Spiraling levels of violent crime perpetrated by immigrants from the
Middle East and the Balkans are turning parts of Duisburg, a key German
industrial city, into "areas of lawlessness" — areas that are becoming
de facto "no-go" zones for police, according to a confidential police
report that was leaked
to the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel
The report, produced by the police headquarters of North
Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous state of Germany (and also the state
with the largest Muslim population in Germany), warns that the
government is losing control over problem neighborhoods and that the
ability of police to maintain public order "cannot be guaranteed over
the long term."
Duisburg, which has a total population of around 500,000, is home to
an estimated 60,000 mostly Turkish Muslims, making it one of the most
Islamized cities in Germany. In recent years, however, thousands of
Bulgarians and Romanians (including Sinti and Roma "gypsies") have
flocked to Duisburg, creating a volatile ethno-religious cauldron.
According to Der Spiegel
"There are districts where immigrant gangs are taking
over entire metro trains for themselves. Native residents and business
people are being intimidated and silenced. People taking trams during
the evening and nighttime describe their experiences as 'living
nightmares.' Policemen, and especially policewomen, are subject to 'high
levels of aggressiveness and disrespect.'
"In the medium term, nothing will change, according to the report.
The reasons for this: the high rate of unemployment, the lack of job
prospects for immigrants without qualifications for the German labor
market and ethnic tensions among migrants. The Duisburg police
department now wants to reinforce its presence on the streets and track
offenders more consistently.
"Experts have warned for some time that problem neighborhoods could
become no-go areas. The president of the German Police Union, Rainer
Wendt, told Spiegel Online years ago: 'In Berlin or in the north of
Duisburg there are neighborhoods where colleagues hardly dare to stop a
car — because they know that they'll be surrounded by 40 or 50 men.'
These attacks amount to a 'deliberate challenge to the authority of the
state — attacks in which the perpetrators are expressing their contempt
for our society.'"
The leak of the document comes amid a spike in attacks on police by
mobs of immigrants, not only in Duisburg, but across the country.
In the Duisburg neighborhood of Marxloh, for example, a horde of Lebanese immigrants on June 29 attacked
two police officers who were attempting to arrest two men for smoking
cannabis on a public sidewalk. Within minutes, the officers were
surrounded by more than 100 men who tried to prevent the arrests from
taking place. Ten squad cars and dozens of police reinforcements were
required to rescue the two officers.
Also in Marxloh, two men who got into a fight
on June 24 used their cellphones to call their friends for backup
support. Within minutes, more than 300 people had gathered at the scene.
At least 100 police officers attempted to separate the two groups, but
the mob quickly turned on the police. According to Duisburg police
spokesperson Ramon van der Maat, "It happens time and time again, we are
called to an incident that at first does not seem so bad. But then we
need nine, ten or eleven police cars to restore order."
In Gelsenkirchen, another city in North Rhine-Westphalia, two police officers on July 24 tried
to pull over a driver who ran a stoplight. The driver got out of the
car and attempted to flee on foot. When police caught up with him, more
than 50 people appeared from virtually nowhere to prevent the suspect's
arrest. A 15-year-old attacked a policeman from behind and began
strangling him, rendering him unconscious. Massive amounts of police
reinforcements and pepper spray were needed to bring the situation under
In Berlin, some 30 members of rival immigrant gangs got into a fight
on June 24 outside a nightclub in the Neukölln district of Berlin.
After police arrived, the mob began attacking the officers. More than 60
police officers were needed to restore order.
Also in Berlin, dozens of police officers were deployed to break up a brawl
between 50 members of two rival immigrant families at a public
playground in Neukölln on June 4. The melee began when two young boys
got into a fight, which quickly spiraled out of control after adult
family members got involved on behalf of each of the boys.
One day earlier, more than 90 police officers were deployed to break up a fight
between 70 members of rival immigrant clans at a public playground in
Moabit, an inner city neighborhood in Berlin. The fight began when two
women got into an argument over a man, and turned violent after more and
more family members got involved. Two police officers were injured.
On June 8, more than 50 police officers were deployed
to break up a brawl at a wedding reception for Bosnian immigrants in
the Tempelhof district of Berlin. The melee began when two wedding
guests got into an argument that led to fisticuffs. Within moments, more
than a dozen other people joined in. As soon as the police arrived,
however, the rival clans stopped fighting each other and began attacking
the officers. One of the wedding guests hit a police officer over the
head with a chair; the officer was critically wounded. Other officers
were attacked with bottles, while still others were spit upon and
In an interview
with the German newsmagazine Focus
the head of the police union in North Rhine-Westphalia, Arnold
Plickert, warned of the emergence of no-go zones in the cities of
Cologne, Dortmund, Duisburg and Essen. "Several rival rocker groups as
well as Lebanese, Turkish, Romanian and Bulgarian clans are fighting for
supremacy of the streets," he said. "They make their own rules; here
the police have nothing more to say."
In an August 2011 interview
with the newspaper Der Westen
Bernhard Witthaut, Chief Police Commissioner of Germany, revealed that
immigrants have been imposing "no-go" zones in German cities at an
The interviewer asked Witthaut: "Are there urban areas — for example
in the Ruhr — districts and housing blocks that are 'no-go areas,'
meaning that they can no longer be secured by the police?" Witthaut
"Every police commissioner and interior minister will
deny it. But of course we know where we can go with the police car and
where, even initially, only with the personnel carrier. The reason is
that our colleagues can no longer feel safe there in twos, and have to
fear becoming the victim of a crime themselves. We know that these areas
exist. Even worse: in these areas, crimes no longer result in charges.
They are left to themselves. Only in the worst cases do we in the police
learn anything about it. The power of the state is completely out of
The threat posed by immigrant clans has been growing for many years. In October 2010, Der Spiegel
published an article
— "Large Arab Families: The State Cowers in Fear of Criminal Clans" —
which warned of the emergence in Germany of a "parallel society of
criminality" run by "immigrant mafia clans with thousands of members"
who are "taking advantage of legal loopholes, social welfare services
and international contacts with dominant organized crime groups." The
article said the state was helpless to confront the problem because
German authorities were "pussyfooting around."
According to Der Spiegel
"The gangs traffic in heroin and cocaine, run brothels or
are active in the contraband smuggling business. The brutality with
which they carry out their activities has made them very powerful, the
police are afraid of them. The state is passive with respect to these
clans, the politicians ignore the phenomenon.
"This negligence has, over the years, enabled the emergence of a
criminal parallel society. This would not have happened if the
authorities had acted early and decisively: As early as 2004, a
Commission of the Federal Criminal Police (BKA) warned that the ethnic
groups were out of control and also warned about the so-called
Mhallamiye-Kurds [an Arab-speaking ethnic group with roots in southern
Anatolia], including the Bremen-based clan known as Family M.
"At the time, special investigators from federal and state
governments criticized the lack of any efforts at integration and
attacked the German judiciary. It was said that due to misconceived
tolerance, the courts exacerbated the problems with their persistent
"The report warned of 'insular ethnic subcultures that were already
firmly established under considerable abuse of the existing weaknesses
of the federal government's immigration and asylum law.'
"Today these criminal structures are so entrenched that they 'could
only be partially dismantled,' and this only with the support and
cooperation of 'all relevant authorities, judicial assistance and the
expansion of criminal tactical investigative measures.' In other words:
The article reveals that some delinquents possess more than a dozen
different identities, and that it is common for them to continue
collecting social welfare benefits because German privacy laws prevent
police from being informed of a suspect's whereabouts.
According to a police investigator interviewed by Der Spiegel
the immigrant clans "view German society as one to be plundered; they
see us as born losers." This is unlikely to change anytime soon, he
added, because there are nearly 1,000 children in the clans in Bremen
In her book titled "The End of Patience," the late German juvenile court judge Kirsten Heisig warned
about the growing danger posed by the so-called ethno-clans:
"A family, father, mother, 10 to 15 children, in some
cases up to 19 children, emigrated from Lebanon. Some children were born
in the 'homeland,' others in Germany. Before the mothers give birth to
their last child, they already have grandchildren. Therefore, a clan
increases at breathtaking speed. In official documents, the nationality
of the families is given as 'stateless,' 'unknown,' 'Lebanese' or
increasingly 'German.' It refers to government social welfare transfers
and child benefits.
"An extended family easily generates hundreds of police
investigations. If drug trafficking or other illegal transactions
intrude on the turf of a rival clan or even of gangs from different
ethnic backgrounds, the problem is solved by killing each other, or at
least attempting to do so.
"The female family members are focused predominantly on theft while
the males commit crimes from all sectors of the Penal Code: drug and
property crimes, threats, robbery, extortion, bodily harm, sexual
offenses and pimping to murder. The children grow up largely unchecked
in these criminal structures."
According to Roman Reusch, a former top public prosecutor in Berlin,
young people born into the immigrant clans "are consistently trained to
become professional criminals." He said the youths were growing up in an
environment in which "the most serious crimes are completely normal."
He added: "They have developed a self-service mentality. They are
determined to take whatever they want, whenever they want, and as often
as they want." This makes them an "ideal reservoir for the foot soldiers
of organized crime."
After Reusch attempted to initiate a crackdown on the clans, he was
summarily removed from his post. His politically correct successor had a
clear message for how he would henceforth deal with the criminals: "I
do not like the word 'toughness.'"
Back in Duisburg, the newspaper Rheinische Post offered
a glimpse into the reality of German multiculturalism by means of an
interview with a streetcar driver. "I wish I would not have to drive the
train through this neighborhood [Marxloh]," he said, adding that he
often has to apply the brakes because immigrant children are playing on
the tracks. "If they are chased away by the police, they are immediately
back again as soon as the officers are gone."
As for those riding the trains, there are far more fare evaders than
paying passengers, because conductors are afraid they will be assaulted
if they ask immigrants to present their tickets.
Duisburg city councilman Volker Mosblech expressed his frustration
with the intractability of the situation in Marxloh: "When I say that
steps must be taken to ensure immigrants comply with rules and
regulations, I'm immediately branded as a far right extremist. But order
is exactly what is needed."
Nearly a half-decade ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted
that German multiculturalism has "utterly failed." Speaking to a
meeting of her center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Potsdam
in October 2010, Merkel said:
"We are a country which at the beginning of the 1960s
actually brought [Muslim] guest workers to Germany. Now they live with
us and we lied to ourselves for a while, saying that they will not stay
and that they will have disappeared again one day. That is not the
reality. This multicultural approach — saying that we simply live side
by side and are happy about each other — this approach has failed,
At the time, many voters had hoped that Merkel's comments would
transform the debate over mass immigration to Germany. Since then,
however, immigration, especially from the Muslim world, has continued
Germany is now home to the largest number of immigrants
(8.2 million) of any member state of the European Union. Germany also has
the second-largest Muslim population (5 million) in the EU.
police in riot gear, accompanied by armored vehicles and water cannons,
charge into a street battle between Kurds and radical Islamists in
Hamburg, Oct. 8, 2014. (Image source: N24 video screenshot)
Germany continues to be the recipient of the largest number of asylum applications in the EU. Germany received
more than 200,000 asylum-seekers in 2014, and that number is expected to more than double by the end of 2015.
According to the latest statistics, more than 179,000 people applied
for asylum in Germany during the first six months of 2015. Most were from Afghanistan, Albania, Iraq, Kosovo, Serbia and Syria.
Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.
He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based
Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.