Birdsong’s student Kurt Bressler has written an outstanding paper concerning violence against foreigners in Germany since the fall of the Berlin wall. Birdsong wishes to share it with the wider world. Read and learn.
Immigration Reform and Violence Against Foreigners in Unified Germany
Written by: Kurt Bressler
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany has struggled in its quest for an effective and all encompassing solution to the dichotomy between its immigration laws and the omnipresent xenophobic violence associated with them. In reality, this is not a problem which is unique to Germany; all countries struggle with racist violence in one form or another. Historically though, Germany has shown a correlation between the passing or relaxation of its immigration laws and a spike in racist violence, especially in the area formerly known as East Germany.
An example of the racist violence faced by non-ethnic Germans can be seen in the United States asylum application filed by Zakia Mashiri. [FN1]. Zakia and her husband are natives of Afghanistan who lived in Germany following the fall of the Berlin Wall. On numerous separate occasions, the Mashiri’s were subjected to violence based on their non German background. One such incident occurred when Zakia’s husband was severely beaten in his taxi after being subjected to racial slurs and threats. [FN2]. He was also beaten in a similar fashion on several other occasions. The Mashiri’s son was also beaten by neo-nazi’s several times while returning home from school. [FN3]. Each time, the reason for the attack was explicitly stated: Germany is for German’s.
[FN1]. Mashiri v. Ashcroft, 383 F.3d 1112 (9th Cir. 2004).
[FN2]. Id. at 1115.
[FN3]. Id. at 1117.
Another poignant example of the violence endured by foreigners in Germany occurred in November of 2007. A group of eight Indian asylum seekers were chased through the town of Muegeln while being subjected to racial insults. [FN4].