• Germany edition
 
Concern rises over Roma slum apartment block
Photo: DPA

Concern rises over Roma slum apartment block

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

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
German squad leaves out one-legged long jumper
Markus Rehm. Photo: DPA

German squad leaves out one-legged long jumper

German athletics officials said on Wednesday they would not nominate the country's long jump champion Markus Rehm for the European championships because of fears his prosthetic leg gives him an unfair advantage. READ  

Second man arrested after synagogue attack
The synagogue on Tuesday after the attack. Photo: DPA

Second man arrested after synagogue attack

Police arrested a second suspect on Wednesday in connection with an attempted arson attack in which Molotov cocktails were thrown at a synagogue in western Germany. Another man who said he was Palestinian has denied involvement. READ  

German women fall short of equality
Still a man's world: women in Germany find it hard to rise as high as Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen. Photo: DPA

German women fall short of equality

Women in Germany are still underrepresented in leadership jobs and among professors, a new government report said on Wednesday. They are also paid less and remain unlikely to study science, technology, engineering or mathematics. READ  

The Local List
Five reasons to visit (and to avoid) Oktoberfest
Photo: DPA

Five reasons to visit (and to avoid) Oktoberfest

With just over 50 days to go until Munich's Oktoberfest starts, it is time to book your train/plane/horse to the world’s biggest beer festival. Or is it? The Local List looks at five reasons you should be making that trip, and five why you'd better steer clear. READ  

Visa chaos hits Bayern Munich's USA tour
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. Photo: DPA

Visa chaos hits Bayern Munich's USA tour

Bayern Munich boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is among the club's staff and players who could not join a week-long tour to the USA on Wednesday because of visa problems. READ  

Dead TV star replies to SPD party invite
German actress Renater Küster with a statue of her late husband Dieter Hildebrandt. Photo: DPA

Dead TV star replies to SPD party invite

The Social Democrats (SPD) accidentally invited a dead TV star to attend its summer party. It got a shock when the veteran presenter replied saying, "I can't make it". READ  

Father killed in 'Cold Water Challenge'
The digger tipped over. Photo: DPA

Father killed in 'Cold Water Challenge'

A father died and five of his friends were injured on Tuesday night in western Germany when a digger fell on top of them during a so-called Cold Water Challenge. READ  

Huge Bavarian crop circle puzzles crowds
Raisting crop circle. Photo: DPA

Huge Bavarian crop circle puzzles crowds

A mysterious crop circle in Bavaria has attracted thousands of visitors since it was spotted in a wheat field last week. READ  

German siblings killed by drunk driver in Austria
Photo: DPA

German siblings killed by drunk driver in Austria

A ten-year-old girl and her 21-year-old brother were killed overnight in a road accident on the A1 motorway in Upper Austria, caused by a drunk driver who was driving on the wrong side of the road. READ  

Merkel: Russia sanctions were 'inevitable'
Merkel warned further sanctions could be imposed against Russia. Photo: DPA

Merkel: Russia sanctions were 'inevitable'

Strong sanctions imposed by the EU against Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis were “inevitable”, Chancellor Angela Merkel claimed on Tuesday night, despite Germany's initial reluctance to get tough on President Vladimir Putin. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Analysis & Opinion
Have Your Say: Should Germany legalize cannabis?
Photo: DPA
Education
Germany's students fail to graduate in time
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Hamburg harbour lit up in blue
Business & Money
JobTalk: 'Application process is failing'
Photo: Bundesarchiv/Bild 183-S45825
Culture
Germany puts 700,000 WWI docs online
Photo: DPA
Society
This man wants to give all of us €12,000 a year
Photo: DPA
Education
Top university switches master's courses to English
instagram.com/gotzemario
Gallery
Germany's World Cup stars share their holiday photos
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
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
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
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

3,253
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd