12 May 2016

'The perpetrators on NYE in Cologne were Islamists'

Germany's most prominent feminist, Alice Schwarzer deals with the sex assaults in Cologne on December 31 in a new book. She tells DW why she uses a term usually reserved to a political ideology to describe the offenders

Alice Schwarzer: That night wasn't just a shock for me. People all over the world saw it as a turning point. For the first time since the end of World War II, women were victims of organized mass sexual violence in the heart of Europe. So far, 627 women have pressed charges.

That night, the area in front of the main train station was extralegal territory for hours, and the police did nothing. So we're not looking at slip-ups by individuals, but a demonstration of power by a group of like-minded people.

The book starts with a reconstruction of New Year's Eve. Among others, you quote the Vosen family that gets hemmed in by the throng of men in the train station building, where the mother and daughter are aggressively fondled. Later, when they describe the men as "being of North African or Arab origin," they are called racist. [Deutsche Welle] Read more