Thursday, 7 January 2016
How many times have we read about people from, say, Ireland leaving their country to start a new life in far-away places like Australia, the US or, like an acqaintance of mine who wasn't put off by the chill factor, and moved to the Canadian province of New Foundland because his academic career wasn't prospering at home!
Who would have thought that one day one would find oneself in exactly the same position. Whilst I've moved often in my life and am certainly no stranger to being an expat, I find this is now an entirely new situation:
Suddenly, ever since the beginning of last September, Germany (where I live) has changed. Within the space of 4 months, 1.1. million refugees have entered the country. Every single town in Germany has to accommodate vast numbers of mainly male Muslim immigrants.Container homes are being built. Twon centers are full of migrants who have nothing to do. And life has changed: You will all have heard about the terrible New Years Eve events at Cologne main station. Similarly horrifying reports have come up from other German cities, and are still emerging as I write. Today, it transpired that two teenage girls in a small town in the South Western corner of Germany were gang-raped by immigrants.
Life in Germany doesn't seem to be safe anymore - all of a sudden. And worse is to come: The forecast is for another 3 million migrants to enter the country in 2016. This would all be bad enough, as there simply isn't any room here anymore, and already newcomers have to be put up in shelters and gyms which are hardly fit for purposes.
Worse, or at least just as menacing, I find another terrible change which has occurred in Germany: The media, the police, officials etc. cannot be trusted anymore. Whilst this has been clear for a while (what for example with varying reasons for the chaotic mass immigration being given - Gemany needs young people, Germany needs qualified workers, oh no it's all a humanitarian imperative, and so on) the events of NYE have proven this suspicion to be fact-based without the shadow of a doubt. Police and media now admit to having neglected to report the real catastrophic extent of the events. Rapes, gropes, robbings, theft, assault, injuries were brushed under the carpet, and only came to light when the pressure of eyewitness and social media reports proved too strong.
So, one suddenly finds oneself living in a country where the dangers of uncontrolled mass immigration are being denied, and victim's are supposed to just get one with it whilst being urged to shut up so as not to "slander" innocent migrants. Germany, once again seems to have transmogrified into a totalitarian state where unpleasantness is being denied, coverd up, and where people who want to speak their minds will be intimidated.
I don't feel I can live in such a country much longer. And whils it will certainly not be possible to move overnight - jobs, family connections etc. standing in the way of rash and emotional decisions - I feel a normal life, such as people were used to here in Germany is no longer guranteedor even possible. I know for a fact that many many well-educated Germans of all ages feel exactly the same.
If Mrs. Merkel and her government can afford to lose people like us, and is happy to import unskilled, largely uneducated migrants from Islamic countries in extraordinarily large numbers, I wish her good luck. Meanwhile I'm thinking of where I shall be moving to. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, 23 September 2015
Ironically, in my last post I said I was looking forward to moving to a "delightful" town like Munich or Düsseldorf, or Hamburg. It turns out that in the space of only a few weeks, those towns have become a lot less delightful: Huge tent cities have appeared all over the place, container homes are being put up and municipal buildings are now the home of refugees from all over the world.
Only in August, the government was talking of 450,000 refugees Germany would be taking in. The figure quickly edged up to 800,000, then to a million, and now we hear that an additional 500,000 people want to complete the hazardous journey via Turkey before the winter sets in.
I will leave aside the question whether the best way of alleviating what is undoubtedly a global human catastrophe is bringing all those people here. I will also not discuss questions of demographical compatibility. Or the fact that the media continuously show pictures of refugee families and small children - whilst official Austrian Home Office figures established that 78.p.c. of refugees are young males.
I want to concentrate on the aspect I find truly amazing and not a little upsetting: The way this surely major societal occurrence is being discussed in Germany. Namely not at all. In canteens, round the coffee-machines, on commuter trains - the refugee crisis is always the elephant in the room.
That's because only one opinion is permissible: It's great. Germany is an example to the world. There aren't any problems (well maybe some tiny minor technical ones which with the right organisational approach will soon be ironed out). Everything is gut. Shut up. Any questions, doubts, fears, problems? You cannot be serious! Are you a Nazi? You must be very right-wing!!
So everybody shuts up. If you're an ordinary middle-class person with a family, a job, holidays, friends, the daily grind, the weekend to look forward to, I'd say it's most unlikely you will have a Second Life as a rabid Hitler-admiring "Deutschland über alles" singing Nazi. Yet the public mood is so fanaticized - one doubtful look, one wrong question, and you'll be labelled a dangerous right-winger and a "rabble-rouser". No ifs, no buts. It's a fact. Go away, Nazi.
The leader of the Liberal party (FDP) today said : "It's the refugees who will have to adapt, not the indigenous population". Wait for the backlash, wait for the slander. Nobody, however liberal their credentials, how fair their point, intellectual their background is immune - it is open season in Germany. Any doubts about the wisdom of taking in 1 million refugees year on year? Shut up you Nazi!