Via a post by Hanna Dahlberg on the Störenfriedas blog, I found this wonderful Facebook status by a resident of Köln. Regina Schleheck was also at the main train station in the city that night, and also surrounded by a crowd of mostly North African or Arab-looking men, some of whom were obviously dead drunk. But what happened to her could hardly be more different than what took place in front of the cathedral. Here’s my translation of the relevant bits:
I’ve been watching the growing hype around the events at the main train station in Köln for the past three days. Yes, I was there. For about three hours. In the side near the Breslauer Platz. I can’t speak to what happened at the station square near the Cathedral. […] I was standing in the middle of a crowd of maybe 90 percent men of Arab origin. The platform entryways were closed off, because the platforms were overcrowded and some people had gotten onto the train tracks, so the DB [Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s public railway corporation] had stopped all trains.
Some of the men that I could see had drunk too much and were staggering. One sat completely overcome in a corner, and vomited. In Köln, during Carnival, drunkenness is much more common. Then people booze it up in hordes, holler, grope, urinate and puke, and those are mostly home-grown locals, just kicking up their heels.
The ones I saw that night were individuals, and they weren’t left alone. There were others who looked after them, and to whom that was apparently embarrassing. All the people around me acted calmly, patiently, and very caringly. I was there for hours and could not see a single assault taking place. The men around me — and there were very, very many — took great care not to get too close to me, in spite of the crowding. What’s more, they used their arms to protect me from all the bodies that were being shoved in on all sides. They were very friendly, were sorry about the situation, tried to intervene, asked where I was trying to get to, asked others who were standing further up if the train I needed was at the platform or being announced. They struck up conversations, telling me where they had come from, and what they were doing here, keeping the peace all the time.
Here, people often fly off the handle when there are a few people standing ahead of them at the checkout in the grocery store. Elsewhere, people are presumably used to quite different things. Naturally there were some exceptions at the train station. But I suspect that the number has been blown greatly out of proportion, because it fits in with prevailing fears. I experienced the situation quite differently.
Please take the reports seriously, but not the hysteria that’s currently making the rounds.
Please note that Frau Schleheck does NOT say she doesn’t believe the victims who came forward. Only that in this other part of the station, where she was, a very different atmosphere reigned. Here, the “foreign” men were very considerate, striking up friendly conversations, protecting her from being crowded and jostled. A few were visibly drunk, but none tried to assault her; their comrades were clearly embarrassed by the drunks (remember, Islam forbids drunkenness). Some even tried to help her get to her train in a station which was very crowded that night and from which no trains were running because some of the crowds had spilled over onto the tracks.
Three hours or so in a train station with a crowd that appeared to be 90% Arab or North African, and she wasn’t molested once. In fact, these nasty-wasty brown-skinned villains took it on themselves to protect her from that! A miracle? Or just basic human nature, asserting itself at its best?
Hey, all you racists and xenophobes out there, hate-reading this: I dare you to explain this one to me. And furthermore, I challenge you to do it without your usual ageism, which is just another outlet for your tired old sexism. Go on, enlighten me, you white, WHITE knights. And please, TRY to show signs of literacy.