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29 Aug, 2023 15:42

Sharp rise in attacks on LGBTQ in Berlin – media

Owner of a gay club in the German capital has reported an uptick in hate crimes amid plans to open a migrant shelter across street
Sharp rise in attacks on LGBTQ in Berlin – media

Berlin has seen a spike in the number of attacks on LGBTQ persons at the hands of migrants recently, the owner of a gay club has claimed, as reported by Bild. The woman cited the alleged trend while also criticizing authorities’ plans to open a shelter for hundreds of newcomers from Muslim-majority countries next to her establishment.

Bild’s report on Saturday quoted an open letter to Mayor of Berlin Kai Wegner from Carla Pahlau, the owner of ‘Busche’ club, who warned that “over the past months the number of offenses against homosexual people increased enormously.” She claimed that the “predominant number of offenders are migrants with Muslim background.”  

Pahlau expressed concern for the safety of her club’s patrons should the city go ahead with its plan to establish a shelter across the street from her club for up to 650 migrants from Türkiye, Syria and Afghanistan. 

She fears conflicts between the club’s patrons and the newcomers, in which case ‘Busche’ will “no longer be able to exist,” according to the Bild report.  

Members of Berlin’s legislature from the opposition Christian Democratic Party, Kurt Wansner and Timur Husein, told Bild they sided with the club owner in her criticism of the plans for a migrant shelter. The lawmakers describe the city authorities’ choice of location as a “catastrophe,” adding that the arrival of hundreds of migrants into an already crime-ridden area is bound to further aggravate matters.  

In contrast, Vice-Mayor Oliver Noll, representing the Left party, insisted that the local residents and the soon-to-arrive migrants “will have to get used to each other.”  

A member of Olaf Scholz’ Social Democratic Party told the media outlet that she saw no problem either, arguing that social workers should be able to successfully adjust the newcomers to their new surroundings.

In May, German Labor Minister Hubertus Heil told the Financial Times that, in order to offset workforce shortages, the country was going to drastically ease entry and citizenship requirements for foreign workers.  

The official said, among other things, that Berlin would introduce its own ‘Green Card’ and allow non-nationals to apply for citizenship after as little as three years’ residency, with a longstanding ban on dual citizenship also being lifted.