News from Berlin and Germany, 17th December 2021

Weekly news roundup from Berlin and Germany



290 antisemitic street names

Almost 300 street and square names in Berlin have anti-Semitic references. This is the conclusion of a scientific study commissioned by Samuel Salzborn, Berlin’s anti-Semitism commissioner. According to this, the street names affected included already discussed street names such as Treitschkestraße in Berlin-Steglitz and Pacelliallee in Berlin-Dahlem, but also all Martin Luther streets, Otto-Dibelius-Straße in Charlottenburg or Pastor-Niemöller-Platz in Pankow. In other cases, such as Thomas Mann Strasse or Adenauerplatz, the expert pleaded for further research and digital contextualisation. All of those situations shows “different intensities” of anti-Semitism, as mentioned by Salzborn. The author therefore gave different intervention recommendations. Renaming would be the last measure. Source: rbb

Police focal point unit accused of racial profiling

The establishment of the focal point and presence unit (BPE) was celebrated by Interior Senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) as a central piece of police reform. It has been just under two years since then. That is how long the 125 officers of the BPE have been on duty in so-called crime-ridden areas. However, the BPE is accused of illegal racial profiling. The accused, who has been transferred, is said to be a service group leader. Niklas Schrader, the Left’s spokesperson on domestic policy, plans to put a parliamentary question on the practice of residence bans as soon as possible. Source: taz

AfD supporters demonstrate against compulsory vaccination – several counter-protests.

Several hundred AfD supporters, including its junior organization, demonstrated on Saturday afternoon against a possible compulsory vaccination in Germany. Around 600 participants marched to the government quarter, according to the police. The AfD youth were opposed by about 80 counter-demonstrators who gathered at Washingtonplatz. However, a direct clash was prevented by Einsatzhundertschaften. The protest was registered by Geradedenken e.V. under the slogan “No place for right-wing propaganda”. A small group of left-wing counter-demonstrators tried to attack the march from behind. However, this was prevented by the police. Around 90 other counter-demonstrators gathered at Simson-Weg under the slogan “No Nazi round-up”. Source: berliner zeitung



Chancellor Scholz’s responsibility for Black deaths in custody

Michael Paul Nwabuisi (Achidi John), died at the age of 19. Three days before his death, he slipped into a coma after being force-fed emetics at the UKE’s Institute of Forensic Medicine (IfR). It is an irony of contemporary history that exactly 20 years later to the day, the man who is politically responsible for Achidi John’s death was elected Chancellor: Olaf Scholz. Also, according to the Hamburg-based “Initiative in Memory of Achidi John”, between 2001 and 2006 a total of 530 people – almost exclusively young black men – were brought to the IfR by the police and threatened or maltreated with the infliction of the emetic. Source: jW

Right-wing arson suspect no longer investigated by police

Between September 2018 and July 2019, twelve arson attacks on left-wing centres and house projects in the Rhine-Main region caused uncertainty among users and residents. The suspect in the act of arson in the Hanau cultural project Metzgerstraße was then caught. However, he is no longer being investigated by the police. This has caused huge outrage in the circle of left projects. Even during the series of attacks, those affected repeatedly criticised the work of the authorities. And they researched about the attacks, learning that the suspect had already denounced left-wing and feminist projects nationwide from 2015 onwards. Source: nd

Autonomists blamed for arson attack on Mosque

A mosque in Leipzig was attacked, and 4 of its windows were smashed. According to initial information, the mosque was damaged in connection with a procession of about a hundred hooded people, whom police classify as a left-wing-motivated group. Along the nearby Eisenbahnstraße in the Volkmarsdorf district, the group also set fire to rubbish bins. The police took eleven people into custody. No further information was released. Also, on last Monday, about 200 people from the left-wing spectrum gathered for a demonstration against police violence in the eastern part of the city. There were reported several incidents of damage to property. Source: spiegel

Combat Drones Remain a Contentious Issue in the SPD

For parts of the SPD, a “done by coalition agreement” approach to the procurement of combat drones is out of the question. The SPD stands for disarmament and peace and should not participate in an “arms spiral”, said Alexander Roth. Former Juso chair Franziska Drohsel also called for a “clear peace policy signal” from the party conference. The use of armed drones is questionable under international law because of the weapons’ lack of targeting accuracy and often causes “considerable suffering” for the civilian population in the conflict area. As the new Secretary General, Kevin Kühnert must now represent this dispute. Source: nd


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