The Historical Context of Germany’s Refugee Crisis
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FEATURING RUTH PRISCILLA KIRSTEN – In a series of recent tweets President Donald Trump used the example of Germany to push his anti-immigrant policies. He said on June 18, “Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!” Then on June 19, he pressed on, “Crime in Germany is up 10% plus (officials do not want to report these crimes) since migrants were accepted. Others countries are even worse. Be smart America!”
It should not surprise anyone that Trump was lying. Crime in Germany was at a 25-year low in 2017. Germany has, under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel, welcomed hundreds of thousands of immigrants and refugees fleeing war, violence, and poverty from Middle Eastern and North African nations. For this she now appears to be paying a heavy political price as one of her government’s coalition partners has given her an ultimatum to tighten immigration rules or face losing her position.
But Germany has a unique history with respect to refugees and immigrants.
Ruth Priscilla Kirstein, an expert on anti-Muslim, anti-Jewish and anti-refugee violence in Germany. She holds an MD and a PhD in Medical Ethics from the University of Freiburg. Her PhD dissertation investigates the early days of the controversial German neuropsychiatrist Alfred Erich Hoche.