Are Bulgarians racist against Turks


Hakki Keskin
Nationalism and Racism in the United Germany - Effects on Immigrants and Counter-Strategies

Who could have imagined that there would come a day in the Federal Republic of Germany when people would be afraid to go to work or send their children to school because they? no Germans are?

This did not happen in any country, but in this democratic state, the Federal Republic of Germany, in whose predecessor state millions of Jews were exterminated for racist reasons in unimaginable ways during our lifetime. When I had many conversations with foreigners in the early 1980s about their intentions to stay in the Federal Republic of Germany, I often learned of fears about how the mood of the German population would develop if there were an economic and social crisis. I found the fears derived from the past extremely exaggerated. "For this very reason," I replied, "no racist movement can gain a foothold here." After the elections in West Berlin and Hesse in 1985, and especially since April 20, 1989, I have to realize that I was wrong.

I've been in the Federal Republic of Germany for around 29 years. I have never been as concerned and as stunned as I was on April 20, 1989. I could hardly believe it when, two days earlier, many Turks asked me whether they should go to work and send their children to school on this day, announced as the "Reichskristallnacht against Turks". Most immigrant children are indeed that day not sent to school and many of her parents did not go to work. When I picked up my seven-year-old daughter from school on April 19, 1989, she wanted to know what was going on. Her class also talked about it the skinheads beat us? ". I was unable to explain to my daughter - a native of Berlin - what it was about. How should I do that?

In mid-November 1989 a leaflet caused great unrest and fear among non-Germans in Hamburg. Next to the depicted swastika read: “Führer befiel we follow you! THE 100th birthday of Adolf Hitler will be the Second Kristallnacht for you. "(Spelling mistakes were taken from the original.) The Turks were named as those who were to experience the second Kristallnacht Many Hamburg Turks asked themselves and us whether they should send their children to school on April 20, Hitler's birthday, and whether they should go to work themselves If there was evidence of a 'march of right-wing extremists in Hamburg' and measures had been taken to ensure the safety of foreign citizens (Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg 1989), almost all immigrant children stayed at home and many of their parents were afraid to go to work. In fact, the announced and feared attacks by neo-Nazis did not take place. But with a leaflet they managed to put the entire non-German population in fear and indignation.

This event makes it more than clear in what mental state the immigrant population in the Federal Republic of Germany is. Such a situation does not arise overnight and not without deep-rooted feelings of fear, insecurity and anxiety on the one hand and defenselessness and mistrust on the other.

This immigrant fear has nothing to do with cowardice. Rather, it is an expression of the distrust of the politics of the rulers and a consequence of the exclusion from society. Society not only provides minorities with no protection and security, but rather appears closed, repellent, and sometimes even hostile.

Are these immigrants' feelings justified?

The life experience that immigrants have had, especially since the late 1970s, is the basis for these feelings and the resulting feelings

Attitude towards politics, those in power, society and the police.

The 25-year-old Turkish woman Semra Ertan committed suicide by burning on her birthday on May 30, 1982 in order to draw attention to the increasing xenophobia in the German public: A major Turkish daily took this as an opportunity and dedicated the entire first page in Turkish and German a call to the public to take necessary measures against xenophobia (Milliyet, June 3, 1982). A young Turkish woman sacrificed her life to induce German politics and society to reorient its policy on foreigners.

A month later, two foreigners were shot dead by a right-wing radical in Nuremberg without any cause, and three others were seriously injured (Der Tagesspiegel, June 26, 1982). These were neither the first nor the last victims of racist attacks. At the beginning of December 1980, two young Vietnamese were victims of racist violence in Hamburg. Der Spiegel reported on this event with the headline "Bombs and inflammatory slogans - hatred of foreigners is growing in the Federal Republic" (September 15, 1980, pp. 19-26). Since then, immigrants, their living quarters and their shops have been targets more and more countless Attacks by right-wing radical people and groups, especially the so-called skinheads, who beat two young Turks every six months in Hamburg in 1985 (Vom Protest zum Bündnis, Documentation of the Alliance of Turkish Immigrants, Hamburg 1986). Those who have lost their lives as a result of racist attacks can probably not be traced.These are some examples from the early 1980s, when the brutal violence against the non-German population began. In the Federal Republic of Germany there is no institution that deals with Racism and xenophobia at the federal or state level and such events chronologically is registered.

The press is sure to take notice of the most serious attacks. The immigrants, especially the Turks, suffer a variety of xenophobic and racist acts, insults, insults and humiliations every day. Every day they read in the streets and on

on the walls, at the bus stops and in the subway, "Foreigners out" or "Turks out" and all kinds of sweary slogans.

Xenophobia and racism should not, however, be seen as just a matter for right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis. A young student wanted to experience and analyze for herself the rejection and intolerance foreigners experience on a daily basis. She dressed like a rural Turkish woman with a headscarf, changed her name and began to speak in broken German. Their experiences reflect the living situation of hundreds of thousands of foreign women. She writes: “As usual, I go to the bus stop and wait a few minutes for the bus. People look at me, eye me. On the way to downtown Darmstadt I pass walls and houses that say 'Foreigners out' or 'Turks out'. The feeling that I feel as a 'Turkish woman' is somehow different now. The graffiti really scares me, because today I am affected myself. I'm one of those who should 'get out'. "..." In my familiar surroundings I was suddenly a stranger, felt like an outsider who has nothing to say here and makes no demands. " (Social magazine, April 1984). The experience of this woman disguised as a Turkish woman dubbed the Frankfurter Rundschau as "a walk through an arena of hostility" (January 23, 1984).

Günter Wallraff had worked as a Turk for two and a half years and researched the working and living conditions of the immigrants. As is well known, Wallraff's experiences caused a worldwide sensation. Ms. Funcke, former foreigners commissioner of the federal government, wrote in her statement on Wallraff's book: “Günter Wallraff's report 'Ganz unten' is concerned ... It is not just an accusation against abuses in the employment area. At the same time, it is aimed at society as a whole and poses the question of how it deals with people of other nationalities - with people who have lived with us, work, learn and live with us for years or decades. Shouldn't these people feel rejected, rejected, disregarded or - what is worse - overlooked? "(Frankfurter Rundschau, October 24, 1985; Günter Wallraff, Cologne 1985).

Discrimination doesn't stop even in public office. It is not uncommon for immigrants to be treated roughly and inhumanly by authorities.

delt. It is not uncommon for many immigrants to get the impression that even the police are not performing their duties impartially.

This development is extremely alarming. Regardless of political convictions and party affiliation, all democrats in this country should see this situation as a challenge and counteract this trend towards the renewal of racist-fascist ideologies without wasting time with all democratic means and possibilities.

What are the reasons and who is responsible for this development?

The reasons for the increase in xenophobia and racism are diverse. The main breeding ground for racist-xenophobic ideologies and actions is certainly to be found in the unsolved problems in the economic and social field. Unemployment, which has persisted since the late 1970s and has averaged almost 10% annually over the last ten years, the worsening housing shortage, especially in large cities, and difficulties in schools in metropolitan areas with a high proportion of foreigners are among the most important of these bottlenecks. The fight against racism and xenophobia makes it imperative to tackle the social and economic problems and to eliminate them.

Although the bottlenecks favor xenophobia and racism, they do not necessarily have to lead to them. Very often this is only the case when those affected by unemployment, housing shortages and relative poverty blame the minorities. Or if they come to the conclusion that "the foreigners, the foreigners do not have the right to be, to live and to work in this country."

And this is where the responsibility of politics begins. Here it depends on whether the politicians point their finger at the minorities for these abuses and difficulties and make them the scapegoat for the failure of the policy, or whether they explain the situation to the population factually and objectively. At least as important is their understanding of the minorities' right to exist, i.e. whether they belong to the

They say that these minorities have become an integral part of society and belong to this country and whether they create the necessary framework conditions for this.

Unfortunately, the governments in the Federal Republic of Germany continue to adhere to a policy aimed at employing immigrants according to the needs of the labor market. To this day it is insisted that non-Germans who have been living in the Federal Republic for 10, 20, 30 years or more are not immigrants but foreigners. Even the children of immigrants who were born and raised in the Federal Republic of Germany, who make up around a third of the foreign population, are called foreigners and legally treated as such. I believe that in comparison to all other European states it is a German phenomenon that politics exclusively uses the term "foreigners" for people who have lived in the Federal Republic for decades and were born there.

But this is a conscious policy of segregating these people from the German population. A foreigner is a foreigner, someone who does not belong to this country, whose stay here is provisional and who is not allowed to make any permanent legal claims. This policy shapes the consciousness of the population also in relation to the minorities, namely that in the end foreigners have no right to stay in the country in the event of unemployment and housing shortages, they have to go!

Numerous declarations by responsible politicians even reinforce this attitude among the German population. I would like to make this fatal and momentous policy clear with just one example: In a press release from September 1, 1984, the then Interior Senator of West Berlin, who was responsible for foreigner issues, said: “The foreigner problem is next to the difficult economic situation, the critical labor market situation and The breakdown of state finances is the most serious political problem that the Federal Government and the Berlin Senate have had to take on as the legacy of their predecessors. This problem is characterized by too large a number of foreigners living in Germany, their concentration in metropolitan areas, their comparatively low level of education and training, their disproportionate share in the number of

Unemployed and welfare recipients, the above-average crime rate and the often low willingness or ability to integrate into the local living conditions and customs. These factors result in a burden on our economic and social system that is neither justifiable nor manageable in the long term. "

Among other things, Mr. Lummer called on the federal government to "noticeably reduce the proportion of foreigners" in order to solve unemployment and the problems that followed (Der Senator für Inneres Berlin, press release, September 1, 1984). that they are arguing with the xenophobic party "Republicans" over who is actually pursuing a tougher course against the foreigners. The former Bavarian Prime Minister Max Streibel proudly emphasized: “Schönhuber largely represents CSU positions, especially in the area of ​​foreigner policy. The real imitator is called Schönhuber. "(Die Welt, February 1, 1989).

The "Republicans" as the dominant xenophobic party

The racist right-wing extremist parties have been operating in the Federal Republic of Germany for years:

  • National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD)
  • Freedom German Workers' Party (FAP) and
  • German People's Union (DVU).

They compete with each other against the foreign population. They have a large number of publications at their disposal. Measured by their electoral successes, apart from partial successes in individual federal states, they have remained of no significance to this day. There are also lists that take part in federal state elections, such as the Hamburg List for Stopping Foreigners (HLA). These too put racist and xenophobic goals at the center of their election campaigns. These too remained without any notable success (Backers / Jesse 1989).

The "Republicans" party founded by Schönhuber in November 1983 seemed to have established itself as the right-wing extremist xenophobic party with the greatest prospects of entering the country

Has parliaments. For example, they were represented in the state parliaments of West Berlin and Hesse as well as in the European Parliament. In the European elections in 1989, the "Republicans" received a national average of 7.7% of the vote.

Issues related to foreigners are dealt with as a priority, similar to the parties mentioned above. In her electoral newspaper for the 1989 European elections with a circulation of 3 million, with posters and commercials on television, she was manipulatively able to stir up hatred of foreigners (Der Republikaner, special edition 1/1989).

The "Republicans" chairman, Schönhuber, obviously devotes so much attention to the "foreigner question" that in 1989 he published a book on "Turks, Past and Present". Here the "Republicans" orientation towards foreigners is clearly presented:

“Peace and times of peace are over. Demonstrations, some of them violent, dominate the streets. It is not uncommon for Turks, misled and abused by anti-constitutional organizations, to lead the way.

Fears spread. Turkey has moved closer to us. It is literally on our doorstep. The Turks knock on the doors, demanding housing, labor and voting rights. That goes too far for many Germans. It wasn't meant to be. The right to stay does not have to become a right of residence. The locals want to determine the house rules. "

Again and again he paints a picture of the threat posed by Turks in Germany. “The Frankfurt Bahnhofsviertel and Berlin-Gropiusstadt have little to do with Germany, Berlin-Kreuzberg is partly already abroad. It is five minutes to twelve on the European clock. Or has the hour already struck? "He warns (Schönhuber 1989, p. 12, 215).

In addition to the "Republicans", the above-mentioned right-wing extremist parties are under surveillance by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Legal measures have only been taken against some of these parties.

Racist ideologies also find support from the university sector.In 1982, 15 university professors addressed the public with the so-called “Heidelberg Manifesto”: “We are watching the infiltration of the German people by millions with great concern

by foreigners and their families, foreign infiltration of our language, our culture and our nationality. "(Die Zeit, February 5, 1982).

Wrong politics fueled racism

From 1980 to 1993, an asylum discussion was held in Germany that grew more intense from year to year. As the number of asylum seekers increased, this discussion became increasingly polemical, unobjective and aggressive. The right-wing extremist parties in particular, but also the CDU and CSU, pointed with their forefingers first at asylum seekers and then at foreigners as a whole. The asylum issue was hyped up to one of the main discussed topics, with which emotions could be aroused and voices could be captured. Even newspapers and magazines that were considered liberal devoted headlines and entire front pages, often unfortunately not without polemics, to this topic.

The most frequently used keywords were the following (Redeweik / Bergeest 1992):

  • Smuggling organizations
  • Types of escape and escape routes
  • Asylum abuse
  • Housing problems
  • costs
  • Crime by asylum seekers
  • lack of acceptance by the population
  • Violence against asylum seekers and foreigners.

From this perspective, the causes of the flight, i.e. the motives of the asylum seekers, hardly played a role. The certainly decisive questions:

  • Why do the refugees come to Germany and Western Europe?
  • So what are the reasons for fleeing?
  • Is Germany responsible for this and the states of Western Europe, and if so, by what means?

were almost always excluded.

Without recognizing the causes of a problem and, if possible, combating them, the discussion about the effects can only be of limited use, if at all. The fading out of this root cause research and the lack of any discussion about these causes does not happen out of ignorance, but represents a deliberate strategy. Because for the causes of flight and immigration (at least for those from south to north!) The responsibility rests largely with the people western industrialized countries. This responsibility and the consequences to be drawn from it, which will be demonstrated in more detail below, are deliberately excluded from politics and the media.

Causes are excluded

As long as we are unwilling to first conduct a thorough investigation into the causes, we will not be able to cope with the increasing pressure of immigration, not even with a de facto abolition of the right to asylum.

For more than a decade, the conservatives have reduced the discussion to the buzzwords just mentioned and, as a consequence, have repeatedly called for changes to the asylum law and the asylum procedure. To date, the Asylum Procedure Act has been amended nine times without even beginning to achieve the intended success. With the amendment of the Asylum Law (§16 GG) and the Asylum Procedure Act in June 1993, a further attempt is made in this regard.

The liberals as well as the progressives have also taken what I believe to be a wrong position. In response to the conservatives' proposals, you only dealt with their slogans. One of the issues in this dispute was whether the asylum seekers are actually politically persecuted, or whether they are not so-called bogus or economic asylum seekers.

It is true that only a fraction of the refugees leave their homeland for political reasons, the vast majority in fact for economic or social reasons.

The question is, however, what are the causes of the miserable economic and social conditions in most third world countries and to what extent we, the rich industrialized countries, are responsible for this development.

The dispute should have taken place over this! We should have called out to the citizens of this country: Dear people, we are largely responsible

  • for misery, poverty, hunger,
  • for mass unemployment, inflation, lack of infrastructure,
  • for the extremely high foreign debt of so many countries
  • for the drop in prices of products from these countries,
  • for the permanent devaluation of their currencies,
  • for the stark contrasts between rich and poor,
  • for the interventions of our armies to install regimes that are convenient for us in these states, mostly dictatorships (at least this has always been the case in the past),
  • for political reprisals and human rights violations.

In a nutshell, it should have been said: Dear people, the people in many countries around the world are so poor because we are so rich. They have such a low standard of living, such a low per capita income, because we have an income 500 times higher than half of the world's population.

In short: our high standard of living comes to a considerable extent at the expense of these people. The refugees and immigrant workers here with us are now trying to participate in what we are taking away from these people.

The following examples demonstrate the direct connection between rich and poor:

- For three decades the developing countries have suffered from the drop in the price of their exported products. So there is a very unequal exchange taking place. On average, due to this imbalance, the developing countries have to export 300 to 400% more goods in order to be able to pay for comparable imports from the industrialized countries. In addition, a large part of the income from exports from these countries flows back into the industrialized countries.

- Coffee, for example

In 1990 the German state earned 3.191 billion DM from the coffee sold here in the country through customs and tax revenues. The German roasters made profits of 2.955 billion DM. That is a total of 6.146 billion DM.

The producers, workers and farmers in the coffee-exporting countries were left with just a third of this sum, or DM 2.127 billion.

Two out of eight billion, that is to say 25% of the proceeds, go to third world countries, which, however, have to do 80% of the necessary work before the coffee reaches the consumer.

While we as consumers are happy about the low coffee prices, which have continued to fall in recent years, the losses of coffee exporters from Africa alone as a result of this price decline amounted to DM 2.550 billion in 1989 and 1990 alone (Stern, September 26, 1991) .

The consequences of this unequal exchange as well as the drop in prices on the commodity exchanges of the industrialized countries are devastating for these countries. They have to finance their imports through increased debt abroad. This debt with us, the rich countries, also devours a large part of the export earnings of these countries through interest and repayment installments.

A vicious circle that cemented the hopelessness for millions of people in the southern regions of the globe and ultimately drives these people to emigrate from their homeland, even at great personal risk.

According to the OECD (an organization for economic development and cooperation to which 24 of the richest countries in the world belong), total development aid, export credits, private investments and bank loans for all developing countries amounted to US $ 927 billion in the years from 1982 to 1990. In the same period of time, debt servicing, interest and repayments alone flowed from these developing countries US $ 1,345 billion to the creditor countries. This results in a balance of US $ 418 billion in favor of the industrialized nations. With this, the poor countries of the Third World have financed six Marshall plans for the rich countries with their debt service alone.

However, the actual balance of payments losses are far greater. License fees, profit repatriation and underpaid raw materials and other products would greatly increase this sum at the expense of developing countries.

The bad thing is that these payments by the developing countries in no way reduce their debt burden; in fact, at the beginning of the 1990s they had 61% more debt than in 1982 (George 1993, p. 12f.)! While the foreign debt of the developing countries amounted to DM 1,123 billion after 1985, it rose to DM 1,703 billion in 1992. The foreign debt of the least developed countries, the so-called "fourth world states", rose by 110% in the same period!

We are facing a daunting task

According to the UN's International Labor Organization (ILO), there were around 100 million legal or illegal immigrants in 1990, including around 15 million refugees. So we are dealing here with enormous, globally acting migrant movements. The pressure to migrate, especially from the poorer regions to the rich industrial countries, i.e. to the USA, Canada, Western Europe, Australia and soon also Japan, will certainly increase. Even countries like Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal, from which people emigrated to the richer northern part of Europe barely more than a decade ago, now have major problems with immigrants and refugees themselves.

Even the so-called emerging countries are not spared from immigration today. In the past ten years, Turkey has taken in far more than 1.7 million people from Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bulgaria, the former Yugoslavia and Romania. Pakistan, Iran, Sudan and Somalia have accommodated many times as many refugees as all western industrialized countries put together in the past 15 years. The developing countries are also experiencing rapid internal migration, alongside strong population growth. The world population is growing by 90 to 100 million people annually. The countries of the "Third and Fourth World" are faced with enormous problems of urbanization that can hardly be solved.

The western industrialized countries cannot be excluded from these dramatic upheavals. You have to face this historic task. These states face the alternative of either transforming themselves into fortresses and using police and military force to protect these fortresses from immigration, or working together against the causes of flight and immigration with the necessary concepts and projects.

Combating the causes of flight and immigration

Well over half of the world's population has a standard of living that is up to 50 times lower than that of the developed industrialized countries. This extreme gradient is not decreasing, it is increasing steadily. In many countries of the so-called "Third World" hopelessness grows and there is a lack of belief that things could ever get better. This increasing polarization between many poor and a few rich countries is not the result of a whim of nature, it has been rather purposeful produced by the industrialized countries through a centuries-long policy of colonial exploitation and then cemented by means of their economic and development policies. Thus, to this day, the already rich states almost without exception benefit from the existing economic relations between third and first world. Also the reasons for wars between or within civil wars of the "Third World States" all too often have colonial roots.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellites was accompanied by an east-west problem to this north-south conflict, so that due to the desolate economic conditions there, increased immigration from this area must also be expected.

What consequences would it have for our planet if a large part of the earth's population reached our level of consumption and the associated consumption of raw materials and energy? The increasing pollution and far-reaching consequences for the climate, radiation, air and water quality are hardly imaginable. No matter how utopian and unrealistic it may seem today in the rich, consumer-oriented industrialized countries, on the part of politics to work towards new standards of values ​​that are still propagated there today, a radical departure from our current standards of values ​​remains our only chance of survival. We will not be able to campaign for the preservation of tropical forests in the Third World countries for much longer, let alone enforce it, if we continue to ruin our own forests. Only if we ourselves set new standards of values ​​and also exemplify them credibly do we have a chance to prevent them from fulfilling their enormous pent-up demand in the consumer sector.

Social justice must not only exist within the boundaries of national territories; it must be propagated worldwide and its implementation, especially by us social democrats, also demanded and practiced. As long as this imbalance prevails, we shouldn't be surprised when people keep trying to participate in this wealth. The commitment to a just global economic order therefore in no way arises from socially romantic feelings, rather it is a measure to curb unregulated immigration. Willy Brandt, Olof Palme and Bruno Kreisky were representatives of such a policy.

Germany cannot shape this completely new orientation, which will affect the foundations of our economic and social system, on its own. This requires the cooperation of all industrialized countries. Germany could, however, position itself at the forefront of a development that cannot be stopped anyway, and thus secure a top position for itself as a side effect in all the new technologies that will go hand in hand with this transformation.

The escalation of racist violence

It was not the asylum discussion and the change in asylum law, but the way in which asylum was discussed that made a decisive contribution to the escalation of racist and xenophobic violence.

In Hoyerswerda For the first time in the history of Germany, the democratic constitutional state allowed itself to be brought to its knees by the neo-Nazis. The state would undoubtedly have been able to master the situation there by means of the rule of law. Obviously part of the political strategy was to let the attacks against the Mozambican and Vietnamese residents escalate to the point where they were forced to leave the city. In these actions, the right-wing extremist perpetrators not only enjoyed extremely mild treatment from those in charge of politics, but also broad approval from the population. The way for further acts of violence against non-German people was now clear for the neo-Nazis. They were encouraged to implement the politically intentional displacement of the refugees with the help of violence in an exemplary and moral manner.

The extent to which racist violence against non-Germans has increased is shown in the following table, which we have compiled based on the information provided by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

Violations of the law with proven or suspected right-wing extremist motivation *

These are the numbers reported and registered by the police. Many crimes committed against non-Germans are not even reported to the police. The actual numbers are likely to be many times higher.

Another inglorious high point on the path, tolerated by many politicians, to let the violence of the neo-Nazis escalate, was the brutal expulsion of non-German residents of a home for asylum seekers in Rostock. There, the residents of the home were handed over to the fanatical neo-Nazis who attacked with Molotov cocktails and batons for hours in front of millions of TV viewers. It is certainly not thanks to the police, but rather a lucky coincidence that no one was killed in the fires. For me this was an incredible event that I will never forget.

I am quite consciously saying here that the state tolerated these atrocities, as this attitude contained clear messages. On the one hand the immigrants should be signaled how undesirable they are, on the other hand they wanted to make the attackers and the cheering masses understand that what they are doing is in line with official policy.

The events of Mölln, Solingen, Lübeck and in many other places in Germany. The world public began to follow developments in Germany with great attention and increasingly with concern and fierce criticism. Thanks to the influence of the world public, but also thanks to the critical reporting in Germany itself, the rulers came to the realization that they were about the

Shot out of target. Germany's reputation had suffered worldwide, and the economy also felt the first negative effects. The right to asylum was finally curtailed to such an extent that the number of applicants fell significantly from 1993 onwards. Millions of people, worried and concerned, took part in fairy lights and other protests. Even Chancellor Kohl was concerned about Germany's reputation. This out of control right-wing extremist violence with a racist background should finally be stopped.

It was this political atmosphere, so wanted by parts of politics, that wanted this state of affairs and made it possible.It was only the reaction that then set in, with its negative effects on Germany's reputation, that led to further escalation being contained for the time being.


Up until a few years ago I was of the opinion that we should be very careful when using the term "racism" with reference to the events in Germany because of the experiences with National Socialism. The racism practiced at that time has convictions that extend to the present day left on a number of people.

But I came to the conviction that Germany would not be doing a good job if the problem was played down. The scope must also be correctly assessed so that counter-strategies and solutions can be found. It is indisputable that there is a certain dregs of right-wing extremists and racist ideas in Germany, but this has resulted in very different forms of racism that must be countered.

A radical reorientation from foreigner policy towards cultural minority policy with the aim of equality and equal treatment of non-Germans living here permanently is required in the Federal Republic of Germany.

The best way to achieve equality between immigrants and their children would be to introduce dual citizenship with dormant citizenship.

belonging to the country of origin and active citizenship of the Federal Republic of Germany. This demand by the immigrants is increasingly being supported by the SPD, the Greens, the FDP, parts of the CDU, the trade unions and churches.

For the fight against racism and xenophobia, a law must be passed that criminalizes racist and xenophobic statements and actions. To this end, an anti-discrimination law was passed in France in 1989 (Frankfurter Rundschau, March 29, 1990). As is well known, Belgium had already passed such an anti-discrimination law in July 1981 and Sweden 1983 and established criminal sanctions for violations (Hürriyet, July 27, 1981; information fran Statens Invandrarverk hets mod folksgrup Turkiska, January 1983). In addition, the establishment of a "foreigner anti-discrimination office" is necessary in order to register all racist and xenophobic incidents and to enable countermeasures.

The basic prerequisite for the peaceful coexistence of the cultural minorities living in Germany in solidarity with the German population is not only legal, political and social equality, but also equal treatment in all areas of society. This is not guaranteed today. That is why Germany also needs an anti-discrimination law, among other things, similar to what the USA, Canada, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Great Britain and Sweden already have.

The aim and purpose of such a law is to eliminate and prevent discrimination against the non-German population on the part of the state and the private sector. The addressees of the law are accordingly both the state and private (legal) persons. [Fn 1: Explanations on the Anti-Discrimination Act see last chapter.]

The disguised form of racism

Even if not all politicians are aware and understandable, permanent exclusion of people who are recognized

members of German society cannot be called any other form of apartheid, i.e. racism. It cannot be understood otherwise when people who have lived in Germany for 10, 20 or more than 30 years, with all duties (except for military service, which they are not allowed to do), many of whom were even born in Germany were. Attended schools and learned their trades, living here with a special right, i.e. lesser rights. The argument that they do not have German citizenship does not help either. For those people who only have the stigma of not having come across ancestors of German origin in their line of ancestors, the acquisition of German citizenship is made so difficult that they can only acquire it at great sacrifice or not at all. At the same time, however, repatriates from Kazakhstan, Romania or other former Eastern Bloc states receive German citizenship without any problems because they are of German descent, although they often neither speak German nor have ever lived in Germany.

That is why non-Germans do not find any access to jobs in the public service, even if this is viewed as socio-politically important. They cannot be employed as police officers without a German passport. But since this is often sensible and politically desirable, one must find dubious possibilities for it through auxiliary constructions.

So we are dealing here with institutionalized segregation, discrimination and a new form of racism. Anyone who wants to fight racism must above all help to eliminate this state-practiced discrimination.

In the fight against racism, I consider the following measures to be overdue:

  1. Elimination of institutionalized discrimination through a simplified naturalization policy, without the compulsion to lose one's previous citizenship.
  • Who are these so-called non-Germans who are referred to as foreigners?
  • Why do these people living permanently in Germany not have German citizenship?

Most of these "foreigners" have been living in Germany for decades with their permanent residence. Their children were born in the Federal Republic of Germany or grew up in Germany. Their grandchildren are born in Germany. They go to kindergarten and school in their place of residence and only experience and learn at an advanced age they experience that they are "foreigners" or "strangers." The majority of the first generation, the recruited labor immigrants, have long since given up their wish to return to their country of origin after a more or less short stay in Germany. Germany is de facto for these people They have become their new home. In the same way as German citizens they pay their taxes, social security and pension contributions. They fulfill all civic obligations except for military service, which they are not allowed to do as non-Germans. Those people who have long since become an integral part of this land, the acquisition remained de r German citizenship - with only a few exceptions - until the entry into force of the new Aliens Act on, 1l. Locked January 1991.

The valid nationality law of 1913 has remained essentially unchanged to this day. The principle of descent from German blood, i.e. from German ancestors, has been adhered to to this day. Immigrants without German ancestry, on the other hand, could only be naturalized on application according to the very strict modalities and the discretion of the authorities. In doing so, the naturalization authority had to come to the conclusion that the applicant had already integrated himself to such an extent that he could be accepted as assimilated, as Germanized. This presupposed and still presupposes the abandonment of the previous citizenship and the complete surrender to Germanness. These major hurdles meant that ultimately hardly anyone interested in German citizenship submitted an application for naturalization.

The new Aliens Act of 1990 provides for a relaxation and easing of naturalization in some paragraphs, but largely adheres to the forced relinquishment of previous citizenship.

So if today, after more than thirty years of immigration to Germany, the acquisition of German citizenship is only used by a small proportion of immigrants, then the German citizenship law, which at the end of this millennium acts like a "naturalization prevention law", bears the responsibility and not the immigrants .

In this regard, Germany is an ultra-conservative, if not backward, country compared to all of its neighbors, especially France and Great Britain. All immigrant children in France and Great Britain automatically acquire citizenship there at birth in order to stay in these countries. The first generation can acquire French or British citizenship after five years of residence without having to give up their previous one.

The immigrant population living permanently in Germany is no longer prepared to accept the denial of their legal, political and social equality. The second and all subsequent generations in particular will encounter this situation with increasing bitterness, indignation and protest.

But the requirement of democracy and human rights also requires equality before the law and the practiced equal treatment of all people who have made Germany their center of life and who have settled here.

The crucial question that needs a quick answer is: How will this task be solved? How can we achieve freedom, equality and brotherhood for all people living in Germany? Here, a radically renewed nationality law that has been adapted to real developments is of central importance. This new right must:

  • automatically enable everyone to acquire German citizenship by being born in Germany,
  • provide for the acquisition of German citizenship for non-Germans living here permanently after a certain legal period of residence as a legal claim (in Sweden it is sufficient

    three years for this, five years in France, five to eight years would also have to be sufficient for Germany),

  • When acquiring German citizenship, everyone who, for a wide variety of reasons, however plausible, wants to retain their old citizenship - albeit in a passive form - should have this right.

    "Of the 26 Council of Europe states, apart from the Federal Republic of Germany, only Austria and Luxembourg", according to constitutional lawyer Hailbronner (1992), stick to the abandonment of their previous citizenship.

In short: only through dual citizenship, which I have consistently advocated for 12 years and which the Alliance of Turkish Immigrants has made its central demand, we have the chance to realize the basic right, which is natural for a democratic state, to equality for all people living there.

This is the only alternative we have, especially after the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court that, even at the local level, only German citizens are allowed to vote. The report by Prof. Hailbronner on dual citizenship also made it clear that there are no valid constitutional or even international law reasons that speak against dual citizenship.

  1. An intercultural education as a concept against racism and anti-Semitism ought to be accepted and implemented as an overall concept against racism and anti-Semitism in preschool, school and university areas as a new education and training policy.

Intercultural means:
  • learning from one another, dialogue, exchange, delimitation, reciprocity, education for solidarity;
  • Recognition of lifestyles, the diversity of behavior and cultural values, their significance and their modes of operation (Rey-von Allmen 1989, p. 47ff.).

Intercultural upbringing and education should be understood as an opportunity to enable the following goals in the desired education and training policy:

  • Understanding between people from different cultures,
  • Openness and tolerance towards those who are different,
  • Breaking down prejudices to enable a prejudice-free confrontation with other cultures.

The main goal of intercultural education will be:

What can I learn from other cultures, what can people from other cultures learn from me?

Global goals of this education and training policy should be:

  1. Open-mindedness and global understanding between people of different races, origins, religions, mother tongue and parental tradition and way of life.
  2. Education for commitment to peace, equality, brotherhood and solidarity in one's own country and in the world.
  3. Education to stand up for a just world and world economic order, in which there is no place for disadvantage and exploitation of other countries, in which no one is starving any more and in which the basic needs of all people are satisfied.
  4. Education for the preservation of the earth and the whole planet for the coming millennia for humans and all living beings (Keskin 1992).

This education should begin in kindergartens. As we know, the prejudices of parents and those around them about allegedly negative characteristics of other cultures have an impact on children who are free of prejudice at the beginning. For this reason, intercultural education in preschool and school facilities should also include the parents with educational means at parents' evenings and celebrations.

One can only learn to live together with other cultures in a lengthy process that cannot be started early enough. "To affirm the 'other' without disapproving of the 'own', to acquire a realistic and relativizing view of cultural differences.

ben, that is the task that intercultural teaching is faced with "(van Geertruyen 1989, p. 189).

With the help of intercultural learning, people could "as bearers of culture experience the step from side by side to coexistence of cultures within themselves ..." in order to be able to identify with the problems and opportunities of this change (Kula 1986, p. 330 ).

Intercultural education also means preserving the cultural identity of the minorities. The lip service of many politicians for wanting to see the "cultural identity" of immigrants and their children preserved contradicts the policies practiced in preschool, school and university areas There is no question of intercultural upbringing, learning and teaching, the teaching programs, content and methods rather show a picture as if these facilities were only attended by German children.

In order to preserve their own cultural identity for ethnic-cultural minorities, it goes without saying that learning their mother tongue is part of the regular teaching program.

The children and grandchildren of the ethnic and cultural minorities must have the opportunity to choose their mother tongue as their first or second foreign language, i.e. also as an examination subject.

The children of another religion must have the opportunity to be taught about their own religion in school in parallel to the usual religious instruction. It would be even better, however, if the religious instruction in the sense of intercultural education were to deal with the main features of the religions of all children in a mixed form.

To this day, the training of teachers and social pedagogues - with a few exceptions - does not take into account the different situations of cultural minorities. In the training of educators, teachers and social workers, too, the teaching programs, content and methods must do justice to the real situation.

  1. Adoption of an anti-discrimination law, which should also contain the prohibition of racist-anti-Semitic organizations and publications.

Such a law should include:

  • "Positive Actions": This includes the measures to give preference to the disadvantaged cultural minorities in certain public and private areas until equality of opportunity with the other social groups is achieved.
  • Discrimination bans: Bans on discrimination prohibit employers, landlords of living space or innkeepers from discriminating against non-Germans. These provisions should ease the burden of proof for non-Germans. Such a lightening of the burden of proof could be such that it is sufficient that the person concerned makes facts plausible that suggest discrimination and the other, e.g. the employer, has to prove that there is no discrimination. Bans on discrimination should grant the person concerned compensation. This compensation should include the damage suffered by the person concerned because he relied on the conclusion of the employment or rental contract, for example, and should also grant non-material compensation (a kind of compensation for pain and suffering). Substantial discrimination should also be punishable. In addition, regulations should be inserted in the relevant laws (such as the Trade Regulations or the Restaurant Act), according to which the relevant license can be withdrawn from the trader or innkeeper in the event of significant discrimination.
  • Increased punishment: The threat of punishment for criminal offenses should be increased if they are committed with a racist background. The recently modified criminal law provisions could be taken as a model here.

    "Anyone who publicly calls for hatred or discrimination against a person or a group of people because of their race or their affiliation to an ethnic or religious group,

    anyone who publicly disseminates ideologies aimed at systematically disparaging, slandering members of a race or an ethnic or religious group,

    who organizes, promotes or takes part in propaganda campaigns with the same goal,

    anyone who publicly attacks a person or a group of people in their human dignity through speech, writing, images, gestures or in any other way because of their race or their affiliation to an ethnic or religious group or denigrates the memory of the deceased for one of these reasons,

    anyone who, while exercising his or her professional activity, refuses a publicly offered service to a person or a group of people because of their race or their affiliation to an ethnic or religious group,

    is punished with imprisonment or with (money) fine. "(The Swiss Criminal Code § 261, amended 1994).

  • Intercultural education: The teaching material in schools and universities should be examined for discriminatory content and supplemented in order to contribute to more tolerance, an open dialogue and more acceptance of cultural minorities.
  • Representation in the broadcasting councils: Cultural minorities must be represented in institutions such as the broadcasting councils.
  • Revise existing laws: The existing regulations in the laws, which in application actually lead to discrimination against cultural minorities, must be dismantled.
  • Complaints authority: The Anti-Discrimination Act also prescribes the establishment of complaint bodies against discrimination against cultural minorities. These complaint offices are to be located at the state level. You have the right to arbitrate and sue.
  • Subsidy requirements: In addition, state subsidies and federal and state contracts may only be awarded to companies if they can prove that they can

    meet the objectives of the law, namely equality and equal treatment.


Backers, U./E. Jesse: Political Extremism in the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn 1989.

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, State Press Office: Statements by Senator Hackmann from April 18 and Mayor Voscherau from April 19, 1989.

van Geertruyen, G .: A cultural anthropological view of the practice of intercultural teaching, in: M. Hohmann / H.H. Reich (Ed.): A Europe for Majorities and Minorities, Münster / New York 1989.

George, S .: The debt boomerang, Hamburg 1993.

Hailbronner, K .: Legal issues of dual nationality in the facilitated naturalization of migrant workers and their family members. Legal opinion on behalf of the Commissioner for Foreigners of the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Hamburg 1992.

Keskin, H .: Equality and Identity Preservation for Ethnic-Cultural Minorities in Germany, in: Standpunkt: Sozial, Nr. 1/92, Hamburg 1992.

Kula, O.B .: Turkish migrant culture as a determinant of intercultural pedagogy, Saarbrücken 1986.

Redeweik, B./T. Bergeest: Violence against "Strangers" and the media discourse 1991. Der Spiegel, the Bildzeitung and the subject of asylum, diploma thesis in the department of social education at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg 1992.

Rey-von Allmen, M .: Interculturalism - Wooden Paths and Challenges, in: M. Hohmann / H.H. Reich (Ed.): A Europe for Majorities and Minorities, Münster / New York 1989.

Schönhuber, F .: The Turks. Past and present, Munich 1989. Wallraff, G .: Ganz unten, Cologne 1985.

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