‘Child-free’ Hamburg cafe hit with graffiti attack

A Hamburg cafe which recently made national headlines by refusing to admit children under the age of six was vandalized in a graffiti attack.

'Child-free' Hamburg cafe hit with graffiti attack
Moki's Goodies after the graffiti attack, with the white paint cleaned from the glass. Photo: DPA

Moki’s Goodies, in the wealthy Hamburg neighbourhood of Eimsbüttler, announced earlier in March that they would no longer be accepting toddlers or babies. 

The decision caused significant controversy, particularly on social media where the cafe and its owner Monika Ertl have been subject to constant attack. The online vitriol spilled over at the end of last week when one of the aggrieved critics decided to make their feelings known offline. 

As reported in the Eimsbüttler Nachrichten, the cafe was vandalized sometime early on Friday.

The facade of the cafe was spray painted black, with a large white ‘frowny face’. The front window of the cafe was spray painted with the words ‘Kevin 6 Jahre!’ (Kevin, 6 years old!)

Upon discovering the vandalism when arriving on the premises, cafe workers quickly cleared the white spray paint from the glass windows and doors of the cafe – although the black paint could clearly still be seen on the walls. 

Twitter users have spoken out in support of the cafe, saying that “hate and insults are one thing” but “vandalism is something completely different”. 

The decision to ban children under six sparked such a strong reaction in Germany that it was dubbed #Schunullergate (dummygate). 

The cafe owner addressed the controversy on Instagram prior to the graffiti bomb, accusing critics of “amazing hostility” and “bullying” adding that she “wishes your wonderful children never have to experience something like that”.





Jetz mal ehrlich – es reicht. Liebe Supermuttis, ich finde es ist an der Zeit, die Verhältnismäßigkeit dessen, was Ihr hier seit einigen Tagen im Netz veranstaltet, ernsthaft in Frage zu stellen. Ich habe ein Restaurantkonzept, das Euch nicht gefällt und das ist einigen als Anlass genug für einen Shitstorm vom feinsten. Ohne dass auch nur eine einzige von Euch vorher das persönliche Gespräch gesucht hätte, verurteilt Ihr mit heiligem Eifer mein Unternehmen mit erstaunlicher verbaler Aufrüstung und Feindseligkeit. Überträgt man die Situation mal gedanklich von Muttis im Internet zu Schülern auf dem Pausenhof, dann wäre die Bezeichnung glasklar „Mobbing“. Ich wünsche Euren sicher ganz wundervollen Kindern sehr, dass sie so etwas nie erleben müssen. Ich bin erwachsen und habe ein breites Kreuz und eine hohe Frustrationstoleranz, ohne die könnte ich meinen Job gar nicht machen. Und ich möchte gerne mal ein paar Sachen klarstellen. Erstens: Überraschung Überraschung – auch ich bin Mutter. Kenne mich also durchaus im Thema aus. Ich bin in einer großen Familie aufgewachsen, habe eine großartige Tochter, ein sehr süßes Patenkind und Nichten und Neffen. Kinderfeindlichkeit zu unterstellen ist also schonmal Blödsinn. Zweitens: Das moki’s goodies ist kein spendenfinanziertes demokratisches Mutter-Kind-Projekt, sondern ein Restaurant für das ich mir ein Konzept überlegt und in das ich mein privates Geld investiert habe. Weil ich meine eigenen Entscheidungen treffen möchte ohne mich dafür rechtfertigen zu müssen. (…)

A post shared by moki's goodies (@mokisgoodies) on Mar 12, 2019 at 12:32am PDT

However, although there were negative comments about Ertl's move to keep youngsters out of her cafe, many people also said they understood and supported her decision.

Moki’s Goodies is one of several cafes to go child-free in Germany in recent years. 

In 2018 The Local reported how Rudolf Markl, the owner of Oma's Küche, in Binz on the island of Rügen, had made his cafe an adults-only spot after 5pm.

Markl said that the decision was made to give cafe visitors “an oasis of calm” from children who behaved badly – and whose parents failed to intervene. 

“We have been thinking about this for a very long time,” said Markl. 

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“There has to be a limit somewhere where we say: it's just not possible.”

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Hamburg to ban fireworks in city centre on New Year’s Eve

This year there will be a ban on fireworks on Hamburg's Jungfernstieg, a promenade that stretches through the centre of the city.

Hamburg to ban fireworks in city centre on New Year's Eve
Fireworks in Hamburg on New Year's Eve in 2013. Photo: DPA

The risk of injuries has increased in recent years due to the improper use of fireworks, as well as a skyrocketing number of people pouring in for the festivities, said Senator of the Interior Andy Grote, of the centre-left SPD. 

The situation on Silvester is also difficult for emergency forces due to aggression from the crowd, filled with many who have been heavily drinking.

Therefore, the fireworks around the Binnenalster – the Inner Alster Lake – are prohibited, he said.

This year there will also be more police officers on hand to implement the ban, although Grote did not provide an exact number. 

Similar bans already exist in cities such as Hanover and Cologne, and a partial ban is going into effect this year in Berlin. 

German law allows the private use of fireworks only for 48 hours surrounding New Year's Eve, although in Berlin firecrackers are only permitted from 6pm on New Year's Eve to 7 am on New Year’s Day.

READ ALSO: Fireworks in Germany: What you need to know about ending the year with a bang

A discussion about New Year's Eve fireworks around Germany will also be on the agenda this Thursday at a press conference in Baruth, Brandenburg.

Last year, 10,000 people came to the area around the Binnenalster in Hamburg, said Ralf Martin Meyer, police president of the Harbour City. Many families with children were also among them.

“Of course, alcohol also plays a role. Missiles are fired in a way that is not safe,” said Meyer.

Last year, five policemen were injured. In addition, a seven-year-old child suffered a facial injury, and a 16-year-old boy sustained a hand injury.

Through a large-scale information campaign, the police are aiming to inform the public about the ban. 

Posters, flyers in various languages and information on public transport is being made available around the city.

“The ban is nothing special, it exists in many cities,” Grote said, pointing out that it was decided in accordance with the country’s Hazard Prevention Act. 

The Jungfernstieg has developed into a focal point in recent years, he said as similar problems don’t exist around the St. Pauli Piers, another popular celebration point.

Berlin ban 

Also responding to dangerous displays of fireworks and “street battles”, Berlin authorities decided in January to impose a partial fireworks ban starting this Silvester.

People in the German capital will no longer be able to set off fireworks in Schöneberg, around the Pallasstraße area, and at Hermannplatz in Neukölln.

READ ALSO: Berlin to impose New Year's Eve fireworks ban in two zones

A ban is already in place around the area of the street called Straße des 17. Juni and Potsdamer Platz in Mitte, meaning there will be three prohibition zones in Berlin in total.

Several injuries, as well as 49 attacks on firefighters and 40 on police officers were recorded during the last New Year's Eve.


Fireworks – (das) Feuerwerk

New Year's Eve – (das) Silvester

crowd – (die) Menschenmenge

A way/method/kind – (die) Art und Weise

A focal point – (der) Kristallisationspunkt

We're aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.