News from Berlin and Germany, 16th August 2023

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany



Private security service tries to clear residential buildings in Berlin-Mitte

Last Wednesday, security guards allegedly commissioned by the real estate agency Arcadia Estates pushed residents of a building in Berlin-Mitte out of their apartments. They then prevented some of the residents from re-entering the house on Habersaathstrasse. Around 20 left-wing activists gathered in front of the building, in which formerly homeless people also live free of charge. The incident was preceded by a legal dispute between the apartment owner and residents. According to resident Daniel Diekmann, a letter was placed in front of the apartment doors around 9 a.m., signed by “Arcadia Estates Habersaathstraße 40-48 GmbH”, but without the sender’s address and signature. Source: tagesspiegel

Arson attack on commemorative book box in Grunewald

An unknown person torched the memorial book box not far from the Holocaust memorial in Grunewald. The hundreds of books in it were thematically related to the nearby “Gleis 17” memorial, which remembers the deportation of tens of thousands of Jewish people to concentration and labor camps by the National Socialists. According to two witnesses, a man set the box on fire at around 5 a.m. last Saturday morning. The State Protection police force took over the investigation. The fire brigade was only able to extinguish the fire, but not save the valuable memorabilia in the box. Source: taz

Attack on memorial to homosexual victims of the Nazi

The memorial to homosexuals persecuted by the Nazis in Berlin was attacked. The crime was committed on Saturday in the early hours of the morning, a spokesman for the police situation center said. State Protection took over the investigation. The Lesbian and Gay Federation Berlin-Brandenburg had previously reported an arson attack on the monument. According to police information, the perpetrator attached two slips of paper with a modified quotation from the Bible denigrating homosexuals to the memorial near the corner of Ebert-/Hannah-Arendt-Straße. In addition, the perpetrator tried to throw a burning object at the monument but failed. Source: jW

Wolt: migrants in precarious employment

Couriers from the Wolt delivery service in Berlin have been rebelling against exploitative working conditions since last spring. The “ReWolt” campaign reached its climax at the end of July: the lawsuit of three couriers who accused the company of withholding their wages was heard before a Berlin court. They also demand more safety at work, insurance against accidents at work, an end to the subcontractor system, and continued payment of wages in the event of illness. Riders from other companies such as Gorillas demonstrate solidarity in the joint struggle with the unions from the same industry (Food-Genuss-Gaststätten – NGG, ver.di, and others). Source: qantara

2,550 euros gross: strike in the Berlin-Brandenburg wholesale trade

Around 200 pharmaceutical wholesalers in Berlin and Brandenburg went on strike on Monday. This was announced by ver.di’s negotiator, Franziska Foullong. The union is demanding 13 percent higher wages, but at least 400 euros more, and an increase in training pay. The union had called on the employees of Phoenix-Pharmahandel Berlin, Sanacrop Potsdam and two Alliance Healthcare Berlin locations to go on strike. According to Foullong, around half of the approximately 450 employees of the four companies took part. In view of the inflation, ver.di demands an adjustment to the expired collective agreement in order to compensate for the loss in real wages. Source: nd-aktuell


Dachau: how concentration camp survivors look at the AfD

Ernst Grube, 90, is dismayed. “It’s incomprehensible to me,” says the Shoah survivor and president of the Dachau camp community. According to a survey by Infratest Dimap, AfD would currently get 21 percent in a federal election, being then the second strongest party after the CDU/CSU (27 percent) in parliament. The Comité International de Dachau (CID) is also concerned about the situation. CID President, Domenique Boueilh, warns that it targets the spirit of Europe. The political and civil forces that have invested for 80 years in building a free world, respecting the values they would have inherited from the victory over Nazism, must mobilize and unite. Source: sueddeutsche

CSD in Weißenfels disrupted by suspected neo-Nazis

Suspected right-wing extremists disrupted the Christopher Street Day (CSD) in the town of Weißenfels (Saxony-Anhalt). According to the police in Halle, officers identified 23 participants causing a disruption during the event last Saturday and therefore filed charges. According to the organizers and police, the neo-Nazi and right-wing extremist party Der Dritte Weg (The Third Way) had already made threats against the demonstration in the run-up to the CSD. Prior to the event, there had been hate messages on the internet. The Left Party referred to “problems” and criticized the police for lack of preparation in dealing with the “right-wing extremist threat situation.” Source: dw

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