A quarter of the ‘Germans’ arrested for New Year’s Eve riots in Berlin have dual nationality

Firefighters extinguish a coach that had been set on fire by unknown persons in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. The German government is condemning incidents on New Year’s Eve in which police officers and firefighters were attacked, mostly with fireworks. (Paul Zinken/dpa via AP)
By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

A quarter of Germans arrested for their participation in the Berlin riots on New Year’s Eve have dual nationality, according to information handed by the Berlin authorities to the Die Welt newspaper.

As this site already reported, 145 people were detained for their part in the mayhem that ensued throughout the German capital on New Year’s Eve, with footage circulated on social media showing torched vehicles and fires in apartment buildings.

Emergency service vehicles were attacked as they responded to 3,943 incidents across Berlin on Saturday night, resulting in the injury of at least 33 emergency responders.

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Civil disorder was “particularly bad in the hotspot neighborhoods of Kreuzberg and Neukölln, which have a high proportion of migrants,” reported the Bild newspaper.

Of the 145 arrested, 100 (69 percent) are reported by Berlin authorities to be of a migration background, i.e., they have either immigrated to Germany themselves or are descendants of immigrants.

However, the latest update provided by Berlin police revealed that of the remaining 45 people detained who are of German nationality, 11 have a second passport.

Three are Turkish citizens, two are Lebanese, and another five are Tunisian, Romanian, Jordanian, Iraqi, and French, respectively, according to an update from authorities cited by Die Welt. In the case of one person, the second nationality was unclear.

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The latest figures revealed that 77 percent of those arrested were either migrants or those holding dual citizenship.

Of the initial 100 people arrested without a German passport, the largest contingents included Afghans (27) and Syrians (21).

Progressive politicians, including Berlin’s Green MP Canan Bayram, sought to downplay the high level of involvement from migrant communities, instead seeking to discredit conservatives who highlighted the issue and accusing them of attempting to “instigate a racist discourse.”

However, the demographic report by the city’s authorities justified those who called for a discussion on the disproportionate involvement of migrants in the riots.

For example, Jens Spahn, the deputy leader of the CDU parliamentary group, claimed the failure to integrate a large influx of immigrants into Germany in recent years was to blame for the riots.

“It’s more about unregulated migration, failed integration, and a lack of respect for the state instead of fireworks,” said Spahn, who called the attacks on emergency responders “unspeakable.”

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