November 8, 2005


In Germany, a cautious sense that 'we don't have to fear this' (Richard Bernstein, 11/08/05, The New York Times)

"We also have youth violence problems in Germany, but we haven't experienced cases of the dimensions of the blind violence that's taking place in France at the moment," Norbert Seitz, director of the German Forum for Crime Prevention, a private information center, said in an interview.

"From my point of view, we don't have to fear this in Germany," he said, citing the efforts of state and local governments and the police to create youth services and activities and to build relations with immigrant groups.

Wolfgang Schäuble, a conservative member of Parliament scheduled to become interior minister of Germany, said: "The conditions in France are different from the ones we have. We don't have these gigantic high-rise projects that they have on the edges of French cities." [...]

In general, Europe, which has never developed an immigration culture, seems to have been less successful than the United States at integrating foreign communities and giving them a stake in a new national identity.

And, at the same time, immigrant communities themselves have been less eager than traditional immigrants to the United States to take on a new identity, continuing to adhere to their traditional identities, languages and customs.

Many analysts and community leaders in Germany and other countries said that France's problems with disaffected, violence-prone young people are both bigger and deeper than the problems of most other European countries.

And so, if there was a consensus view about the prospect of large-scale copycat violence elsewhere in Europe, it was: Probably not right away, but it could happen in the future.

Imagine screwing up your nation so badly that the Germans can look down at you?

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 8, 2005 5:50 PM

In Europe it has always been about invasion not immigration. Sad to say but What's new?

Posted by: Luciferous at November 8, 2005 6:17 PM