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Again Racism, Intolerance and Violence in East Germany

Indians living in Mügeln – a small town in Saxony has been attacked by neo-Nazis. 

This new confrontation has brought to limelight and remembrance, Germany’s persistent cankerworm with neo-Nazism and has once confirmed the stand of many Foreigner-organizations that certain parts of East Germany has attained the crown of “no go area” for immigrants or tourists with dark complexion. “According to the police, “they want to keep a reinforced surveillance for a while here,” says 35-year-old Kulvir Singh, whose restaurant was demolished by the mob. Singh is standing behind the wood-panel counter in his pizzeria Picobello on the main road of Mügeln. Saxony Local Government Chairman George Milbradt, a conservative Christian Democrat, paid a visit earlier, to comfort him. Early on Sunday morning following the annual Mügeln town festival, Singh and seven of his compatriots were chased all over the town, following an apparently harmless ruffle on the dance floor. An angry mob made up of dozens of festival-guests chased down the Indians before severely beating them — shouting racist verbal abuses all the while. Six of the pursued made it to Singh’s pizzeria and locked themselves in. The rioters kicked in the front and back doors. Windows were smashed and Singh’s car was demolished. Only a large squad of 70 policemen was able to force the romping crowd back, although the policemen were themselves attacked using bottles, glasses and benches. The violent racist attack left 14 wounded, including two policemen and eight Indians.

 

Again Racism, Intolerance and Violence in East Germany Shortly before the attack, one eye-witness saw a compact mob of young men walking past his apartment and towards the fair. In his view, the men were neo-Nazis, judging by their appearance. There was also an e-mail warning about an organized neo-Nazi attack on Mügeln’s youth club. The club forwarded the warning to the mayor. In the town of Mügeln and environ, Neo-Nazism is nothing new. Recently in May, young men bellowed anti-Semitic insults during a children’s league soccer game. During a Palm Sunday town fair in Breitenborn last year, masked neo-Nazis beat up a couple of visitors. Singh, the owner of the pizzeria, says he was threatened by one of his customers shortly before the attack. Another eyewitness claims to have recognized some familiar faces in the angry mob.

The mayor is now concerned about his little town’s reputation. “We have no far-right scene here,” Gotthard Deuse of the Liberal Free Democrats (FDP) emphasised repeatedly. If neo-Nazis were to blame for the attack, they must have come from elsewhere” According to the mayor, “while the state of Saxony is a stronghold of Germany’s neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD), the area around Mügeln has not so far attracted attention as a hotbed of far-right activities. But one doesn’t have to travel far to find neo-Nazis. The now illegal right-extremist group “Sturm 34” terrorized the nearby town of Mittweida, for example, and there have repeatedly been incidents of right-wing attacks in Wurzen in the neighbouring Muldental town.

 

 Again Racism, Intolerance and Violence in East Germany Most disturbing is the fact that, several festival visitors were said to have watched the brutal manhunt and took no action to protect the victims while others simply cheered and joined the attackers. For many observers, the danger in the incident is that it has happened before. Fifteen years ago, neo-Nazis set fire to a house for asylum seekers in the Eastern German city of Rostock and with enormous backing from the neighbours.
Most people say they are appalled but hardly anyone admits to having seen witnessed the fracas. The older people say they went to bed long before the attack, while younger people ward

According to the local police, they have, however, confirmed that attackers chanted “Foreigners Out!” and “The national resistance rules here!” So far, though, there have been no arrests. Two suspects were briefly brought in for questioning on Sunday morning following the attack and were quickly discharged

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