How and Why did the give rise to xenophobic violence against foreigners and Jews in the 1990s?

· Topic: How and Why did the give rise to xenophobic violence against foreigners and
Jews in the 1990s?
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German Reunification
The Berlin Wall was constructed in 1961 to prevent a mass migration from the eastern,
socialist faction of separated Germany to the more prosperous west. As the nation was on the
edge of monetary and social breakdown, the East German government consequently settled on
the choice to close the whole border, and raised the divider short-term, on 13 August 1961. It
was frequently alluded to by eastern specialists as the anti-fascist boundary, to shield East
Germans from the west.
With the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, Germany was able to overcome
the East and West division and achieve its reunification on October 3, 1990. The day the wall fell
everyone cheered and residents on the two sides praised the great unification of Berlin. This
festival was brought to an end as they learned of the apparent multitude of confusions combining
two nations, with contradicting political philosophies, can bring. The East Germans before long
started to miss their “communist” everyday life subsequent to enduring many occupation
misfortunes and being constrained into changing different parts of their life. Beside the monetary
and political impacts, the residents of East Germany started to see their way of life start to blur.
They needed to surrender all the East German items they had gotten so acclimated with, and
could just locate the industrialist West items available. They censured the entrepreneur West for
their difficulties.
The impacts of reunifying left the residents loathing one another. The East Germans were
of the opinion that their loss of occupations, and culture could be because of the eager capitalist
West. All while the West Germans disliked the East for bringing their issues and hindering the
economy. In spite of the two residents from the East and West being eager to reunify, the two of
them started to miss the existence they had previously and despise each other for the changes.
There was a flood in extreme right youth activism, which prompted an expansion in bigoted
brutality. A portion of the most pessimistic scenarios of extreme right brutality encompassed the
1992 xenophobic riots of Rostock-Lichtenhagen, where thousands tossed molotov mixed drinks
at a refugee’s home in the midst of bigoted serenades while local people praised. That followed
two pyro-crime assaults on Turkish homes in which eight individuals lost their lives and a lot
more were harmed.
Berlin, political center
Berlin was already designated the capital of united Germany in the same 1990
Unification Treaty. On June 20, 1991, the German Bundestag also decided to move the seat of
the Government and Parliament from Bonn – capital of the Federal Republic of Germany from
1949– to Berlin. Since relocation in 1999, Germany once again has a vibrant political center in
Berlin, comparable to the metropolises of the large neighboring European countries. This is
symbolized by, in addition to the remodeled Reichstag building, the Federal Chancellery and the
Brandenburg Gate, which, open to passage, represents the overcoming of division. At some point
it was feared that the transfer of the government to Berlin could become the expression of a new
German “megalomania”. Those fears turned out to be unfounded. On the contrary, the German
unity was the trigger to overcome the division of Europe between East and West. Germany has
indeed played a pioneering role in the political and economic integration of the continent. And it
has done so by renouncing one of the most important instruments and symbols of the unification
process, the German mark, to create a European monetary space, the so-called Eurozone, which
would not exist without Germany. Likewise, despite their attention being absorbed by the
unification process, since 1990 the different Federal Governments have never lost sight of
European integration, which resulted in the Lisbon Process.
Germanness and How its influence on reunification and Xenophobia
After the completion of the reunification process, on October 3, 1990, the Federal
Republic of Germany came under its current constitution, also known as the Basic Law, which
protects the basic principles of the rule of law. Against this background, Germany is posited as a
democratic, sovereign and autonomous state that represents both the interests of a nation and the
needs of the German people. In addition to this, the security of the German nation is guaranteed
as a fundamental principle under democratic participation. This new scenario implied the
recognition of a series of precepts, such as: private property, competition, the free establishment
of prices, the free mobility of workers, goods and capital, in addition to a social security system
based on them. Also, the law that reconstituted the Länder (federal states) was introduced. This
act was carried out by the Parliament of the German Democratic Republic. The reunification
process gave rise to a permanent dialogue between the two separate German parties, with the
main objective of building German Unity, obeying a State of Peace in which the German people
can enjoy free self-determination. In this way, the population of the GDR and the FRG claimed
their self-determination and therefore their rights of participation, in relation to the internal and
external affairs of their country; this is how Germans began to trust democracy (Abbasiharofteh
& Broekel, 87-90).
However, this same democracy began to embrace far-right political parties, such as the
National Democratic Party (NPD), and the German People’s Union (DVU). These two parties
have political legitimacy, that is, they are in force and participate in the current German political
scene. However, most Germans recognize that these political parties have an ultra-nationalist
discourse. Despite the failed attempts to end these parties, their national discourse continues to
be welcomed, of course by a small part of the German population. It should be noted that a
national discourse, according to various political theorists, is the word that is justified by a
discourse, which comes from a far-right party and reaches the members of that party through
patriotic sentiments. On the other hand, a patriotic thought evokes a love for the country. The
complexity of relating a patriotic sentiment and an ultra-right speech is in the character of
fascism; therefore, the problem has its origins in fascism. Scholars recognize fascism as a
totalitarian political and social movement. Based on the ideas outlined above, the problem is not
a national or patriotic discourse, the main deficiency is that the discourse of these German
political parties contains a far-right background, which can develop and in the worst case justify,
either a xenophobic behavior or action; as can be a persecution of a minority, as are foreigners in
the new German districts, compared to foreigners in the old states (Annex 3). In this context,
xenophobia develops as a form of prejudice towards emigrants from a host country.
Consequently, it can be established that the cases of persecution of foreigners in the new German
districts is a factor that originates from the shortcomings that modern societies present under the
phenomenon of migrations (Lewicki, 496-512).
Guest Worker Rise
The Inflow of migrants with non-German lineage started in a genuine manner in the last
half of the 1950s. Because of a work deficiency incited by monetary recuperation, Germany
signed a two-sided enrollment arrangement, with Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Portugal, and
Yugoslavia. The center of these arrangements incorporated the enlistment of Gastarbeiter (guest
workers), solely in the mechanical area, for occupations that required few capabilities. In theory,
male travelers entered Germany for a time of one to two years and were then obligated to get
back to their home country in order to account for other visitor laborers. This strategy had a
twofold reasoning: forestalling settlement and presenting industrial work to as many guest works
as possible from sending nations. In 1960, the quantity of foreigners previously remained at
686,000, or 1.2 percent of the all out German populace. By then, the main nation of inception
was Italy.
After the development of the Berlin Wall in 1961 and the subsequent decrease of the
quantity of German travelers from the GDR, West Germany heightened its enrollment of guest
workers. Up until 1973, when enrollment was stopped, foreigners expanded in both numbers and
their percentage in the workforce.
Simultaneously, the prevailing source nations likewise changed. The quantity of
foreigners added up to 4,000,000, and a lot of the populace arrived at 6.7 percent of Germany’s
absolute populace. Some 2.6 million outsiders were utilized — a level which has not been seen
from that point forward. By 1973, Italy was no longer the dominant producer of guest workers,
tbut instead Turkey, which represented 23 percent.
Stoppage of Guest Workers
The interest for foreigb laborers tumbled off in 1973, when Germany entered a time of
monetary downturn. The public authority announced a prohibition on the enlistment of foreign
specialists, and started to grapple with how to manage the expanding number of outsiders in the
nation. An enormous extent of prior guest laborers had just obtained residence grants of a more
drawn out or permanent span.
While numerous foreign laborers were leaving, elevated levels of movement continued
because of family reunification of the foreign workers that remained. The quantity of foreigners
subsequently remained steady all through the 1980s. The workforce for settlers, notwithstanding,
diminished. By 1992, a developing portion of the foreign populace was being conceived in
Germany, the supposed second era. Not at all like in the United States and somewhere else, these
children were not acknowledged as German citizens upon entering the world and were treated as
outsiders from a lawful perspective.
Hoyerswerda Riots
The Hoyerswerda riot is a skeleton in the closet of German consciousness, the reverse of
Reunification that many are struggling not to see. The name of the municipality has become,
unfortunately for many of its inhabitants, a synonym for the first pogrom of post-war Germany.
Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, this Saxon municipality had 71,000 inhabitants, had the
highest birth rate in the entire German Democratic Republic and was an attractive city for young
families: north of the town, in the town of Spremberg, there is “Schwarze Pumpe”, a 680 hectare
lignite processing center and a glass factory that offered abundant work to the population. The
fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the immediate disintegration of the GDR changed all that.
The “flourishing landscapes” promised by Chancellor Helmut Kohl to the East Germans were
nowhere to be found; the obsolete industry of the GDR was dismantled; Unemployment, which
the official GDR bureaucracy had hidden for decades by making up the figures, not only
surfaced, but also increased to reach percentages of over 20%.
Thousands of people became unemployed without prospects in a matter of months and,
shortly after, recipients of state social assistance; the most prepared young people left their cities
to emigrate to West Germany or even abroad. All this was happening in Germany, a country that,
even today, continues to project a misleading image of economic, political and social stability.
Hoyerswerda’s demographics took a 180 degree turn: the average age of its citizens aged to 50
years and, although several neighboring towns joined Hoyerswerda between 1993 and 1998, the
municipality continues to lose population year after year. (Brady & Biegert, 123-145).
The Hoyerswerda events began on September 17, 1991, when a group of neo-Nazis
attacked a group of Vietnamese street vendors in the afternoon. When the police intervened to
put an end to the attack, the neo-Nazis moved to a hotel where Mozambican workers were
staying. The GDR offered asylum to many workers that were governed by the socialist
FRELIMO (Mozambique Liberation Front), In the following three nights, several attacks were
recorded against immigrants and their homes. In the fourth, the center for political refugees
burned. As the refugees fled the center, fleeing the flames, they were greeted by groups of
neo-Nazis who beat them, while a much larger group of residents of Hoyerswerda watched and
applauded the scene.
Thirty-two people were injured in the riots, but only three convictions were issued by
German courts in subsequent court proceedings. The police officers, mostly from the former
Volkspolizei of the GDR, were ill-equipped and ill-trained except in some countries, the eastern
bloc police officers were not properly trained to contain riots and their Western colleagues who
came. According to all accounts, to reinforce the police units they attended this and other riots
with racist motivations as mere spectators.
In the city of Hoyerswerda, the presence of little quantities of foreigners packed in the
thickly populated Neustadt area prompted social clashes, fundamentally between the foreigners
and their neighbors. Miniature clashes among Germans and foreigners had happened during the
1980s, however bigger clashes were stifled until after the East German state fell. During the
1990s, Eastern Germans’ disappointment with foreigners could be communicated considerably
more openly. On the other hand, the foreigners’ perspectives about the social acts of their
German neighbors did not turn into the subject of political clashes and paper announcements,
because of their much more fragile social and political position.
The fundamental grievance by Germans in Hoyerswerda concerned late night
commotion, trash, and crazy driving by foreigners; more grievances concerned sexual relations
between immigrant men and German young ladies. The immigrant workers and asylum seekers
were housed in gatherings of more than 100, which numerous Germans discovered hostile,
undermining, or vast. A few Germans lived in a similar twelve story high rise involved by the
immigrant laborers, and numerous others lived in connecting or promptly neighboring structures.
Clashes over commotion were exacerbated by the Germans’ day work plans, while numerous
immigrant workers worked late nights and the asylum seekers had a lot of leisure time since they
were not allowed to work by any means. (Karapin, 155)
Rostock-Lichtenhagen Riots
Almost a year later, in August 1992, events were repeated in the Lichtenhagen
neighborhood of Rostock, the capital of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. In Lichtenhagen, the
Central Asylum for Refugees of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (ZAst) is housed in an
eleven-storey Plattenbau popularly known for the decoration of its façade as “the house of
sunflowers” (Sonnenblumenhaus). , where the petitioners stay until their application is managed
by the state. The disintegration of the GDR left the ZAst abandoned to its fate: the transition of
the regime and the lack of civil servants –among the purified, the dismissed, and the vacant
positions– caused many petitions to accumulate without solution, contributing to the
overcrowding and poor conditions of the center, so the immigrants were forced to camp at the
entrance of the building. The riots began shortly after a group of young fascists gathered on the
night of August 22-23 in front of the building days before they had already come to the place in
search of a fight – and began to throw stones at the encamped. When they sought refuge inside
the building, the windows became their next target. The police were not long in making an
appearance, but withdrew when calm seemed to return, which was used by the neo-Nazis, who
had already reached 300 in number, to attack the center again. That same night Rostock
requested reinforcement agents from Hamburg, Kiel and Lübeck, in addition to surveillance with
helicopters, to try to contain, without success, the racist violence.
On August 24, the immigrants were evacuated in the morning, but the adjoining building,
where 115 Vietnamese lived, was not, because Germans also lived there, which was thought to
stop the fascist attacks. But on the night of August 24-25, this housing block was attacked not
only with stones, but also with Molotov cocktails, by a crowd of between 400 and 500
neo-Nazis. After setting fire to the ground floors, they managed to force the entrance of the
building and destroy the houses on the first floors. The very entrance of the building was doused
with gasoline and set on fire, while a group of fascists stood guard at the door armed with
baseball bats and shouting “We are going to get you, we are going to burn you all alive!” (“Wir
kriegen Euch alle, jetzt werdet ihr geröstet!”). The Vietnamese, a ZDF television team and some
tenants had to go up to the roof to take refuge, from where they called the police and firefighters
– who took more than an hour to reach the place while they saw their modest homes reduced to
ashes. The last night, from August 24 to 25, was limited to clashes between the neo-Nazis and
the police since the ZAst was, although empty, heavily guarded – in which a police armored
vehicle was set on fire and in which 2,050 officers participated. police and 2,000 neo-Nazis
(when the media reported on the previous nights’ attacks, groups of neo-Nazis from across the
country, especially from Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, flocked to Rostock to
participate in the riots).
Solingen Arson
During the early morning of May 30, 1993, the home of the Genc family, of Turkish
origin, completely caught fire. The building located at 81 Unteren Wernerstrasse Street, in the
center of the city, was turned into rubble. One of the victims died while jumping from the upper
deck, trying to escape the flames. The others died from suffocation; their bodies were found
burned. Eight more people were severely burned. Four young people between 18 and 25 years of
age were the authors of the arson. Since then, the name Solingen, has become synonymous with
hostility against foreigners and racist violence.
The incident plunged German society into confusion and shame, not knowing what steps
to take to curb xenophobic crimes that seemed to be on the rise. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall
in November 1989, Germany, like the rest of Europe, has become the recipient of massive
immigration. An average of 200,000 refugees and immigrants entered the country each year.
Most had to depend on social security, which, together with existing unemployment, which was
also increasing, led to a resurgence of racism and xenophobia. Of the 7.3 million foreigners
residing in Germany, the majority are of Turkish nationality. Many have not fully integrated into
German society, they do not even speak German, which makes them particularly vulnerable to
xenophobic attacks (Ellis, 65-99).
In the city of Solingen, the number of Turkish shops, travel agencies and restaurants give
an idea of the strong Turkish community. Of the 170,000 inhabitants, one in five is Turkish and
many of them belong to the third generation. Most came to work in the famous stainless steel
cookware factories. Here is the Mecca of industry. Knives from Solingen, whose tradition dates
back to the 14th century, are world renowned for their high quality. However, after the tragic
incident, a civil movement emerged in the city in western Germany, declaring war on racism and
hostility against foreigners. Schools, Associations and civil initiatives were precursors of a great
mobilization against hatred of foreigners.
Better integration
Integration and language preparing plans have been acquainted with assisting migrants
acclimatize better into German culture, yet these have little effect on the issues, as anti minority
foreigner developments become stronger. The extremist National Democratic Party has been
picking up support in standard legislative issues.
This presents a significant test to the German government, which needs to address the
issues of bigotry and anti minority inclination, while simultaneously recognizing that Germany
will require expanded quantities of settlers later on because of its changing segment profile and
the requirement for additional working-age individuals in the workforce.
Finally, it can be established that the German reunification process did create a favorable
environment for the increase of xenophobia in the new states, due to the problems that the social
reality of eastern Germany reflects. The German reunification process brought about changes in
the political, economic, social, and cultural structure. It is being the economic and social aspects
the most relevant in the analysis of the development of xenophobia. The late entry into
capitalism caused unemployment in the New States to rise and wages to fall, while the standard
of living fell, and poverty increased. This precarious situation destabilizes the system and
encourages the formation of a xenophobic thought. Social dissatisfaction with the established
system increases more and more, and causes the New States to become a zone of greater
influence of the groups and parties of the extreme right; who incite an ultra-right and nationalist
discourse; which can lead to violent xenophobic actions. Finally, xenophobia has developed in
the New German States, and this is reflected in the increasing violent acts towards foreigners.

Effects on the Citizens

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recently received a lot of attention from researchers. Empirical studies have shown that
different types of proximities and network structural properties play a decisive role in tie
formation. The present paper contributes to this literature by arguing that while these are
crucial, they do not capture the full range of localities’ influence on the evolution of
knowledge networks. We support our argument with an empirical study on the
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