• Germany edition
 
The Local's media roundup
'Society failed to change the climate of 1992'
Photo: DPA

'Society failed to change the climate of 1992'

Published: 27 Aug 2012 10:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Aug 2012 10:30 GMT+02:00

The 1992 attack in Rostock, not long after German reunification, saw residents cheering a mob attacking a block housing asylum seekers while the police stood by and did nothing for days.

President Joachim Gauck, a native of Rostock, returned to his home town and gave a speech in front of the apartment building in the Lichtenhagen district, where the five-day siege took place.

"Democracy must be resilient and cannot allow law and order to be taken from its hands," Gauck said in the keynote speech of Sunday's memorial service

But his words weren't enough, according to the left-wing taznewspaper.

Gauck's speech, wrote the paper, "... sounds pretty good. But it leaves a stale after taste. Because Gauck hasn't said a word about the failure of the national security agencies in other right-wing incidents."

The paper was referring to a string of ten murders by a neo-Nazi gang, one of which was carried out in Rostock, and which prompted outrage earlier this year when it was revealed that Germany's security agencies had destroyed intelligence and seriously mismanaged the investigation.

"Gauck avoids drawing concrete connections to the present," the paper wrote, concluding that the commemoration in Lichtenhagen "became a history lesson, far away from racism of 2012."

The Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung also made a connection between the events in Rostock and the present-day climate. The paper wrote that the events of August 1992 - and a lack of government action since then - had played a decisive role in the current climate of present-day eastern Germany, sometimes considered a 'no-go' area for foreigners.

"Twenty years ago, the threat of force was established, and as a result eastern Germany is largely free of immigrants today... since the days and nights of the xenophobic riots of Rostock-Lichtenhagen, foreigners know that it's better if they do not live in East Germany"

The paper noted that less than 1 percent of the population in eastern Germany was non-white, writing that "in two decades, the government and politicians have not managed in to change that climate."

Die Welt reflected on the conditions that led to the riot, a perfect storm of economic discontent and government inaction. Conditions at the refugee house were awful, wrote the paper.

"There was a lack of sanitation facilities, and the city refused to set up mobile toilets in order to not perpetuate a state of emergency. Piles of rubbish accumulated. The stench was unbearable. The smell increasingly drifted into the homes of increasingly angry residents."

However, the paper found those residents responsible, writing that they showed "no compassion for the refugees, but did the opposite and quite wrongly made the refugees responsible for the economic problems in Germany - including their own personal concerns."

The northern Kieler Nachtrichten also placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of Rostock residents. "Civil society failed in Rostock-Lichtenhagen. Not because they actively supported the mob violence, but because they did not prevent this."

The Local/DPA/sh

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

15:08 August 27, 2012 by Livioxxx
But many of them in facte actively supported it.
05:30 September 27, 2012 by lewis69
If Europeans tried to seek asylum in the middle east I think they would recieve the same treatment as the asylum seekers did in rostock if not worse.

I don't see why we think we are obligated to take them in when we all know they would not do the same for us.
04:09 October 12, 2012 by mitanni
Gauck and Merkel are themselves intolerant and xenophobic, declaring Christianity to be the social and cultural norm for Germany and telling people who don't accept it to get out of Germany. If they want to "change the climate", they should stop abusing their political positions to impose religious and cultural norms.
Today's headlines
The Local List
10 things to do before summer is really over
Photo: DPA

10 things to do before summer is really over

The German weather service (DWD) is blaming "Wild Wilma" for blanketing the country in cooler temperatures, but we know it's going to get a lot colder before the end of summer. This week's Local List challenges you to take advantage before autumn really sets in. READ  

Energy policy falls foul of federal auditors
Lightning illuminates the sky above a wind turbine. Photo: DPA

Energy policy falls foul of federal auditors

The Federal Court of Auditors has sharply criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel's energy policy, saying that the previous coalition government failed to produce adequate financial plans. READ  

China to execute German for double murder
A court in Xiamen ordered the German's death sentence after three years. Photo: DPA

China to execute German for double murder

A German man has been condemned to death in China for murdering his ex-girlfriend and her partner in a frenzied attack, it was reported on Wednesday. READ  

German aid planes to Iraq delayed
All filled up and nowhere to go. Photo: DPA

German aid planes to Iraq delayed

A German military flight to the conflict-addled region in northern Iraq has been delayed because Turkey denied landing permission for the layover at Incirlik airbase, according to a spokesman for the air force. READ  

Bomb shuts down A3 motorway
Photo: DPA

Bomb shuts down A3 motorway

A controlled detonation of a 500-kg bomb from the Second World War has left a 20-metre-wide crater in the middle of one of Germany's busiest traffic corridors on Tuesday night. READ  

Saxony schools get top marks
Photo: DPA

Saxony schools get top marks

A country-wide analysis has shown that Saxony has the best schools and Berlin has a lot of homework to do. READ  

Police free hedgehog, natural order restored
Pot luck for the Offenburg hedgehog. Photo: DPA

Police free hedgehog, natural order restored

Officers patrolling in Baden-Württemberg were confronted by a self-imprisoned hedgehog. READ  

BER capacity already 'too small' at 2016 launch
Overdue, overgrown. BER site stands idle amid delays. Photo: DPA

BER capacity already 'too small' at 2016 launch

The delay-hobbled Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) will already be overburdened when - or if - it opens in 2016 as passenger volume exceeds initial forecasts, it was reported on Tuesday. READ  

Stomach bug behind Berlin 'Ebola' scare
A doctor at the Job Centre in Berlin. Photo:DPA

Stomach bug behind Berlin 'Ebola' scare

Update: Around 600 people were held for several hours in emergency quarantine at a Berlin Job Centre on Tuesday after a West African woman collapsed with Ebola-like symptoms. READ  

Opinion
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Matthias Kock spent several years learning the Afghan ropes. Photo: Matthias Kock

Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life

After more than 3,400 foreign troops died in Afghanistan, 54 of them German, the international community in 2014 withdraws its combat forces to end a 13-year mission. Aid worker and ex-soldier Matthias Kock reflects on lessons learned and where the country is headed. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should.
Photo: DPA
National
Berlin's senate puts the brakes on Über
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: DPA
Culture
How I deal with my German Hausmeister
Photo: Ingrid Eulenfan/flickr
Gallery
Nine German treats you'll want to eat right now (and one you won't)
Photo: DPA
Society
Who's getting German citizenship?
Photo: DPA
Culture
How World War I changed Germany forever
Photo: APA/DPA
Gallery
The 12 best words in Austrian German
Photo: DPA
Society
'Look at those German shanty towns!'
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,318
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd