As an adolescent fittingly put it, “the neo-Nazis don’t check people’s passports before they murder them.” German society must finally settle its accounts with the murderers and perpetrators of violence within its ranks. The minister of the interior is expected to employ the police apparatus and the Constitutional Protection Office as effectively as possible in order to prevent further acts of arson. The young perpetrators, who were only apprehended after the attack, need to know that they can no longer be assured that the majority of Germans support their actions. Penalties that serve as a deterrent aren’t the only requirement; the ostracism of neo-Nazis from the community is necessary as well.
Pride prevents many Turks in Germany from admitting their pure fear. This fear is real. Every Turk who lives in a small, sleepy German town in a building inhabited solely by Turks can no longer feel safe. It is recommended that they avoid subways and commuter trains after dark, immediately report any suspicious persons sneaking around their homes to the police, and file a complaint after every attack. A German friend who lived in Turkey for a long time once said, “You Turks and we Germans have one thing in common: We both definitely want to feel loved by everyone.” But in order to get to that point, first we have to stay alive.
Source: Dilek Zaptcioglu-Rogge, “Now I Know That I Don’t Have Any Real Friends Here” [“Jetzt weiß ich, dass ich hier keine wahren Freunde habe”], Der Tagesspiegel, June 3, 1993.
Translation: Allison Brown