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Youths attack homeless man in Berlin metro station
Photo: DPA

Youths attack homeless man in Berlin metro station

Published: 21 Feb 2011 09:02 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Feb 2011 09:02 GMT+01:00

Between five and six young people assaulted a 45-year-old homeless man at the Hansaplatz station in western Berlin on Sunday, punching him in the face.

The perpetrators also robbed the man of his cigarettes, drinks and two sleeping bags, a police spokesman said.

The victim suffered a broken nose and was hospitalized after the assault. Medical officials contacted police.

Just over a week ago, the country was shocked when four teenagers severely beat a house painter at Berlin’s Lichtenberg metro station.

The 30-year-old remains in critical condition after the brutal attack, while his teen assailants have been arrested. They could face charges of attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm.

Investigators initially lamented the inaction of some witnesses, who failed to intervene in the attack. But days later reports emerged that a member of the Bandidos motorcycle gang had likely prevented the boys from beating up the painter’s co-worker by flashing a weapon at them.

DAPD/ka

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:37 February 21, 2011 by Gaidi
this is just too much!

I can blame all this on the failed parenting and lack of respect in today's youth...
11:19 February 21, 2011 by auslanderus
This is a sign that parents have no control of there kids and no respect. The court system is broken and this will happen many more times till someone wakes up. Hopefully no one will die. Adults needs to help when they see things like this happening.
11:31 February 21, 2011 by Dougbal01
No this is biased reporting, on the previous accident we were told of the origin of the youth, can we please know here so we can find a trend. Where they from other countries or of German origin?
12:11 February 21, 2011 by prophecy
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
12:42 February 21, 2011 by Gaffers
I think you are missing the point. It doesn't matter where they are from. If they were of non German origin the racists will jump on it as evidence of the issue with immigration. If they are German then it shows violence is not related to race.

There are enough news stories showing violence is perpetrated by ALL nationalities.

What is important here is that it was unprovoked and cowardly and, worryingly, seems to be becomming more common. I don't care where they are from as long as they are caught and punished.
13:37 February 21, 2011 by freechoice
increasing social and moral decays are evidences of end times, so you better make peace and treat your friends/associates nice...
14:16 February 21, 2011 by twisted
Part of the reason that kids do these things is that they know that the courts will slap their hand, MAYBE lock them up for a short period, but in the end, they walk free. Face it, these are punks and should be punished by some good, long jail time. Quit coddling these little SOBs.
14:25 February 21, 2011 by ron1amr
The other news article I could not see where it read their ethnic back ground. More and more when there are brazen attacks like this one it is few with locals doing this sort of thing. But children of people coming from a war torn Country somehow they bring their troubles with them and this is a problem. I don't believe people are racist when they complain about this it is reverse racism. We cant say boo or we will be called racist. It is consistent that these youths hang out in large numbers and carry out these attacks. The media is not disclosing all information for a reason and people begin to suspect what the issue is. I have a few friends and they said when they came to this Country it is like paradise. As I have gained information of this type of happening, I'm not speaking without knowledge. The police and Government may have a strategy to tackle these new problems. For sure there needs to be more security at train stations.
14:56 February 21, 2011 by tallady
CCTV.. needs a greater presence in all underground stations,,they need to be monitored for violence and other threatening issues that can and do occur.

The ethnicity of these perps is an issue like it or not. These youths most likely have been privy to a lot of negative comments by their parents about the host Nation,they do not feel connected or part of German society.They may speak the language but that is not the same as having faith and belief in the country..A lot more needs to be done to correct this inequity. As previously stated they have no respect for Germans ,most likely because they believe they do not get any.I want to make this clear that we are talking about an element here not the entire ethnic population.
15:15 February 21, 2011 by Gaffers
I hate to repeat myself but it doesn't mention in this article where they come from. The previous incident in Berlin mentioned they were not German but here not. Given we have seen the same behaviour last year by GERMAN youths in Munich and we see often reports of violence in Germany by Germans (Hamburg, Dresden etc) the assumption that these youths must be of foreign descent is misplaced.

I said it before and I will say it again. Violence is not rstricted to certain races. There are violent elements everywhere. Selectively highlighting those concerned with Non Germans is wrong and is racist.

The individuals are responsible not their nationality. In all cases these individuals represent a very small minority but provide extremists with a focus to peddle their racist views.

If anyone has any verifiable FACTS that violence is related to nationality then present them...
15:38 February 21, 2011 by marimay
If violence is related to nationality.... I'm scared of what the 30% German part of me is capable of! lol
15:46 February 21, 2011 by Gaidi
@ Gaffers

I totally agree with you... i have met some people from African, Asian and Middle Eastern backgrounds here in Germany and they where really nice and polite people who hate and resent any kind of violence.

I dont believe anyone should be judged on there race or nationality.... it is what one do, say and how they treat other people is what define ones personalty.

this is why i believe that good parenting have a lot to do with personal development. wither they where Germans or not!
15:59 February 21, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
I've always held the notion that society has to be self-enforcing, or it doesn't work at all. You can rely on Police or the Army to solve all your problems for you; sometimes, being a good citizen means getting involved for the good of your nation.

What I am trying to say, in short, is, that this type of behavior only blooms because we don't actually do anything about it. Next time you see a ruddy little delinquent pestering an old man, say something. Next time you see one of these rejects acting up on the bus, say something. More importantly, next time you see one of these little twits attacking someone, beat the living snot out of them until they get the message that it's not OK to show a complete and utter lack of respect for your fellow citizens.
18:25 February 21, 2011 by prophecy
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
18:34 February 21, 2011 by jbur
This kind of thing is always sociological. You have to treat the cause, not the symptom. To treat the symptom you just install security cameras in every station and hire a small army of extra police to do patrols. But I kind of like that Berliners are generally peaceful people, even when drunk on the metro. So I would like that safe culture to continue. Compare it to Australia or UK, for instance. There, drunks get way more violent.

Anyway, the cause might be that the attackers are really bored, disenfranchised, and/or poorly educated, from a low socio-economic group, etc. To solve the violence issue you have to go right back to these issues and address them. It's also simplistic to blame the parents. You have to zoom out to understand the broader issue.
19:19 February 21, 2011 by Talonx
@ jbur

Well said.

I would like to add that people on this board should try to curb the hyperbole just a little bit.

We aren't dealing with the U.S. where such acts are so commonplace as to be glossed over in various newsmedia in favor of reporting on particularly gruesome murders.

There is not some recent rise in rates of violence in Germany per capita, so please cut the bs folks.
20:19 February 21, 2011 by jbur
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
21:50 February 21, 2011 by Johan Fink
The worrying thing for me here is that people STILL stand by and watch this happen? & don't do anything to help, Why?
21:57 February 21, 2011 by catjones
@Der Grenadier aus Aachen...if I see you beating the 'living snot' out of someone what should I do?
02:58 February 22, 2011 by chinaeu
I am very to hear such news again and again.

www.chinaeu.de
10:48 February 22, 2011 by mixxim
I have read and reread the article but cannot see anything about the perpertrators race or nationality. has part of the article been rejected or is it assumed that the Germans could not possibly have done it?
17:08 February 22, 2011 by tallady
Gaffers...the omission of where they come from speaks for itself..
17:24 February 22, 2011 by storymann
I would agree violence is not restricted to race unless that race is a minority that is generally not accepted into the mainstream of the society where they live. Being tolerated is not the same as being accepted.
17:38 February 22, 2011 by tallady
Talonx,,thats correct about the USA, and all immigrant nations,,it is much more commonplace,as the new arrivals are usually scorned by the earlier arrivals.The lack of respect, indignant comments and being disenfranchised create resentment that often results in some form of violence directed towards the tormentors. Of course the earlier arrivals blame it on the ethnicity of the people and immigration in general.
17:45 February 22, 2011 by Gaffers
Tallady...Are you saying that because it doesn't mention they are German we're are to assume they were not? Really? Seriously? Why? Where is the logic in that?

In the previous article last week it mentioned they were non German so for consistency if we were to make any assumptions it must be that they are German this time as it is not specifically mentioned otherwise.
17:53 February 22, 2011 by tallady
Lets wait and se how this plays out Gaffers,,,,logic,, you tell me.
18:00 February 22, 2011 by Gaffers
That's completely irrational. I assume based on no evidence and if they are "foreign" my prejudices are validated.

So the German youths that killed a man in Munich last year were really foreigners pretending to be German? The Hamburg and Dresden violence recently were really all non Germans in disguise? Or is it just convenient to ignore those cases as they don't support your arguments?
08:26 February 23, 2011 by stux
Do you people really think the third world is the same as the first world?? Look at how many sexual assaults and such happened to foreign journalists just during the two weeks of the Cairo riots. We would have never even heard about any of it if one of them that some people deem more important than the others was attacked.

A lot of this is commonplace in different countries and some of it even acceptable (violence against women). It is like saying honor killings are not an Islamic phenomenon, but are also commonplace in Western cultures.

Do people think Russians are more apt to violent crime than West Germans? What about East Germans vs West Germans?

Please don't give me more of that poverty crap as a response though. More happened to make people the way they are than just being poor. There are poor places in the world where people are not violent. Money is not everything, or I guess to some of you it is. There are environmental, social, and genetic factors involved. There are many societies where people are poor as dirt, but share what they have.

I have a little brother that is violent and irrational by nature. None of my other three siblings are like him although we grew up the exact same way. This does not mean everyone that is violent was born violent, but it shows there are other possibilities. Same with the whole born gay vs. environmental /social factors argument.

I am tired of everything wrong being written off as people that did not have access to what others had. The whole Jared Diamond argument does not answer why some are more blindly violent than others.

It is always funny to hear people say you should not generalize, but then talk about quirks of the British vs the Italians, or Germans to the Spanish. It is accepted there are differences unless the people have darker skin.
08:26 February 23, 2011 by Zobirdie
When parents abandon their children to be raised by the state, movies and musicians, this is the sort of crap that happens. I think it is really the breakdown of our society showing now. No one keeps track of their children anymore. No one teaches them right from wrong. No one holds them accountable for their actions.

Children are not an accessory to come after your car and your house and your dog. If people actually raised them, this wouldnt happen. If you dont want to be a responsible parent, then dont have children. Its pretty simple.
08:32 February 23, 2011 by stux
Oh, and I am not stating this attack was done by immigrants, although attacks on homeless are very common in Russia. Usually Neo Nazi's practicing.

The comments on these are either one way or the other. I am tired of the whole poor people argument and how it is not their choice to do the violent act; they just do it because they are poor, underprivileged and not accepted by society. I guess if girls were more promiscuous with serial killers and uni bombers they would not commit the crimes they commit, right?
15:44 February 23, 2011 by tallady
Gaffers they did not say what the nationality or the race was ,most likely because they just printed an article about a similar incident and do not want to intensify this. We ARE talking about Berlin not Munich, or anywhere else. and your prejudices are validated. I have it from a reliable source that they were not "Real Germans".

There is a problem here that needs to be addressed, as some one stated we need to solve this from it's root ,.I agree,... This problem will linger if people are not treated equitably.

I am not making an argument, only stating the obvious my dubious friend.
20:00 February 23, 2011 by roboni
I hope I did not double comment. As I was saying before I hit the wrong button on my keyboard.

This is a problem of Germany's new liberal movement of letting children raise themselves. They have no structure and they are not taught to have respect for authority. I don't understand why Germans all feel that if they are taught to be repectful human kids they will turn into Nazi's. They need to move on already. Kids (some) in Germany are growing up respecting no one but their other parentingless peers. The other problem has to do with family structures here in Germany, not race as some racists want it to be. Most of these kids getting into trouble come from broken households, if not fatherless, at least father's who are not in control of their situations or kids at home. Germany right now seems to following in the path of some groups in the states with high out of weblock births and/or absetee fathers, which for young unguilded males and females too, can lead to these awful situations now taking place. Boys going around kicking people in the head and girls turning into little future prostitues. Yeah Germany is not as dangerous as some other countries around the world but that doesn't mean there isn't a problem brewing that can affect us all. And why should Germany be okay because it is not as dangerous as other countries? That is no excuse for bullying not matter how small.
22:27 February 25, 2011 by phil25
And the moral of this story: if you want to travel in peace and safety on the Berlin underground, don´t expect others to help you, just carry a bloody big weapon!
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