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Anger at migrant crime, politicians simmers in German city

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Kretschmer, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right party, warned that Saxony's image could suffer if foreigners get the feeling they aren't safe there anymore. He cited an encounter with a Chinese woman earlier Thursday who told him she had been made to feel unwelcome in Chemnitz this week for the first time since moving there several years ago.Saxony has long been a hotbed of anti-migrant sentiment. It is home to the group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, and a stronghold of the far-right Alternative for Germany party, which received almost a quarter of the vote in the state last year.While the share of foreigners in Saxony remains below the national average, concern among the population about migrants committing crimes is particularly high.Many of the protesters outside the stadium Thursday refused to talk to the media, but those who did said they felt abandoned by politicians and were angry at the crimes committed by migrants."I've got three daughters," said Steffen Rake, a 52-year-old Chemnitz resident. "They don't go to town alone anymore and the police are present now, but only because the governor's coming."Alina Hergesell, a woman in her 20s from nearby Erfurt, said she had been harassed by migrants in the past."They need to follow our rules, not other rules," she said.Sebastian Gemkow, Saxony's justice minister, said authorities had initially been overwhelmed with the caseload caused by the influx of more than a million refugees in 2015 and 2016.Illustrating the problem, daily newspaper Die Welt reported that a 22-year-old Iraqi suspected in Sunday's killing had applied for asylum in Bulgaria before coming to Germany and should have been returned there - but Germany authorities had failed to meet a deadline for his deportation.Prosecutors said a 23-year-old Syrian has also been arrested. Both are being held on suspicion of manslaughter, though authorities said the charge may be upgraded to murder.Merkel, who has condemned both the killing and the violent protests that followed, was mid-way through a three-day trip to Africa on Thursday. Among the top issues on her agenda there was how to prevent further mass migration from the continent to Europe.Germany's long-time chancellor has come under pressure, inclu...

Germany's churches warn against upsurge in racism

Thursday, September 13, 2018

People place flowers and candles in a playground where a 22-year-old man died in an argument between two groups of men in Saxony-Anhalt, Köthen, Sept. 9. (Photo by Sebastian Willnow/DPA/picture-alliance/MaxPPP) Germany is holding its breath. On the night of Saturday Sept. 8 to Sunday Sept. 9 a young German died in a fight in Köthen, a town in Saxony-Anhalt (former East Germany) and two Afghan suspects were arrested. Like the countrys political leaders, German churches raised their voices to pre-empt any temptation of violence less than two weeks after the painful events in Chemnitz. Seizing this opportunity to stir up anger and hate against foreigners or those who think differently from us, or using violence against them is too reprehensible, Bishop Gerhard Feige of Magdebourg (Saxony-Anhalt) said in a statement circulated on social media networks. A state governed by the rule of law needs to seek ways to preempt or at least limit aggression, to promote integration and make social transformation peaceful, argued the bishop, adding that this was a responsibility shared by all citizens. Caution and discernment are necessary, he said. Let us not live and act contrary to our dignity. Caution and discernment The pres...

German authorities take aim at far-right party's youth wing

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Constitution and observe them accordingly." Authorities in northern Germany's Bremen and Lower Saxony said Monday they have begun monitoring the party's youth wings in the two states. Boris Pistorius, Lower Saxony's interior minister, said the decision to keep an eye on the AfD's local youth wing, was unrelated to the recent events in Chemnitz. It was based on Young Alternative's anti-democratic goals and links to the Identitarian Movement, a white nationalist group that has been under state surveillance for four years, Pistorius said. His counterpart in Bremen, Ulrich Maeurer, described the views of AfD's youth wing in the city-state as "pure racism." While Germany's top security official, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, said over the weekend that the party as a whole didn't merit surveillance, the monitoring of its youth wings at the state level was a significant step. Some members of the Left party, which describes its position as democratic socialist, also are subject to surveillance. AfD immediately announced that it would dissolve the two youth sections in question to avert harm to the party and insisted its aims were democratic. Andreas Kalbitz , a member of the party's national leadership, accused other political parties of panicking in the face of AfD's electoral success. AfD's rise since its founding five years ago has shaken Germany's establishment and called into question the country's post-World War II consensus that far-right parties have no place in the mainstream.

Joanne Gibson: On Cape wine during the 1660s

Thursday, August 2, 2018

When the Capes first winegrower, Jan van Riebeeck, departed for VOC headquarters in Batavia in April 1662, his successor as commander was Zacharias Wagenaar of Dresden, Saxony (Germany). The son of a judge and painter, Wagenaar was a clerk, merchant, member of the Court of Justice and illustrator, and his career with the Dutch East India Company (VOC) would span 35 years and four continents. Did he share his predecessors enthusiasm for wine? Certainly he didnt find official Company vine plantings much to get excited about. According to the instructions Van Riebeeck had left for him, there were precisely 832 vines planted in the Companys Garden and at the fort, of which only 82 had produced fruit, while the remaining 750 comprised young rooted vines. Map of estates in the Table Bay area awarded to former employees of the VOC by land surveyor Peter Potter circa 1658. However, Van Riebeecks ‘own vines at Bosheuvel were ‘thriving very beautifully (even if there werent quite 10-12,000 planted, as he claimed) and some of the vrijburghers farming along the Liesbeeck River (from present-day Mowbray to Bishopscourt) had also started establishing vi...