What you probably know about Mannheim:
- Mannheim is the twin town of Swansea
- Mannheim is a town in Germany, with approx. 300.000 inhabitants
- Mannheim lies on the rivers Rhein and Neckar
- Mannheim city council is governed by Socialdemocrats
What you probably don't know:
- Mannheim - like other towns in Germany - has installed camps for regugees. The refugees come to Germany to live here and to make use of their right of asylum. In Germany foreign people get concentrated into camps, strictly controlled, and in most cases will be sent back to their home countries from which they fled.
- Week after week, hundreds of citizens of Mannheim besieged such a refugee camp in Mannheim/Schoenau, shouting racist slogans like "We don't want foreign pigs", "Only a dead nigger is a good nigger" or "Tonight you're going to burn", attacking the refugees and trying to storm into the camp. The police stopped the storming, but let them carry on with their insults and threats in front of the camp. Every day your common or garden German in Mannheim/Sch"nau carried out his duties at work and after clocking off he/she set out donned in bermudas and slippers to hunt for the foreigner.
- Week after week, these events were played down. News was prevented
from spreading. And this has reasons:
Since the "reunification" in 1990 racist motivated attacks have risen immensely. In 1991 alone over 2300 attacks have taken place all over Germany, where 30 foreigners died. 'Hoyerswerda'(a town in the former GDR) became internationally known as a symbol for the racist state of mind of the German population after the unification. Due to these facts, several refugees fled from Germany to ask for asylum in the UK. Well known is a case of a Sudanese man whose application for asylum was recognised because of racist attacks in Germany. As a consequence there is no interest in the 'bad news' becoming known in other European countries, which are, with good reason, sceptical about the powerful, united Germany with its potential for destruction.
- Week after week, any kind of protest against the racist attacks was supressed, forbidden, criminalised. On the 6. June 1992 an anti-racist demonstration was brutally beaten down by the armed police-forces, equipped with dogs and horses. Many people were injured and 146 arrested. On the 13. June, again an antiracist demonstration was prohibited by the town council. All major roads to Mannheim and in the town were blocked off by the police. Despite that, the demonstration took place. Over 3000 people gathered at different places in Mannheim, over 1000 policemen were in operation. Again over 200 people were arrested. The town of Mannheim wants to supress any protest against racist attacks by force. Meanwhile the racists were allowed to continue gathering at the refugee camp without hindrance. Lord Mayor Widder has 'understanding' for their deeds.
Racism and antisemitism has a tradition in Mannheim and Germany:
- In the night of the "Kristallnacht" (1938) hundreds of jewish synagogues
were destroyed, one of them was in Mannheim.
- On the 22. October 1940, 2000 Jews from Mannheim were deported to Gurs/France.
- In 1933, 6402 Jews lived in Mannheim. In 1945 the town was 'free of Jews', they were murdered or driven away.
We think it is important to make these frightening events internationally known. An international intervention and protest is necessary to protect the refugees and foreigners in Germany.
Please also put in proposals at Swansea town council for the twin-town
friendship with Mannheim to be broken off.
Please cross, detach and send to the adress below:
I protest against the racist attacks in Mannheim/Schoenau. (Adress:
Stadtverwaltung, E 5, 6800 Mannheim, Germany)
Please send me further information concerning racist attacks in
Mannheim/Schoenau. (Adress: Redaktion Mannheimer Morgen, Pressehaus,
1 R 1, 4-6, 6800 Mannheim, Germany)