Federal Social Affairs Minister Katarina Barley (SPD) sharply criticized the decision of the board: “To exclude a group outright, does not fit the basic values of a solidarity community,” she said on Friday. “Needs must be the measure, not the passport.”
Barley, whose father was a British-born journalist, has for long only held only held British citizenship.
The North Rhine-Westphalian Social Minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) echoed her comments. “Charity and mercy do not know nationalities,” he warned.
The leader of the Left Party in the Bundestag, Sahra Wagenknecht, warned against distribution fights in Germany. In 2015, the federal government decided to “take in a lot of people, and they did not care in any way about the consequences of what they were doing at the expense of the poorest of the poor”.
She said it would be better, “instead of the fact that now the Essen food bank is also scolded by the Federal Government, that they should be thinking about why so many retirees have to eat today at the charity,” she told Deutschlandfunk on Saturday.
Earlier, the chairman of the Essen food bank, Jörg Sator, defended his decision on the online portal t-online. “At the moment Berlin is creating hell for me, for the federal association. I’m supposed to take that back, because of the sponsors and stuff. But this is a December board decision after we talked about it for months.”
He is a realist, stressed the 61 year old. “I do not tell lies to paint a pretty picture. No one said ‘foreigners out’, but we said we have no more places for foreigners right now. At the moment, only at the moment”.
Subsequently, the Federal Chairman of the board, Jochen Brühl, showed understanding for the decision of the Essen board to accept only Germans as new customers.
Since asylum seekers and immigrants have made up 75 percent of the visitors, the association decided to take this step, chairman Sator said to justify the measure. “We want the German grandmother to come to us as well.” In the past two years, the older people and single mothers have fallen victim to a creeping “repressive process”.
Sartor denounced the “repression process”, and seeing the recklessness and disrespect of women and and the aged, he decided to pull the emergency brake to protect the weakest.
But he is being hounded by the left as “dreadful”, “inhuman”, and carrying out “Nazi practices”.
Even the Berlin Secretary of State Sawsan Chebli intervened: “Eating only for Germans” has “sent shivers down her spine”. Chebli is a member of the Permanent Advisory Council, which is composed of the sixteen envoys of Germany’s federal states.
In an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in 2016, Chebli welcomed Sharia Law in Germany, saying, “it primarily deals with the personal relationship between God and humans. It addresses things like prayer, fasting and alms. That presents no problems for me as a democrat; it is absolutely compatible [with democracy].”
Chebli has also denounced the AfD, telling Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: “My father is a pious Muslim, hardly speaks German, can neither read nor write, but he is more integrated than many functionaries of the AfD who question our constitution.”
Meanwhile the site and vehicles of the food bank have been vandalized.
— Elizabeth Schumacher (@ElizSchumacher) February 25, 2018