• Germany's news in English
New Year's Eve assaults
Video emerges of Cologne New Year's Eve violence
File photo: DPA

Video emerges of Cologne New Year's Eve violence

The Local · 9 May 2016, 14:40

Published: 09 May 2016 14:40 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In brief extracts of the video posted to YouTube by public broadcaster WDR, a distressed young woman can at one point be heard shouting “you mustn't touch me, you mustn't touch me” above the noise of the crowd.

Police can be seen scuffling with members of the large crowds or helplessly watching men loosing rockets and detonating bangers around the square in front of the station and the cathedral steps.

“We can't hold this with two people,” one officer says to another during the extracts.

The video shows scenes outside the main train station around 11:30pm on New Year's Eve, when up to 1,000 people, many of them of Arab or north African appearance, were crammed into the space.

Police higher-ups finally decided to clear the square by force at 23:40 – but the full-length video clearly shows insufficient numbers of officers to effectively remove the crowd.

When the video was shown in the North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) state parliament's inquiry committee, members immediately noticed that the police also failed to issue instructions over loudspeaker to the mass of people.

Later in the evening, the groups of men driven off the square are believed to have once again gathered around the station and harassed women passing through the area.

'Mistakes by police'

The video was released on the same day that NRW interior minister Ralf Jäger faced the inquiry committee in Düsseldorf.

There he denied accusations that the state government had put pressure on police to remove the word “rape” from the first reports about New Year's Eve.

“The accusation of a cover-up is made up out of thin air,” he said. “No-one had any idea of what happened there until January 3rd.”

North Rhine-Westphalia interior minister Ralf Jäger. Photo: DPA

Jäger claimed that even the Cologne police did not have a clear picture of the extent of the sexual violence before January 4th.

“This was a completely new phenomenon that has come to light for the first time ever in Germany,” he went on. “It wasn't predictable in advance.”

Jäger is the first politician to take the stand before the committee after long series of police officers and Cologne city officials.

And he didn't hesitate to lay the blame for the mistakes on New Year's Eve at the feet of police.

Commanders had underestimated the forces needed at the train station and later failed to provide reinforcements, he argued.

Story continues below…

Hundreds of attacks

The attacks on New Year's Eve shocked Germany and reverberated around the world, as in the following days hundreds of reports of sexual assault and other crimes poured in to police stations.

So far 1,170 crime reports have reached prosecutors, including 492 dealing with sexual assault.

A number of prosecutions have already been launched, but while several people have been jailed, no-one has yet been convicted on sexual assault charges.

SEE ALSO: Algerian man cleared of New Year's sexual assault in Cologne

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd