German youth in migrant-heavy neighborhoods once again turned Berlin and other German cities into war zones on New Year’s Day, but this year, news reports indicate that attacks were especially brutal and targeted rescue services, including ambulance workers.
In Berlin, police and firefighters responded to 3,943 incidents, with 15 firefighters and 18 police officers injured. According to Bild newspaper, there were “particularly bad attacks in the hotspot neighborhoods of Kreuzberg and Neukölln with a high proportion of migrants.”
“There were dozens of attacks,” says Interior Senator Iris Spranger, of the Social Democrats (SPD).
In Kreuzberg, for example, after young men set fire to barricades, firefighters who arrived to extinguish the fire were attacked by 200 hooded men. In Neukölln, which is one of the most multicultural neighborhoods in Germany, 50 perpetrators fired rockets at emergency force services.
In one disturbing scene, a group of men were filmed attacking an ambulance, hurling objects inside the vehicle’s open rear doors.
Other videos show youths hurling rockets at ambulances as they attempt to drive down Berlin streets.
Many of the incidents were caught on film, with the clips featuring burning vehicles, fires in tall apartment blocks, and one police officer being struck by a rocket directly on his helmet, which then burst into flames. One officer and one firefighter suffered from severe injuries and remain hospitalized.
“Our vehicles were fired at with birdshot ammunition,” says Thomas Kirstein of the Berlin Fire Department. Police report that an “illegal bullet bomb” was thrown at a fully occupied police car. In another video, a man shoots out a police car window.
In the ensuing chaos, 103 people (98 men and five women) were arrested. The Berlin police wrote on Twitter, “The violence that our colleagues had to experience on New Year’s Eve is unbearable. It is a task for society as a whole to clearly counteract this. We thank you all for your commitment and wish the injured a speedy recovery.”
The German police union (DPolG) is demanding answers from Germany’s political class, including with regard to the origin of the perpetrators. Recently, Berlin’s left-wing government decided that the citizenship status and foreign nationality of criminal suspects would no longer be recorded, in what many critics say is an effort to hide the foreign origins of suspects from the public.
DPolG chief Rainer Wendt told FOCUS online: “Among many task forces, the prevailing impression is that groups of young men with a migrant background are vastly overrepresented in these outbursts.”
Many of the videos from the night appear to bear this claim out, including one video which showed migrant youths mocking a firefighter as he attempted to give an interview to news outlets and then shooting a firearm into the air.
The next morning, burned-out buses and automobiles could be seen across Berlin.
Georg Pazdersk, former AfD parliamentary group leader in the Berlin House of Representatives, wrote: “When are we finally going to admit that we have a huge problem with young male migrants from archaic societies who don’t want to integrate? Silencing the problem means continuing to promote it.”
Other cities, such as Duisburg, were hit with violence as well, including attacks on rescue services.
“One can only shake one’s head. The political leadership in Berlin takes no responsibility for this disaster. It has sympathy for people who break rules,” Neukölln’s former mayor, Social-Demcrat (SPD) Heinz Buschkowsky, told Bild.
“The lunatics are becoming are appearing more and more. Every festive event is a welcome occasion to attack the authorities…That’s the enemy, and they must be fought.”
“Even experienced emergency personnel are shocked by the extent of the brutality. This must finally come to an end. The state must no longer stand by while chaotic people repeatedly attack police officers and firefighters. These are not trivial offenses, they are crimes,” CDU Berlin chapter leader Kai Wegner told Bild.
Previous years also featured extreme violence, especially in Neukölln.
In a statement released by the AfD, the party wrote, “Anarchy reigned in Berlin on New Year’s Eve. It was a first foretaste of future everyday life in German cities because although the authorities and the press are adamantly silent when it comes to the specific naming of the perpetrators, the countless videos of that night speak volumes: They are young, violent men with a southern appearance who hardly speak German. And not only can they immigrate unhindered, they also get paid for a nice life by the traffic-light government with tax money.
The conclusion that is now being drawn from the riots is as typical as it is naïve: a ban on firecrackers and cameras on the rescue vehicles should fix it. As if the corresponding clientele would be impressed by these measures. There is only one effective remedy against such scenes: finally protect the borders and deport criminal migrants immediately,.”
In 2016, approximately 2,500 German women were raped and sexually assaulted by North African and Middle Eastern men in Cologne and other cities in an event that fueled the rise of the Alternative for Germany party and anti-immigration sentiment in Germany.