“A Time to Make Friends” (II)

BERLIN (Own report) – With last weekend’s arson attack on a refugee home, the bombing attempt on a supporter of refugees and the siege of a refugee hostel by a hostile mob of locals, Germany’s recent wave of racist violence has taken on a new quality. It is only fortunate that no one was murdered in these recent attacks. At the same time, attacks on refugee housing are becoming dramatically more frequent. Already during the first half of 2015, the number of attacks has reached that of the entire year of 2014. For years, observers have been warning that initiatives against refugee hostels are firmly taking root locally and are increasing their abilities to mobilize. The political establishment and the media have regularly provided legitimization to the anti-refugee campaign, using racist clichés, for example, in the debate around the SPD politician Thilo Sarrazin’s publications or with their derogatory insinuations about migrants. Last winter, the campaign against refugees was mobilizing tens of thousands for the “Pegida” street demonstrations. Moreover, in spite of the escalation of anti-refugee violence, the slander continues.

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Neutral and Non-Partisan

BERLIN/NIENBURG AN DER WESER (Own report) – The German Red Cross (DRK) and the German Bundeswehr have entered an unprecedented cooperation agreement. The so-called Future Pact foresees the direct integration of the DRK into the “Civil-Military Cooperation Center” of the German military located in Nienburg in Lower Saxony. The relief organization will also maintain a “permanent liaison office” and participate both in the planning and execution of combat operations. Back in 2003, the DRK explicitly committed itself to “cooperate” in military missions. In 2008, a federal law stipulated that the primary “task” of the relief organization was to “support the Bundeswehr’s medical service.” Since 2009, the DRK has maintained its own “representative for civil-military cooperation.” Since last year, this cooperation has been exercised within the framework of the “Joint Cooperation” maneuvers, which are explicitly aimed at the implementation of the “network” of the military and relief organizations, to be applied in foreign missions in civil war regions.

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