Monday, December 4, 2017

On the Ground in Salzgitter, Germany

You probably haven’t heard of Salzgitter. A small German city Salzgitter took the lead in opening its arms to Muslim refugees. It was front and center in the Merkel immigration policy. On a day when President Trump has withdrawn the United States from the United Nations Global Compact on immigration… and has withdrawn from a global confab on the topic in Mexico... we might take a look at how it’s going in Salzgitter, Germany. The city led the German nation in taking in refugees. Now, it had declared that it will no longer accept any Muslim migrants. It is trying to call a halt to the invasion.

The Daily Mail reports that Merkel’s dream has been shattered. No real surprise there, but still, facts matter:

But if Mrs Merkel is shocked at events since she provoked the biggest migration wave across Europe since World War II, so are many of the newcomers. 

They believed Mrs Merkel's promise of giving them homes, jobs, an education and money with few questions asked. Now they — as well as many Germans — fear they are not becoming part of the wider society, and never can be because their numbers are so huge. 

No place illustrates the shattered Merkel dream better than Salzgitter. 

It took in a higher proportion of migrants compared to its population than any other part of Germany. 

Ninety-one per cent of those migrants in the town today are jobless and live on benefits, according to new statistics from town officials, compared with a slightly less dismal picture nationally for migrants of 84 per cent. 

One of the charities trying to find them work says they are only qualified for the simplest of jobs because of low education. 

'We just don't have the jobs that these people could take,' a volunteer explained. But aside from the problems of work and welfare are the sheer numbers who have arrived. 

Some of these numbers are staggering. Unemployment rate among refugees is: 91%. For the most part, they are unqualified for any but the most menial jobs. Beyond that, there are no jobs for them to take.

The mayor reports that, at first, everyone had a very positive spirit. But then, people started to see the reality close up:

The mayor himself says that in those early days ' everything was perfect'. 

'But in the second half of 2016, [local] people approached me for the first time,' he explains now. 

'They were worried about overcrowding. We have kindergartens and schools where the proportion of migrant children is between 60 and 80 per cent. 

'People have told me our German children are growing up in an environment where barely any German is spoken.' 

You send your children to school and the majority of their classmates do not speak German. We have similar problems in America where schoolchildren find that most of their classmates do not speak English. The result: your children cannot get educated. Either you will homeschool them—assuming that you do not have a job yourself—or you will send them to private school—if you can afford it.

Now that Salzgitter no longer wants to accept refugees, it was rebuked by the United Nations refugee agency. If you were wondering why President Trump withdrew from the migration treaty and refused to allow us to be lectured by United Nations bureaucrats, you now know why:

The moratorium on new migrants sparked by these local worries brought a rebuke from the United Nations' refugee agency this week. 

It says those in need, wherever they come from, should have the right to freedom of movement, and that Salzgitter's ban breaches international law. 

Sascha Schiessl, of the Refugee Council for Lower Saxony, said the moratorium (which is expected to last three years) will only encourage the notion that the migrants are harming German society and thereby increase support for the anti-immigrant Alternative for Deutschland.

Note what matters to Schiessel: bad public relations, the impression that migrants are hurting Germany. And what if they are hurting Germany? Do you think it's all just about messaging. People who live there know what is happening.

The Daily Mail reporter reports on the experiences of Syrian refugees. It turns out that they are not doing well. Fancy that:

I have been reporting on this story for two years, since I inteviewed the first young Syrians to arrive in Germany after Mrs Merkel threw open the doors in 2015. 

Back then they were excited and full of expectation for a new life in the West. This week, I met some of them again — and they told a very different story. 

A number of them are downcast, and have considered leaving to go home to Syria. 

They are stopped from doing so only by the terrifying prospect of being compulsorily drafted into President Bashir Assad's despotic government army, or the prospect of life in a home town destroyed by Islamic State terror. 

They now want to go back to Syria. They have found that local German citizens hate them. Surprised?

Today he despairs of that dream: 'There are so many migrants that the Germans have started to hate us.' 

By way of illustration, he tells me how last week he tried to get a job at a workshop in Marzahn, a grim Berlin suburb. 

The German boss asked him where he came from. When he answered Syria, there was an immediate riposte. 

'You should have stayed there,' he told him. 

'You should have fought with the army to make your country take the right path.' 

He then refused Mohammed work, saying he was already paying for him to live free in Germany out of his taxes. 

In America, the boss would have been sued for discrimination. In the future he will learn to watch his language.

The Daily Mail reports, stunningly enough, that we should not be surprised by the hostility:

Perhaps it is no surprise that sentiments are changing here. Disturbing stories have started to be leaked to the press of migrants who still live in hostels in every part of Germany with nothing to do but collect their state benefits, study their mobile phones and wait for the next meal. 

These young men are idle and angry, and there have been murders, rapes and knifings as they wait and hope to find a place in German society.  


Sam L. said...

Truth eventually becomes obvious.

Anonymous said...


The Cloward-Piven Strategy explained the current landscape years ago.

That the media don't report the reality is evidence of their lack of good will and fellow-feeling.

But mankind is infinitely malleable.

"The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system (how?) in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of "a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty."–Piven_strategy


Ares Olympus said...

DM: These young men are idle and angry, and there have been murders, rapes and knifings as they wait and hope to find a place in German society.

It all makes me wonder how immigration ever works well. My great great grandfather came here from Norway at age 62 and never learned English, but brought 4 of 5 sons, and many more from the same village, and they got nearly-free land to farm, and so they didn't need welfare, and had a generation to adjust to the new land and language.

I heard Dan Rather on the radio today, trying to sell his new book "What Unites us". Here's a recent article he presents his argument, seemingly to hint around the questions of tolerance and inclusion. It makes me think how unlikely western democracy, probably more explained by a drive for opportunity than our older human nature to herd ourselves among our own "kind".

The argument I guess is that all change is demanding, and if we listen to our comfort, we'd prefer to put up walls, and protect ourselves, once we got our own needs met. But if we foolishly let in strangers, and all the conflicts and confusion that arise from that, we'll find resources in ourselves to rise to the challenges that result, and perhaps out-compete those who merely put up walls when they're feeling threatened.

So the issue is not one or the other, but the middle ground where walls and bridges can both exist and serve their functions.

Sam L. said...

Question, Ares: Do they really want to work? Do they have skills with which they could work? If not, where would they learn such skills? Do they have sufficient education to build on to develop skills?

Ares Olympus said...

Sam L, your question is obviously impossible to answer in the abstract. The simple answer would suggest MOST people are proud and hate the idea of welfare, but many people can develop "learned helplessness" if they've never been in a situation where effort consistently produces desired outcomes.

I do understand the conservative argument against "welfare" of any sort as psychologically destructive. It risks taking away the incentive to rise beyond your own fears, and face the world head and see what you have to give.

I imagine a missing component to liberalism is address the issue of pride. I still know a number of unemployed people without health insurance, and don't believe they deserve free or subsidized healthcare, while knowing they can't afford it any other way. So the trick social workers often use is say "You've been paying into the system in your taxes for X years, so you deserve this." And whether or not that's accurate, it can break through irrational pride that prefers to deny problems, which ultimately cost more later, like pricey emergency room visits.

My "liberal" approach says the best way to help the poor is to have hidden subsidizes that lower the cost of living (housing/food/transportation), rather than fighting with minimum wage laws that make some work not worth hiring people to do.

Ideally any work is better than no work, as long as the person feels they are contributing, and that would seem to be the bridge to people being willing to keep trying to improve themselves, as they see effort makes a difference, or if not for them, at least their children.