European Migrant Crisis: The Worm Is Squirming

PolitiChicks.comEven as Angela Merkel is inviting more refugees to come in, refugee camps are being torched and random Muslims attacked in the street. About 10,000 migrants are arriving in Germany every day. In view of the changed naturalization laws and universal social and medical care, most intend to stay. They are refusing assimilation, refusing medical care from female staff, even turning down the food they are provided for free. As one of the thousands of fighting-age Muslims said: “Give me my money! I want my money to buy what I want!” The money he speaks about is the 3000 Euros of German taxpayer’s pay into the treasury, which has to pay approx. 11 Billion Euros for the refugees this year, mainly for free medical care and shelter. A refugee summit held by the German parliament in July budgeted 5.6 billion euros for an expected 450,000 asylum applications this year. In light of the recent mass influx, however, Germany is now expecting to take in some 800,000 by the end of December.

Processing and administrative fees, accommodation, meals, pocket money, health costs… are part and parcel of this deal, which majority of German citizens rejects. Both Social Democrats and Conservatives warn against the “suction effect,” such as when A. Merkel decided to accept thousands of migrants who were “stranded” in Hungary. Germany is 70% Christian (slightly more Catholic than Protestant), the rest are atheist. I wonder whether atheists are actually more accepting of a fundamentalist religion like Islam, which makes no distinction between religion and state (theocracy)… and, yet, they too have seen the hordes of young Muslim men shout: “Allah Akhbar!” in front of the train in Hungary. When Hungary attempted to closed the border, they threw stones at the police…

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They are called “migrants” by the local European peoples because they think these “migrants” do not intend to stay. The notion of a “migrant” is deep rooted there – while that of an “immigrant” is virtually unknown (unlike an “emigrant” – someone who ran away from oppression). Many other wars have striven Germany and Austria since the Muslim siege of Vienna in 1526 and then again in 1683. Even before, there were wars and migrants though. All children across Europe are taught about the “Great Migration” or “Migration of the Nations.” I believe it was in the third or fourth grade in elementary school that we had to memorize the weird-sounding names of Goths, Vandals, Lombards, Angels and Saxons who settled the east, central, then westernmost parts of Europe. Later, the Huns, Avars and Slavs came, in constant strife and struggle among themselves as well as against the Moors, Turks and Mongol tribes, always viewed as (our) enemies…

It was the fall of the Roman Empire resulted in splintering and national uprisings. Every time an empire falls, there is a search for separate cultural identity among the many peoples who were part of it. It happened again with the death of Charlemagne and again with the demise of the Habsburg Empire. Now, it seems, European Union is in danger of disintegration. The Ottoman expansion, which lasted for centuries, survives in history books and the minds of school children and only political correctness of the United Nations prevents local politicians of expressing their justified fear of what might happen, of what is happening…

German immigration and naturalization laws were greatly relaxed in 2000 – prior to 2000, nationality was based entirely on jus sanguinis (blood relationship); today, children born on or after 1 January 2000 to non-German parents acquire German citizenship at birth if at least one parent has a permanent residence permit and has had this status for at least three years and was residing in Germany for at least eight years. Further, since 2006, Germany has a National Integration Plan and Charter of Diversity. This year, the total influx of Syrian, Eritrean, Afghan and other immigrants to Germany is about 1% of German population (800,000), nearly three times as many as during the crisis in Yugoslavia.

Turkish people (not very well distinguishable from and certainly sympathetic to the current illegal immigrants) have lived and worked in Germany for years. Yet, they have never fully assimilated. Native Germans still complain that they “stink” (smell differently) and do not know what “hard work is.” They had started coming to West Germany during the 1960s and 70s, the so-called “Economic Miracle” years. Just as some argue that we need laborers from Mexico, Germany had been in need of factory workers. Many of the Turkish citizens did not want to become German citizens and would send money home and return to Turkey even after they had relocated their families to Germany, for vacation and to maintain their properties there.

It has been a while since I lived in Germany. It was nearby Frankfurt, a small village, streets so neat and clean you could eat from them. The whole village looked like a beautiful colorful congregation of gingerbread cottages. The houses were so well-kept and maintained that I felt an instant need to touch the façade, the way you touch clothes in a store: what a shock compared to where I came from, cold, gray, dark and dilapidated communism. Some houses here even had colored gravel, pink, blue, yellow…

Inside, every household had 6 color-coded trashcans (paper, plastic, cans, glass, wood, garden waste) and every day its precise clockwork order. My friend Karl, son of my mother’s friend, who had emigrated to Germany shortly after the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1969, invited me to his room. His father was German and he, of course, likewise.

A guitar was hanging on the wall, a poster of some pop-music group was taped to the door, clothes over the couch… a typical realm of a typical teenager. After a while of getting to know each other, he reached on his desk, shoving off another book, and showed me a neat leather copy of Mein Kampf. He was grasping it like I would an Anthology of American Literature or the Bible itself.

Of course, Mein Kampf was banned in Germany at the time. Still, everyone had one at home, he said, although they would not talk about it in public. I was unimpressed. It is a very poor book and has never been praised for its intellectual or spiritual qualities. However, simply the fact that it was banned was enough for people to get it. It must have more of a symbolic meaning… that of guilt and expiation, as Karl Jaspers would say.

I did not think twice about it, but it was probably a mistake. In two days, we drove to Nuremberg with his father who was looking for a particular store to buy wood from for his business. We were slowly passing by an old building which resembled a castle. I asked about it. Silence. Karl turned to me with the index finger on his lips. I blushed. Whatever conversation we had had in the car till then, was suddenly over.

Later, when his father left the truck, he explained to me that we had just passed by the “Palace of Justice” and that no Germans speak about it out loud. I felt like I made a faux pas, but could not take it back. I asked no more, but it was made clear to me that anything concerning World War II and Hitler was a conversational taboo with the Germans.

All this is swallowed with a timid smile. It has the cold, bitter taste of Octoberfest beer. “Better drink and forget,” locals say. Deep within, the proverbial worm is squirming but has not “turned” yet. “When” is the question, I believe, not “if” it does…

Dr. Sarah Condor

Sarah P. Condor-Fisher, Ph.D., Esq., LL.M. grew up in communist Czechoslovakia. When she was 17, she was apprehended crossing the border, cross-interrogated by the Secret Police (KGB) and jailed. She studied MA in philosophy at University College London, she holds BA and MA in English and Ph.D. in American Literature and Literary Criticism. She is also a practicing California attorney with her own law firm. Dr. Condor-Fisher published over 50 books of non-fiction, fiction and poetry. She is also a former Olympic swimmer, USMS National Breaststroke Champion, Miss World and Miss USA in natural bodybuilding (INBA).

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