BERLIN (AP) — Twenty-three-year-old Leila, her husband and two small children spent their first week in Germany in a temporary shelter, an austere but desperately needed haven after a traumatic flight from Syria that began when her husband was told to fight for the government.
Among an expected 800,000 asylum seekers flowing into Germany this year — some four times last year’s count — she and her family shared a small room built in a converted covered tennis court in downtown Berlin during their first week in the country in August, furnished with three Ikea bunk beds, a small table and a small closet. They received three meals a day in a common room for the 300 refugees in the facility, and bathrooms were shared. ∞∞∞∞∞ MORE »»»»
Facebook will have to abide by German laws banning racist sentiment even if it might be allowed in the United States under freedom of speech, Justice Minister Heiko Maas said in an interview with Reuters.
Maas, who has accused Facebook of doing too little to thwart racist and hate posts on its social media platform, said that Germany has zero tolerance for such expression and expects the US-based company to be more vigilant. ∞∞∞∞∞ MORE »»»»
Germany is known for a strong state-level commitment to atoning for its Holocaust past, manifested through formal ceremonies, museums, and monuments. At the same time, in a seemingly growing trend, the extremist anti-Israel analogy of the Israeli government to the Nazi regime can often outweigh Germans’ Holocaust guilt.
Earlier this summer, a debate engulfed the German city of Munich over whether to embed the “Stolpersteine”—plaques naming Holocaust victims that are also known as “stumbling block” memorials—into street sidewalks. In July, Munich’s city council voted to ban the memorials due to complaints that stepping on such stones would be an insult to Holocaust victims. ∞∞∞∞∞ MORE »»»»
An argument over a Koran that erupted at a shelter in central Germany has led to violence in which 11 refugees and six police were injured.
Twenty people tried to lynch an Afghan man of 25 after he tore pages from the Koran and threw them in a toilet, according to reports in the town of Suhl. ∞∞∞∞∞ CLICK HERE FOR MORE »»»»
A total of 60 lawmakers in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 311-member conservative bloc voted against or abstained in a test ballot on Tuesday over a third bailout plan for Greece before the vote in parliament, participants told Reuters.
In what was nevertheless an important endorsement for Merkel, the test ballot showed there may be far fewer rebels in Wednesday’s vote from her bloc over the 86 billion-euro ($95 billion) package than feared. Bild newspaper had reported that up to 120 of her deputies would vote against it or abstain. ∞∞∞∞∞ MORE »»»»
Sixty-eight years ago, Felix and Feiga Bandos got married at the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, at the time a displaced persons camp in Allied-occupied Germany.
Last Thursday, at the ages of 94 and 90, respectively, they have made a new home in Israel across the street from their daughter, Marilyn Broder, in the heavily English-speaking settlement of Efrat. ∞∞∞∞∞ MORE »»»»
The United States is withdrawing its Patriot missile system deployed near Turkey’s border with Syria when its mandate expires in October.
A joint Turkish and U.S. announcement said Sunday that the air-defense units could be returned to Turkey within a week if the need arises. It said U.S. navy ships would be present in the Mediterranean to support Turkey’s defense. ∞∞∞∞∞ MORE »»»»
The German Defense Ministry said Thursday Iraqi Kurdish forces with attacked with chemical weapons launched by ISIS, according to AFP.
“We have indications that there was an attack with chemical weapons” against peshmerga forces now suffering from “respiratory irritation,” a ministry spokesman told AFP. ∞∞∞∞∞ MORE »»»»
PROSECUTORS dropped their treason investigation of two journalists yesterday, defusing a free-speech crisis at the heart of the German government.
Markus Beckedahl and Andre Meister, who had reported on secret plans to expand online surveillance in Germany, were notified via website Netzpolitik.org in July by its founder that they were under investigation, prompting widespread criticism from free-speech advocates. ∞∞∞∞∞ SEE MORE ∞∞∞∞∞
Berlin (AFP) – Germany took in a record number of immigrants last year amid growing tensions over the changing face of the nation, official statistics released Monday showed.
The number of newcomers in 2014 climbed to 10.9 million, the federal statistics office reported, as Europe’s top economy continues to outperform many of its neighbours.
Last year there were 16.4 million people of foreign origin living in Germany, or one in five residents. Most — 56 percent — have German citizenship. ∞∞∞∞∞ SEE MORE ∞∞∞∞∞