“You often experience insults, threatening rape of your mother,” said swimming champion Vladimir Chetverik during a panel discussion in Düsseldorf, the Bild newspaper reported.
Chetverik is regularly threatened with words like, “I’ll kill you” or “I’ll set you on fire”.
In the Rheinbad, which had to be cleared several times in the past weeks due to migrant violence, there has been no problem with too many people. Rather, the problem is that there are “too many of the groups that cause us problems” present. Bans have not benefitted the clientele, Chetverik pointed out. “They climb over the fence or are simply not stopped at the cash register.”
During the discussion under the title “Value Dialogue”, a visitor to the outdoor pool, Knut Wesselmann, also had a say. The man was described by Deutschlandfunk as an older man in the second half of his life who had reported an incident in the pool, which he experienced as an eyewitness.
“I saw it, I was ten meters away when a group of 60 to 70 Black Africans ran here and finally the altercation,” Wesselmann said. For him this had been a threatening situation. His wife then said to him: “Let’s leave the Rheinbad immediately, because it is starting here now.”
Since June, there were repeated riots in the outdoor pool. The perpetrators were overwhelmingly foreigners. The pool had to be cleared several times. The city of Düsseldorf has imposed an identity card in an effort to stop the attacks at their pools.
The personal experience of the lifeguard and the pool visitors are completely contrary to a report by the ARD magazine Monitor. In this mainstream report, the head of the magazine, Georg Restle denied that the attacks were from migrants. It was rather a “youth” issue, a visitor is quoted as saying. A connection with migrants allegedly “could not be established”.
Düsseldorf Mayor Thomas Geisel (SPD) emphasized in the broadcast that the incidents had nothing to do with organised crime. Rather, these riots were “lively pool activities”, which now serves in cooking up an “unappetizing German national soup”.
The German Association of Journalists (DJV) has meanwhile rejected the proposal of the Integration Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Joachim Stamp (FDP), to always mention the origin of offenders. The association believes that the mention of the ethnic origin of criminal suspects and offenders in the media remain the exception and should not become the rule, said the DJV.
“Nobody who sees hate and prejudices as essential elements of the social discussion would thus be discriminated against – on the contrary,” warned DJV President Frank Überall. In addition, it is absurd to announce the ethnic origin of offenders in any case. “Should we report to journalists in the future that a Bavarian was caught in the shoplifting and a man from Hesse has caused a serious traffic accident in a drunken state? Who really wants to know that?”
It should be noted that the mention of the origin could is also a “prejudice against minorities,” he added.
Joachim Stamp had previously suggested naming the origin of perpetrators. Otherwise, Internet users would start speculating in the comment sections about a possible migration background of the offender, Stamp said. He explained his reasoning to the regional daily, the Rheinische Post. However, he did not want to make any specifications. The question of when the origin is cited, should be regulated by the press code, he clarified.
Only two years ago, the German Press Council had changed its provisions. Instead of a “justifiable non-material reference”, a “justified public interest” now serves as a guideline for the nomination. The new guideline protects people from being “publicly arrested for the misconduct of individual members of their group”.