Racism in Germany
In Germany, a political row has broken out after a former government spokesman, Uwe-Karsten Heye, told a radio station that there are towns around the capital Berlin “where I would not advise anybody with a different skin colour to visit” during next month’s World Cup.
“They might not leave alive,” he added.
Mr Heye’s comments drew a sharply critical response from some politicians, but many papers agree with Mr Heye’s remarks.
The Berliner Zeitung defends the former government spokesman, who now heads an anti-racist group.
His warning was justified, it argues, because there are indeed “many centres of right-wing extremism” which “nobody can in all honesty recommend to a black African as a destination for an outing”.
Uwe-Karsten Heye told the truth according to Der Tagesspiegel
Mr Heye could have gone further by talking about the role of politicians, the judicial authorities and the media in fuelling xenophobia, it adds.
“But thanks to him at least the scandal of no-go areas for foreigners has finally become a political issue.”
Die Tageszeitung denounces criticism of Mr Heye – voiced by Brandenburg’s regional premier, Matthias Platzeck, and the state’s Interior Minister Joerg Schoenbohm – as “scandalous”.
The paper refers the two politicians to an official report, which listed 17 places in which extreme right-wing subcultures – which spontaneously go for foreigners, blacks and left-wingers – are active.”
According to the Frankfurter Rundschau, it is wrong to accuse Mr Heye of condemning entire regions.
If some of Germany’s regions carry a stigma, it is because of racist activities there, the paper argues.
“We shall gain recognition in the world if we courageously talk about and, if possible, resolve our problems – not by hypocritically criticising somebody who refuses to turn a blind eye.”