• Germany's news in English
 

Concern rises over Roma slum apartment block

Published: 06 Dec 2012 12:31 GMT+01:00

Dubbed the “problem house” by the Ruhr Valley city's press, the eight-floor building in western Germany is officially home to 139 residents, mostly Roma. Police believe there are many more crammed into the 46 flats, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Thursday.

Despite squalid conditions inside and out, one resident said he paid €300 per month for a two-room flat which the magazine said was indescribably horrid. He had come to Germany from Romania - travelling within the European Union - in search of a better life.

But, due to the labour ban still imposed on people coming to Germany from Romania and Bulgaria, none of those setting up home in Germany are allowed to work legally. This leaves people living in places like the Duisburg building bored, impoverished and disappointed.

Duisburg police documents seen by Der Spiegel stated that neighbours had “understandably” complained about the Roma living in the building.

“The houses are rubbish-strewn, the area around them a complete mess and the standard of hygiene unacceptable,” the report said. It added that residents were often spotted going to the toilet outdoors.

People living nearby have become increasingly hostile and even aggressive towards the people living in the building. Police files talk of young local Turks chasing the Roma, while one man living in the building said none of the nearby shop owners would serve him.

And although the public have not been informed, Der Spiegel said that a few weeks ago, a group of three or four masked men armed with sticks and knuckle-dusters attacked a group of five young Roma in a park. "It is to be assumed that this was a targeted attack by young Turkish-heritage men on equally young Roma of Romanian nationality," the magazine quoted a police report.

Hundreds of others watched and some were cheering on the attack, the officer wrote. He described the background to the attack as probably, "the stronger and unregulated growth of the Roma group and the associated nuisance."

The building is owned by a man identified only as Branko B., by the magazine. He is said to be a leading figure in the city's red light district and owns at least one brothel.

“I have never been [to the building], I leave it down to my manager,” Branko B. told Der Spiegel.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:12 December 7, 2012 by valika
"This leaves people living in places like the Duisburg building bored, impoverished and disappointed.

¦quot;The houses are rubbish-strewn, the area around them a complete mess and the standard of hygiene unacceptable,¦quot; the report said. It added that residents were often spotted going to the toilet outdoors."

Bored? Nah. Most of them go as part of beggars networks and/or to cheat or steal other people's possessions. This what most of them are here for, not work.

Disappointed? Nah. You're disappointed when you expect something, when you know that what you're expecting is feasible and legal and your right as a citizen and you still don't get it. You're not disappointed when you know that your endeavor has no chances of success because of some uncontrollable, external causes that everybody knows about. I should also be disappointed because I'm not able to fly like a bird. I think I should sue God for this.

Impoverished? Nah. Some of them have palaces in Romania, with marble floors and gold incrustations on the walls and a fleet of Mercedes and BMWs outside. All this is acquired by stealing and/or by cheating on the Social Services in EU countries (mostly UK, in Germany it's not that easy). None of that income came from work. It's easy to find reading material about this on the Internet.

About hygiene conditions - this is how they live usually, it's not the landlord's (an a-hole nevertheless) fault.

Living in a shitty building doesn't entitle you to go to the toilet outside, throw the garbage out the window or just not throw it away at all. It doesn't entitle you to affect your neighbor's peaceful and quiet life in any way, either. Plus that working together, I'm sure they could have brought that place to a superior stage of "inhabitability".

I can somehow understand (not adhere to, though) the young Turks attitude. The slow, naive and bureaucratic authorities risk of having to deal with a disaster at least like the the one in Rostock in the 90's...

So I'm sorry, but I'm calling bullshit on this and when the Westerners (but also East-European governments) will start to be less naive and more pragmatic about the real situation and the real reasons why this happens, then they will be at least half way on the path to really solving this issue.

Why did I feel entitled to write this comment? I'm Romanian and I lived there 90% of my life. Now let me be reported as racist and/or bashed to oblivion. :)
20:12 December 8, 2012 by raandy
valika very entertaining, was a good read but , I lost ya over the part where some of them live in marble floored houses with gold inlaid and hot tubs and a concubine +++,,why would they come here and be scorned.?
Today's headlines
Police tighten borders ahead of German G7
File photo: DPA

Police tighten borders ahead of German G7

German authorities have reintroduced border controls two weeks before the leaders of the G7 economies gather in Elmau, southern Bavaria. READ  

North Germany feels pain of Russia sanctions
Photo: DPA file photo

North Germany feels pain of Russia sanctions

Schleswig Holstein's exports to Russia have dropped by 31 percent, state finance minister Reinhard Meyer said in comments reported by the Hamburger Abendblatt on Tuesday. READ  

German twins die fighting for Isis in Iraq
The twin brothers are both reported to have died in suicide attacks. Photo: Dabiq magazine

German twins die fighting for Isis in Iraq

Germans twins from Castrop-Rauxel in North Rhine-Westphalia have died fighting for the Islamist group Isis in Iraq, the militia's official magazine reported in its latest publication. READ  

Toilet theft at interior ministry causes a stink
Photo: DPA

Toilet theft at interior ministry causes a stink

Thieves have stolen toilet seats, taps and loo paper holders from the new interior ministry building in Berlin, making it difficult for mandarins to get comfortable in their new surroundings. READ  

Berlin jumps ahead on new rent control law
Blocks of flats in the Berlin district of Wedding. Photo: DPA

Berlin jumps ahead on new rent control law

Berlin is to be the only state in Germany to introduce rent controls immediately after the law allowing them comes into effect on June 1st. READ  

Ireland vote builds gay marriage momentum
Photo: DPA

Ireland vote builds gay marriage momentum

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is feeling the pressure from opposition MPs, its own gay supporters and its Social Democratic Party (SPD) allies to look again at allowing gay marriage after Ireland's popular "yes" vote on Friday. READ  

Amazon 'paying local tax on sales in Germany'
Photo: Uli Deck/dpa

Amazon 'paying local tax on sales in Germany'

According to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, online retailer Amazon has started paying tax on profits from its sales to German customers in Germany instead of in Luxembourg READ  

German woman, 65, has quadruplets
Photo: DPA

German woman, 65, has quadruplets

A 65-year-old German woman, who already has 13 children, has given birth to quadruplets after undergoing an artificial insemination procedure in Ukraine. READ  

German WWII remains exhumed in Bosnia
Photo: DPA

German WWII remains exhumed in Bosnia

The remains of about 20 people, thought to be German and Italian soldiers killed in Bosnia during World War II, have been exhumed in the east of the country, officials said Friday. READ  

Sotheby's sells Nazi-era art trove find
Some 1,600 works of art were found behind this door in 2012. Photo: DPA

Sotheby's sells Nazi-era art trove find

A painting by Max Liebermann from a Nazi-era art trove found in Germany last year will go on sale in London next month, the first from the collection to be sold off, Sotheby's said on Friday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Travel
Why the train strike is bad for passengers and workers
National
Meet Germany's Eurovision hope
Business & Money
Is 2015 a new moment for jobsharing?
Features
How the LGBT rights movement was born in Germany
National
Why you don't make bomb jokes at the airport
National
Why Germany needs a little less tipple
National
Who Germans and Americans trust... and don't
Politics
What the UK election means for Germany
National
Why Germany is great for mums
Features
The Germans with GI dads
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
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

6,663
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd