Der Spiegel reports: It was April 16 when around 100 right-wing extremists marched through the small town of Nauen in the eastern German state of Brandenburg. Their message: “Nein zum Heim!” or “No to the Hostel!” They carried posters and German flags along with them. “Nauen Will Stay White!” read one. “Take Action!” read another.
One day later, employees of Mikado, a local youth center, found that the tires of the center’s minibus had been slashed. There was a note under the windshield wiper reading: “Dear asylum friends, Tröglitz is here too.” The reference was to an arson attack on a refugee shelter not two weeks before in the town of Tröglitz in the eastern state of Saxony.
Skip ahead to Monday night a week ago when a planned asylum hostel — to be established inside a high school gymnasium — was gutted by flames in Nauen, just outside Berlin. The fire occurred just a short time before the first refugees were scheduled to move in. On the Tuesday evening after the fire, a group of 300 assembled for a vigil amid the biting stench of the rubble. Local politician Roger Lewandowski, of the conservative Christian Democrats, pledged that town residents wouldn’t be cowed by the attack. “If you shrink in the face of such attacks, gymnasiums and hostels will soon be burning everywhere.”
The fire in Nauen was the 27th at a German refugee hostel since 2012 — and the fifth within a single week. [Continue reading…]