone recordings of police officers who interfere with fundamental rights should be permitted to preserve evidence. Filming is possible in the USA, but the legal situation in Germany is vague. When people film the police here, they are often threatened with the removal of the cell phone or a complaint.

You are now threatened by rights online. How do you deal with it legally and personally?

In the event of threats and insults, criminal complaints can always be filed. However, online people hide in anonymity, for example through dubious mail providers based abroad, “throw-away e-mails” and hidden IP addresses. Thus, the chances of success in terms of the criminal complaint are zero. But I won’t be intimidated by that. I was shocked at the first threatening message, but now I don’t care anymore. That is more of a motivation and shows what problems there are and confirms and strengthens me in my work. I will continue.


Police in Munich: further allegations of controls – Munich

Yesterday was such a beautiful Saturday – a summer day in Munich. Unfortunately, your officials spoiled it for us. “The letter that Katrin Scholl wrote to Police President Hubertus Andrä on June 14 is calm, friendly, and yet bitterness can be heard about how her son and his three Friends were treated that day.

The four had played basketball in Maßmannpark. Around 7 p.m. they wanted to cool off in the Eisbach. Malik’s father comes from Egypt, he was born in Starnberg. Two of his friends also have a German passport, one is Spaniard. But everyone can see that they didn’t just have white ancestors. This summer evening there is a police car at the entrance to the English Garden. The officials wave the four young people with dark skin out of the stream of visitors. “Because of Corona,” says an official on the grounds, as Scholz describes it. Then the four have to stand in front of the team car, hands on the roof, legs apart. “Again and again we were asked whether we had something great with us or drugs,” recalls the 20-year-old computer science student. They ask why the others are not controlled, those with white skin who stroll past in large groups. At that time, even stricter contact restrictions applied. “We didn’t see them,” was the answer.

Katrin Scholz spends the evening calming her son. As a white woman, the police hadn’t even stopped her in Munich in 20 years. Why does it keep happening to her son, who has a darker skin tone. “Parents of white children do not have to have these conversations with their adolescent children. White young people do not have to stand in front of a police car and be searched for all passers-by,” she wrote in her letter to the police chief. What will the police do so that non-white people don’t grow up feeling wrong? Five weeks have passed since then, and Scholz has not received an answer.

While politicians and representatives of police unions argue about whether there is so-called racial profiling in Germany and whether a scientific study would make sense, more and more people who have experienced exactly that they are black or Arab-looking people report without reason while the emergency services don’t seem to pay attention to whites.

Leon Ohanwe only had a very similar experience on Wednesday. The Munich native was on the way to the English Garden with two friends around 4 p.m. At the entrance to Paradiesstrasse and Himmelreichstrasse they were stopped by police officers from hundreds. The officials asked for the ID cards, wrote down the names and ordered the three black men to be sent off. If they were found in the English Garden within 24 hours, they would be in a cell. “Then you can have fun there,” said an official. This was justified by the riots in Stuttgart and Frankfurt in the past weeks. The three turned back.

“Mei, I’m used to it,” says Ohanwe, who was born and grew up in Munich and is now studying nursing science. The conversation might have lasted a minute. A white passer-by spoke to her and then asked the police officers why the black teenagers were not allowed in the park, but he was. The answer was that he didn’t “fit into the clientele”. Since Ohanwe’s brother posted the incident on Twitter on Wednesday evening, the police have been trying to clarify it. The Presidium does not want to comment on the matter until all those involved have been heard.

How the Munich police dealt with people with a history of migration was only the subject of a discussion between representatives of Jewish and Muslim associations and the advice center for those affected by right-wing and group-related misanthropic violence and discrimination in Munich (Before) with the police chief Hubertus Andrä at the invitation of the city . “Hearing was a very important step after NSU, OEZ, Hanau and Halle,” said Nesrin Gül, the deputy chairwoman of the city’s migration advisory board. “People felt heard and felt that the issue was being taken seriously.” Gül also praises the contact with the Ministry of the Interior. It was a good sign that Joachim Herrmann attended the annual conferences of the umbrella organization of the Bavarian Migration Advisory Council (AGABY) and listened to the results and demands from their work. It is all the more regrettable that Herrmann has now also spoken out against an investigation of racist patterns by the police. “This is particularly wrong for the police officers,” she says. The lack of security aroused even more skepticism. A scientific basis would be the prerequisite for considering: “Which adjustment screws can we turn together?”

Instead of pillorizing police officers, their intercultural competence should be promoted even more. This included anti-discrimination training and anti-racism training, namely “for police officers with and without a migration background”. Racism and discrimination do not only exist among people without a migration background: “There are also Turkish people who are discriminatory against blacks. And there may be blacks who are anti-Semites.”

Evening mood in the English garden

The Munich police are currently being criticized for controversial controls on the English Garden.

(Photo: Felix Hörhager / dpa)

Gül believes there should be more encounters to reduce distrust. She remembers the policeman in uniform who came to her elementary school to teach traffic. “It has reduced my distance. Something like that is missing in adulthood. If you don’t have police officers in your circle of friends, we are and will remain only those who are checked more often. And that’s the only encounter.”

He always hears of cases in which people who are not white are picked out during checks, says Damian Groten from Before. “The control density is sometimes so high that a person is checked several times on his way through the city.” Errors and omissions in investigating the NSU murders and dealing with their victims have shown that there is a “violent blind spot” among the police, says Groten. So far, the police have not made public statements. After all, there are approaches to an exchange: Together with the Commissioner 105, which is responsible for prevention and victim protection, a brochure was drafted, which is available at all police stations and points out advice to victims of racial discrimination.

There is a racist tendency in every society, says Imam Benjamin Idriz, chairman of the Munich Forum for Islam. “Why should the police be an exception?” It is important that she tries. “The police should send a clear signal that everyone can count on their protection. And that they are sensitive to people with a migrant background. So that such an impression does not solidify.” After the recent attacks in Hanau and Halle, Idriz would like a permanent contact in the police headquarters. Andrä, in turn, complained that he had no permanent contact person among the 150,000 Muslims in Munich. “I offered myself, so far no one has contacted me,” says Idriz.

When asked by the SZ, the police headquarters said on Friday that Katrin Scholz’s letter from June was “currently still being processed”. You will receive an answer “promptly”. “We thoroughly investigate any complaints about racial profiling, as this would in no way be acceptable to the Bavarian police,” said police spokesman Werner Kraus.

Leon Ohanwe says: “I would just like to have an apology and an explanation that this was not correct.” It gives him hope that this Wednesday not everyone just went on but the witness spoke to the officials.


Study on violence against the police: the decisive factor is how

The Federal Interior Minister wants to have violence against police officers investigated. Whether this makes sense is disputed among experts.

Horst Seehofer with an Austrian border policeman Photo: Peter Kneffel / dpa

BERLIN taz | Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU) now wants a new police study – but with a different question than discussed in the past few weeks. Instead of racial profiling, for which his ministry first announced an investigation and then cashed in again, it should be about police officers as victims. “I believe we need a study of violence against police officers,” said Seehofer Munich Mercury.

According to experts, racial profiling lacks numbers – but is this also the case with violence against police officers?

“There is certainly a need for such a study, but it would have to be completely independent,” says Bochum criminologist Thomas Feltes. Violence is always a question of interaction, so the person and the actions of the police officers must also be taken into account. This is exactly what the largest study that has been done on this topic in Germany so far has not done so due to pressure from police unions and interior ministries.

The study, which Feltes thinks, was carried out by the Criminological Research Institute Lower Saxony (KFN) in 2010 and interviewed a good 20,000 police officers in ten federal states. 82 percent of them said they had been insulted or threatened while on duty in the past year, and around 27 percent were beaten or kicked. Every 50th policeman was threatened with a firearm. According to the study, police officers are often the target of attacks if they intervene in the event of disturbances in quiet or rioting in public spaces or in family disputes and domestic violence.

Questions deleted

The researchers originally wanted to ask significantly more questions about the personality of the civil servants, their upbringing and their own victim experience, admits Dirk Baier. The current head of the Institute for Delinquency and Crime Prevention in Zurich was involved in the KFN study at the time. “After criticism, in particular from the German Police Union, we have shortened the list of questions.” The Federal Ministry of the Interior and some countries would still not have participated.

Two years later, however, the team was able to take up at least some of the questions in a small investigation in Lower Saxony. According to this, the personality of the police officers has relatively little influence.

Baier considers the gain in knowledge from a new study to be “relatively minor”. The numbers are well recorded and much is known about the perpetrators: mostly young men, who have often become conspicuous before, the proportion of those with a history of migration somewhat above average. The perpetrators are often alcoholic, and the deeds are often done in groups. “We already know all of that.”

It was initially not possible to find out whether Seehofer wanted to commission a study at all. The considerations would be substantiated, according to the BMI. Every year, the Federal Criminal Police Office creates a situation report on violence against police officers. The recent upward trend, however, can be viewed with caution: it is at least partly due to the tightening of criminal law.


Study on violence against police: Not funny, Mr. Seehofer

The Home Secretary’s call for a study of violence against police officers is more than a bad joke. It’s about their inviolability.

Joke, come out: Horst Seehofer last week in the federal cabinet Photo: Michael Kappeler / Reuters

There are jokes that write themselves. The very best of them can be updated at any time. When Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer rejected the idea of ​​a study on racial profiling just two weeks ago, because this investigation technique is forbidden and therefore does not need to be examined, a joke was born.

Within a very short time, the network was full of things that no longer needed to be investigated or investigated because they were ultimately not allowed: burglary, homicide, theft – all forbidden. One wondered what a police force was still needed for, but basically investigate things that shouldn’t exist.

Horst Seehofer, this Mario Barth of German domestic politics, does not allow himself to be fooled in the face of this self-running and is now following up. After clashes between young people and the police in Frankfurt am Main last weekend, the minister wants to commission a study on violence against the police. Seehofer’s fans recognize the classic recall, as the technique of repeating a gag in stand-up comedy is called, and quickly fill the timelines on Twitter and Facebook with comments such as: “Violence against officials is forbidden, which is why study?”

First of all, of course, there is nothing to be said against a corresponding survey. Solid empiricism is undoubtedly the basis of an informed debate. Free of charge that various police authorities are already collecting and publishing the relevant data. A detailed nationwide study could finally collect the numbers, promote a uniform recording, subject their creation, internal and media exploitation to a critical examination.

Broken windows in Stuttgart are stylized to the fall of the West

Because reports of injured uniformed officers rarely stand up to detailed scrutiny. A closer look at the numbers during the G20 summit, for example, caused them to shrink significantly, by more than half.

Populist defense against any criticism

But Seehofer’s proposal is not about accuracy or even carrying out a solid study at all, but only about the short-term laugh, or rather the success of propaganda. After all, the police authorities in Germany have been under unusually critical observation since the surge of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Fending off has made large sections of the political class, above all the Interior Minister, a priority. And so a few smashed windows in Stuttgart are stylized as an impending doom of the West so as not to have to discuss police violence. The Frankfurt Rabatz is joked to jeopardize the free democratic basic order in order to hide the silence about racist investigative practice. A satirical taz column is reinterpreted as an inhuman fantasy of violence in order to denounce any thought about the asymmetry of power between armed uniformed men on the one hand, their victims and critics on the other hand as an attack on a democratic society.

Certainly: the unconscious love for the police is always good for a bitter joke, but it grows to a very serious danger. Because it is also a tacit mate with the extreme right and actually democratic networks in the security organs. Up to now, journalists have primarily been responsible for their clarification. Like the, as we now know, forbidden practice of racial profiling, only because of the patient self-organization of racially affected people and the media coverage about it comes to light.

Here: study yes. There: study no – the reasons are indifferent because they are interchangeable. Ultimately, Seehofer is not concerned with tracking down social problems and their causes, but only to defend the inviolability of the police institution and the order it protects. “Why investigate, it is forbidden …” The joke works because it is true. Happy who can still laugh at it liberated.


Racial profiling in the police: racism study without Seehofer

Lower Saxony’s Interior Minister wants to investigate racial profiling with the police with other countries. The Federal Minister of the Interior had refused.

Wants to take action against racism regionally: Boris Pistorius Photo: dpa

BERLIN epd / taz | Lower Saxony’s Interior Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) wants to have a study on police work and racism, if necessary without the federal government, in association with several federal states. “I would like us to tackle this, with or without the federal government,” said the SPD politician New Osnabrück newspaper (Friday). He would try to convince his colleagues in the countries of a joint study in the autumn.

Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) had recently temporarily canceled a study on racial profiling. The Federal Government had been advised by the Commission against racism and intolerance of the Council of Europe to investigate. Racial profiling consists of the occasional police personal checks based on the external characteristics of a person, such as skin color.

Pistorius said that in order to get a representative picture, the study had to cover several federal states and not just Lower Saxony. He emphasized that police work, like any other activity, poses a risk of succumbing to stereotypes. At the same time, it does not automatically mean which ones if certain groups of people are specifically controlled.

“If you always deal with the same ethnic group that deals there in a certain area, it can make sense to check members of this group and presumably members more often than any passer-by. This is not racial profiling, ”said Pistorius. For the same reason, younger people were more often drug-controlled than older people, without being discriminatory.


That’s why modern Nazis hate women

Right-wing extremist threatening letters reach numerous people in these weeks. What is striking is that they are often directed against women. Why is that?

TV presenter Maybrit Illner, left-wing politicians Martina Renner, Anne Helm and Janine Wissler, and cabaret artist Idil Baydar: They all received extreme-right threatening letters, signed with “NSU 2.0”. Such a letter was sent to NSU attorney-at-law Seda Basay-Yildiz two years ago. Men are also the target of the latest extreme right-wing attacks under this sender, such as the Siegburg lawyer Mehmet Daimagüler, who also represented co-plaintiffs in the Munich NSU trial. Nevertheless, it is striking in the letters: Here the focus is primarily on women. Why is that?

The addressees have a few characteristics: They are well educated, successful in their jobs, take an active stand against right-wing extremism, and some have a migration background. In doing so, they fulfill several enemy images that right-wing extremists have. And yet some is new.

What’s new about “NSU 2.0”?

“A new dimension is reached here,” says Liane Bednarz. The journalist, right-wing extremism expert and author has been dealing with the topic of new rights and right-wing extremism for years. Looking at the “NSU 2.0” emails, she says: “There is probably an entire network behind it.”

After all, the personal data of three of the threatened women were accessed by police computers in Hesse. Those affected are thus suggested that the police have been infiltrated by right-wing extremists, who have obtained the personal data of the women in this way. Threatening letters can always be scary. But if it is suggested that even the police, as guardians of public order, not only no longer guarantee the security of the individual, but actively endanger it, that is yet another level. “This increases the intimidation effect,” says Bednarz.

The journalist and right-wing extremism expert Liane Bednarz (archive picture): “A new dimension is being reached here.” (Source: Piero Chiussi / imago images)

“The primary goal of the senders is to scare the women – instead of secretly planning a murder, as in the case of the Kassel district president Walter Lübcke,” says Bednarz. Nevertheless, these threats should not be played down. After all, those affected are massively opposed to the worldview of the right with their work and their demeanor and are thus enemy images.

How modern Nazis see women

In line with the prevailing image of women in National Socialism, right-wing extremists see women as the mother and provider of the household. It is reduced to its biological function of having as many children as possible in order to enlarge the population. Even if modern neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists no longer formulate this openly, it is the worldview that they represent.

And this is expressed in the contempt for women like the threatened, who take up a job, are financially independent, act confidently and choose career and children at the same time. They call all of this “gender ideology” – they believe that the assumption that women and men can reconcile work and family life is nonsense. However, the family picture has changed, with one effect: extreme right-wing men perceive this as a loss of power and try to compensate for it with a counterattack. “Antifeminism is an integral part of the far-right worldview,” says Liane Bednarz.

The most recent example is arousal about the quota for women planned by the still CDU boss Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. Right-wing Twitter users, both men and women, describe the women’s quota as sexism – gender alone should be sufficient as a qualification. A misleading accusation, because sexism describes a person’s devaluation based on their gender. But that is not the point, but rather the end of discriminatory structures and the equality and participation of men and women laid down in the Basic Law.

Calculation that threatened people do not defend themselves

“The men who write these threatening e-mails increase from a perceived helplessness into violent fantasies,” says Bednarz. Many of them are sexually charged.

Ultimately, it is nothing more than submitting to the woman again and imposing the traditional role model on her again. “These men probably hope that those affected will then withdraw from the public again,” explains Bednarz.

In the chauvinistic scene, the prejudice prevails that women are the weaker sex. That should also be a reason why the current threatening letters are directed against women: The senders may assume that they are not defending themselves. The people concerned do not give any reason for this assumption in what they do and how they appear.

Open criticism of right-wing extremist structures

The threatened women regularly campaign against right-wing extremism. The TV presenter Maybrit Illner addresses him in her programs. In the case of left-wing politicians, the struggle against the right, anti-fascism, is already in their party’s DNA. Martina Renner, for example, is one of the most distinguished experts on the right-wing scene in Germany.

Left-wing MP Martina Renner: She is one of the most distinguished experts on right-wing extremism in Germany.  (Source: imago images / Jürgen Heinrich)Left-wing MP Martina Renner: She is one of the most distinguished experts on right-wing extremism in Germany. (Source: Jürgen Heinrich / imago images)

In her parliamentary work in the Thuringian state parliament, she helped clarify the NSU murders. She speaks regularly about the topic in interviews. The women thus offer the right-wing a target. With their commitment, but sometimes also with their bare biography.

Biographical characteristics

Anyone who, like Frankfurt lawyer Seda Basay-Yildiz, campaigns for the victims of the NSU murders and also wants to enable terrorist suspects to be brought under the rule of law, is not perceived highly by right-wing extremists. Basay-Yildiz and cabaret artist Idil Baydar added: They are German, but have a migration background.

Cabaret artist Idil Baydar: Not German enough in the crude world view of right-wing extremists.  (Source: imago images / C. Hardt / Future Image)Cabaret artist Idil Baydar: Not German enough in the crude world view of right-wing extremists. (Source: C. Hardt / Future Image / imago images)

Reason enough for right-wing extremists to hostile them. Because in the world view of many neo-Nazis, it does not count if someone was born in Germany, speaks German and barely masters the mother tongue of the parents – based on the Nazi racial theory, that is not enough.

Is the pressure on the investigators growing now?

In any case. The right-wing network in the police and armed forces uncovered last year severely damaged the credibility of the investigative authorities, as did dealing with the recent debate about racism among the police.

If the police want to restore their reputation, they must now prove their success in the investigation. It has to clarify who accessed the women’s data on the police computers – and whether it is a larger group of right-wing extremists. At the same time, she must provide the victims with the greatest possible support. The fact that the Hessian police chief Udo Münch has given up his post and an internal special investigator has started work is only a start.

What about Seehofer and the racism study?

It is a wild confusion about the study on “Racial Profiling” in the Federal Ministry of the Interior: At first Horst Seehofer (CSU) did not want it. Then he supposedly knew nothing of such a planned study. Finally, he declined to investigate: he had no reason to believe that there was a problem with structural racism in the federal police.

Criticism of Seehofer’s attitude is growing. Lower Saxony’s Interior Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) has opposed the Federal Interior Minister: he is planning a country study on racism in law enforcement – if necessary without the participation of the federal government.