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News from Berlin and Germany: 13 March 2021

Compiled by Ana Ferreira


BERLIN


Berlin’s schools start to reopen

The German capital has been gradually restarting school. Primary school pupils are already back. Next Wednesday, grades 10 to 13 will follow, also in a rotating model. The only ones left would be the seventh to ninth graders, who would continue to receive only distance learning for the time being. But Berlin Administrative Court decided to not generally exclude them. The education administration is relieved that the administrative court did not want to follow the plaintiffs on a second point. Martin Klesmann from the school administration, makes it clear anyway that there are currently no plans to change the alternating lessons and the mask requirement. Source: nd

Interior Senator admits racial profiling

The Berlin police deploy 180 officers to an operation in Görlitzer Park. A residents' initiative is making serious accusations that the police are only checking people because of the colour of their skin. Action must be taken. Residents and park visitors are sensitised to the issue and often stop when officers check black people or people of colour. Black Berliners sometimes no longer come to Görlitzer Park for fear of being exposed by controls. "This must not happen," says Interior Senator Andreas Geisel. "But at this point dealers are controlled and dealers arrested because they deal, not because they come from Guinea." However, Geisel said: “I’m realistic enough to see that it [racial profiling] exists” Source: rbb


GERMANY


Nazi criminals ran children's homes in post-war Germany

Nazi war criminals were allowed to run children's holiday homes in postwar Germany where draconian corporal punishment and bullying were normal, new research has shown. The revelations provide a new dimension to the experiences of so-called "Verschickungskinder" ("sent-away children") and the special educational homes that existed in West Germany. A newly-founded survivors' initiative and self-help group has estimated that as many as 8-12 million children were sent to such homes, often on the recommendation of doctors, schools, and youth welfare authorities. There are reports of how young children often returned from these homes traumatized, with stories of suicide attempts and depression. Source: dw

CDU man collects commission for mask business

In the affair about lobbying activities of members of the Bundestag in connection with mask deals, accusations are being made against another CDU member of parliament. According to Der Spiegel, Nikolas Löbel is said to have demanded and received commission for brokering protective masks. Löbel admitted "mistakes" in this context. As a member of parliament, he should have "acted more sensitively in his entrepreneurial activities", he said on Friday in response to a question. According to him, Löbel's company had collected commissions amounting to about 250,000 euros. Source: jW

Officer on trial for stealing ammunition

The multiple scandals surrounding the Special Forces Command (KSK) in Calw, Baden-Württemberg, involve the question of how large quantities of ammunition could disappear over the years, too. In the trial of KSK non-commissioned officer Philipp Sch. a partial answer to this question was given. As a witness, an officer described the loose handling of the issue of ammunition during shooting exercises. In the trial, Sch. has to answer for violations of the War Weapons Control Act, the Weapons Act and the Explosives Act. Investigators had discovered two kilogrammes of explosives, several thousand rounds of rifle and pistol ammunition and various weapons in his garden in Collm.Source: jW

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