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“The German Refugee “Crisis” after Cologne: The Race of Refugee Rights.” English Language Notes, vol. 54, no. 2, Fall/Winter 2016, pp. 77-92.

The German Refugee “Crisis
after Cologne: The Race of
Refugee Rights1
Beverly Weber
n early January 2016, violence at the Cologne train station on New Year’s Eve drew
tremendous attention from the German and international public. Over one thousand men
reportedly descended on the central train station, in a convergence initially thought to
be spurred by social media calls. Widespread theft and groping were reported to the police,
with several white German women recounting being surrounded by groups of men described
as looking “North African” or “Arab.” A few weeks later, the German parliament held a
parliamentary debate entitled “Konsequenzen aus der Ereignissen von Köln und anderen
Großstädten in der Silvesternacht” [Consequences of the Events in Cologne and other Large
Cities on New Year’s Eve].
This parliamentary debate constitutes a unique moment in the discursive construction and
representation of immigrants and refugees in Germany today. Despite the extremity of the
reaction to these events on the part of populist radical right groups, as well as the con-
tradictory and conflicted media response, nearly all of the speakers during the parliamen-
tary debate cautioned against rhetoric that would reductively identify all (male) refugees as
sexual perpetrators; many parliamentarians also highlighted the importance of recognizing
neo-Nazi “hooligans” and other perpetrators of right violence as equal threats to public
space. This effort to frame the debate in a non-racist way provides a marked contrast to the
language and debates informing recent German engagements with race, refugees, and immi-
gration, such as the headscarf debates of the early 2000s, which often imagined Muslim
men in particular as inherently violent.
At the same time, a remarkable unity occurred across the political spectrum on the question
of how the government might respond to the New Year’s eve events in Cologne, reifying
tired tropes of a public threatened by dangerous Muslim men. Most notably, the speakers
during this debate almost uniformly called for an increased police presence; some addition-
ally called for additional numbers of workers to process asylum claims. Accompanying this
unity was a glaring refusal to discuss the major changes to asylum procedures announced
publicly by the ruling coalition the previous day. This preliminary agreement, later called
Asylverfahren Paket II (Asylum Package II), was intended to “speed up” the asylum process
by broadening the conditions under which asylum seekers could be deported, and declares
the countries of Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco—from which many of the alleged Cologne per-
petrators were presumed to come— as safe countries of origin, rendering their citizens effec-
tively ineligible for asylum. Even as the parliamentarians cautioned against racist responses
78 | English Language Notes 54.2 Fall/Winter 2016
to the violence of Cologne, then, they turned to strategies of increased surveillance and
security that have historically targeted racialized groups, and suppressed any reference to
the de facto ban on North African applications for asylum.
The paradox of rights and racism, whereby human rights are re-racialized even as racism is
rejected, reveals the deeply gendered workings of whiteness. Whiteness, as a consequence
of racialization, is an “ongoing and unfinished history, which orientates bodies in specific
directions, affecting how they ‘take up’ space.”2 Whiteness works as a social structure and
a set of somatic norms that allows some bodies to be more at home in the world than others,
and some bodies to move in the world more easily than others.3 The debates about Cologne
construed the safe movement of white women as threatened and failed to acknowledge
the constraints on North Africans’ movement to and in Germany, while heralding forms of
surveillance and policing that often target racialized others. The debates about the violence
in Cologne further suggest that where we do not attend carefully to the circulation of racist
structures and discourses, or the importance of human security to understandings of human
rights, whiteness is easily reinscribed in projects for a more just world.
At stake in the reaction to the events of New Year’s Eve in Cologne are perceived rights to
security in public space, imagined via narratives that circulate and transform across numer-
ous sites, including news media, social media, and parliamentary discussions among others.
The German media’s response to Cologne, particularly where this took the form of critiquing
the appropriation of the violence by right wing groups, betrays an investment in recuperating
a European history of progressive values based on human rights.4 Meanwhile, political speech
at the level of national state politics reveals a tense negotiation among various aspects of
human security, including rights to sexual self-determination and rights to adequate access
to means for securing sustenance and housing. In this essay, I focus on the latter, taking up
the parliamentary debate of January 13th and additional parliamentary discussions surround-
ing the passing of the so-called “Asylum Package II” as my archive in order to examine how
understandings of the relationship between human rights and human security were deployed,
reified, challenged and transformed in the wake of the Cologne attacks. Underpinning the
silence about race and racism in human rights discourse is an epistemology that continues
to invest hope for a better future in the recuperation of a tradition of European human rights,
which are dispensed by Europe and North America, and remain accessible primarily to those
who have European citizenship and those few whose noncitizenship can be rendered inoffen-
sive under European protection. When the discourse of human rights ignores the workings of
whiteness in Europe, Europeanness becomes a field of power that produces precarity in the
name of security, via a policing of the boundaries of the human, deployed through the desire
to create a heavily surveilled and policed public space.
Refugees and th e Post World War II G erman Discourse of Rights
Germany’s relationship to the contemporary incarnation of human rights is a unique one.
The revival of human rights and their formalization in various treaties in the late 1940s and
early 50s were framed and understood in particular as responses to the destruction of World
War II and the Holocaust (yet to be named as such). Indeed, working through the Nazi past
Weber | 79
itself became a form of human rights activism in the postwar West German context,5 and
the sweepingly universalizing language of human rights a way of rejecting Nazi pasts.6 Sup-
porting human rights also served as a way for West Germany to regain an entrance into the
international community after the war.
German support for human rights expressed itself in a fairly liberal asylum policy, codified
in Article 16 of the German constitution: “persons persecuted for political reasons have the
right to asylum.” Until 1978, this remained relatively uncontroversial due to the low numbers
of asylum applicants, and the fact that most refugees to West Germany up until the 1960s
were of German heritage, escaping East Germany or eastern Europe. After the 1980 military
coup in Turkey, and the introduction of martial law in Poland around the same time, a brief
spike in asylum applications drew new administrative restrictions that made the process
more difficult, including a requirement that Turkish citizens obtain travel visas.7 In the early
1990s, asylum law was further revised in response to a new spike in asylum-seekers, this
time largely from the margins of Europe. Media coverage at this period was particularly sen-
sationalist, focusing on refugees from the Balkans (most of whom only received temporary
refuge rather than being granted asylum) and spectacularizing a few incidents of violence
between Turks and Kurds in Germany. In contrast, there was little attention to extensive
“ethnic German” immigration from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, this despite
their significant numbers.8 Changes to asylum law in 1993 introduced the concept of “safe
countries of origin” and called for the deportation of applicants who had passed through
“safe countries” before arriving in Germany. Although West German and unified German
asylum procedures always required proof of political persecution, the early 1990s brought
attention to the category of the “economic” refugee for the first time, that is, people who
were perceived as taking unfair advantage of the asylum system to pursue migration for
economic purposes. The wave of physical violence that accompanied anti-refugee hatred at
that time, including the burning of asylum homes and individual physical attacks, deployed
language that named refugees as the ostensible targets, but also impacted immigrants per-
ceived to be non-European as well as Germans of color.
Despite the clearly racialized nature of the attacks of the early 1990s, critics of the violence
often used language that obscured the presence of racism, using terms such as xenophobia
instead of racism even though the violence was targeted at many Germans of color. The Ger-
man term for xenophobia, Ausländerfeindlichkeit, contains the German words for foreigner,
which can be translated as “somebody from outside the country.” The use of this terminol-
ogy obscures the working of race in structural, symbolic and physical violence as well as the
work of Germans of color to call attention to racialized violence. It further implies that those
who immigrate to Germany remain permanently outside of the German community. The
response to concerns about a liberal asylum policy intersects with a postwar silence about
race in Germany, and for that matter in Europe, one that obscures racism and its effects by
describing racist acts in terms of xenophobia. The recent attention to North African refu-
gees, a very small percentage of current refugees to Germany, follows historical patterns of
targeting racialized groups for exclusion while evading discussion of the presence of racism
in Germany.
80 | English Language Notes 54.2 Fall/Winter 2016
Human Rights and the L anguage of th e Huma n
The language of human rights has frequently obscured how race functions to exclude groups
from rights. This is unsurprising, given the history of the modern conception of “human”
and “human rights” as mutually constitutive terms that both claim universality even as they
exclude large portions of humanity from the category of the fully or properly human as a con-
sequence of their geopolitical and geohistorical positions.8 This is apparent from the incep-
tion of human rights: for example, the document “The Rights of Man and of the Citizen,”
often imagined as an originary document for both human rights and the modern conception
of human, was written during the French Revolution in 1789, but also during the same year
as the slave revolt in Martinique, and the Haitian revolution, during which attempts to assert
such rights were violently suppressed. The philosophy of Immanuel Kant is often seen as
lending moral underpinnings to the concept of human rights, rooted in claims about the
autonomy and rationality of man, even as he also theorized race, constructing hierarchies
of the human that privilege the white subject and undermine the universality of the human
he espoused.10 Colonialism and the race idea thus emerge as constitutive of the categories
of humanness and human rights, positioning racialized others as the defining outside. It is
not my goal here to dismiss the notion of the human or of human rights because of their
Eurocentric foundation. I follow, rather, Gayatri Spivak’s call to recognize the imbrication of
colonialism (and by extension, racism) in human rights as an enabling violation.11 In their
contemporary instantiation, however, human rights remain haunted by their entanglement
with a Eurocentrism that is rooted in racism and colonialism.
The post-World War II institutionalization of human rights and the resulting reconfigurations
of the human did little to address the ways in which the language of universality and human
rights continues to produce many peoples as outside of the properly human. As Hannah
Arendt points out, rights-based language after 1945 did little to redress the processes by
which Jews were denied rights during the Holocaust, given that rights remain largely claim-
able through access to national citizenship (in other words, that human rights were largely
tied to civic rights). Yet Arendt’s own critique of human rights and their link to colonialism is
nevertheless unable to name their imbrication with European narratives of progress that rely
on constructions of racial hierarchy.12 Arendt locates racism as incompatible with Europe,
rather than as something that emerges in tandem with European colonialism and racist
thought. Arendt’s articulation of human rights examines the lack of established political
community to protect the rights of stateless people, those refugees arguably most in need
of “rights,” a discussion that also figures in Georgio Agamben’s articulation of the “state of
exception.13 However, as Alexander Weheliye has pointed out, Arendt relies on a notion of
the human that Sylvia Wynter terms “Man I,” the political rational secular subject of liberal
humanism, the emergence of whom renders colonialism’s victims as irrational nonhumans.14
The “Cons equen ces” of Cologne: Rac e, Gender, Securit y
These histories relegating the racialized other to a precarious status as less than fully human
haunt the reactions to the New Year’s Eve 2015/2016 violence at the Cologne train station,
which has become a touchstone in debates about refugees in Germany. Over 1000 incidents
of violence have been reported, with nearly half of those complaints of sexualized violence,
Weber | 81
mainly groping; the rest were primarily reports of theft.15 Several interviews have been
published in which, although the heritage of the victims is not named, the perpetrators are
described as “dark-skinned” or “Arab-looking.”16 As these reports circulate throughout the
media, the perpetrators are often referred to as “North African” or “refugees.” As of this
writing, three perpetrators have been convicted, all for petty theft.17 Although media reports
broke within 48 hours, accusations of media and police silence about the attacks have been
widespread. In the mainstream response to the attacks, calls to attend to the coexistence
of racist and sexual violence have been published side by side with images evocative of the
racist discourses that circulated during France’s occupation of the Rhineland (using colonial
soldiers) after World War I.18 Images in the mainstream newspaper Die Zeit and the business
oriented weekly newsmagazine Focus were particularly striking, depicting black hands on
white female bodies.19
When the reports of sexualized violence moved from news media into social media, par-
ticularly on right wing sites such as Pegida’s Facebook page, the accusations of groping
quickly expanded into allegations of widespread rape, inspiring calls to close the borders to
refugees, and for the widespread deportation of refugees to prevent sexual violence against
(white) German women. The demands for faster and more widespread deportation of refu-
gees lined up with several strategies already in discussion among politicians, but they accel-
erated after New Year’s Eve 2016, spurring the bid to declare Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco
safe countries of origin to effectively disqualify those refugees from the asylum process and
virtually guarantee their deportation.
Rarely is the Cologne controversy framed in relationship to any right other than that of the
right of German women to move freely in public space without fear of violence. Yet, the
responses to Cologne also link up with key German debates about privacy, security, and
women’s rights as human rights. These are not necessarily articulated in relationship to pro-
tections provided by human rights regimes, but rather claimed through references to “com-
monsense” rights that include a desire to protect the space in which rights are perceived to
be secured. Both the rights articulated—clustered around the woman’s body and her right to
sexual self-determination—and those unspoken, namely rights to privacy and an adequate
standard of living, reflect an expanded understanding of human rights that might be termed
human security. Such a use of the term security might be seen as a way to counter precarity,
that is, the differential exposure of certain populations to violence and death.20 Howe ver,
without persistent attention to the ways in which race inflect claims to rights and security,
the requirements of human security themselves may be wielded against the most vulnerable
populations. Human security itself is not only a potential regime of human rights, but also
a discourse that enacts power through societal relationships. For as feminist scholars have
suggested, “in the discursive work around human security […t]he very idea of peace with-
out justice implies a politics of silencing and disempowering groups whose needs are being
systematically ignored and excluded.”21
When the security of German women can be set against human security as human rights
for refugees from North Africa, justice and security have been delinked. The response to
82 | English Language Notes 54.2 Fall/Winter 2016
Cologne participates in a configuration of power whereby the hypervisible rights of white
women serve as a legitimation for obscuring or excluding the rights of North African refu-
gees, who are almost exclusively represented as male in these debates. The exclusion of
groups from this space of rights become exclusions from the space of humanity, not only in
the context of this controversy, but also in the larger context of the European refugee crisis.
Consider, for example, the remarks by Green parliamentary representative Katrin Göring.
Like most speakers during the January 13 debate, she opens her remarks with a declaration
of support for refugees: “every person for whom the refugees are dear to their heart [am
Herzen liegen]—I say this also personally—wants to know without a doubt what happened,
who it was, and how the safety of women can be protected in public space.”22 She goes on,
like many, to point out that this is not an imported problem:
Every woman must be able to move freely and without fear in public. It is
the task of the state to guarantee this. If the state fails here, it creates fear.
Sexual assaults in public space are not a new problem. They were already a
problem, before refugees came. But what is new is this particular form, which
until now we only knew from patriarchally influenced societies such as India or
Göring’s remarks are fairly typical of comments from across the political spectrum. She
claims solidarity with (or at least empathy for) the refugees, and insists on the importance
of recognizing that one cannot generalize from the actions of some refugees, but she does
not see the “consequences of Cologne” as in any way relevant to refugee lives present or
future. When Göring invokes this “particular form” she seems to refer to the convergence
of a large number of men loosely organized by social media posts. In seeing the Cologne
violence as something new, she frames sexualized violence as coming from the outside,
even as she claims she does not.24 The origin of violence is seen as external to Europe,
and located in countries whose otherness is invoked through the existence of patriarchal
influences, obscuring the presence of sexual violence in Europe. The world to which Göring
speaks is suddenly a strictly European/German world; India and Morocco are marked as so
distant as to be wholly other. Perhaps the most powerful contradiction here is the implica-
tion that in some way this is a new “form” of violence. Whether she is referring to the use of
transnational digital media spaces to generate movement to a specific space, or to the actual
physical form of “groping,” there is nothing particularly new about this kind of violence; its
supposed “newness” is deployed to suggest that this violence comes to Germany from the
At its most extreme, the need for security is very clearly expressed as a priority for Germans
when Scheuer states that “Germany is a State of Right and Security. This is also the reason
why Germany is viewed so positively in the world. […] our maxim must be, that citizens
possess clarity and a guarantee that Germany is secure and will remain secure.”25 At this
moment, commonsense knowledge about what rights are narrows rapidly to the rights of
the citizens of Germany, embodied by women as victims of sexual violence committed by
perpetrators assumed to be from outside of Europe.
Weber | 83
The need for safe spaces is thus also reduced to the need to protect the security and free
movement of white women. This is replicated throughout the discussions. For example,
Karin Maag of the center right party CDU/CSU26 insists that
[…W]hether alone or accompanied women should be able to safely move in
public space at any time. I see this right and this freedom endangered, and
not just beginning with Cologne. […] Above all, we have a problem with the
implementation of the law. Police positions are being reduced in many Länder.
I want to turn the focus once again to police work. Valuable work time must
be spent on coordinating images of red light transgressors. These officers are
absent from the street.27
Although throughout the debate parliamentarians positioned themselves as concerned about
existing as opposed to “imported” cultures of violence, the responses, or as the title of
the debate implies, the “consequences” suggested do not address these cultures of vio-
lence in any way. Instead, the discussions promote the protective capability of the state,
enacted through the surveillance of public space, as the solution to sexualized violence in
public space. This mirrors tendencies in the broader public debate, in which several public
figures initially proposed measures to modify women’s behavior while in public rather than
focusing attention on how to challenge the factors—in Europe as well as elsewhere—that
sanction and promote sexualized violence. When cultures of violence are challenged, they
are located as external to Europe. In later discussions of Asylum Package II, for examples,
representatives will justify their vote for the package by claiming the need to support the
values of “tolerance” and “equal rights” that are “not always self-evident in other countries
and cultures of the world.”28
For Göring and others, the way forward is not only to close loopholes in existing laws on
sexual violence, but also to institute more police.29 Indeed, Göring is particularly proud of
the fact that the provinces ruled by coalitions that include the center right Social Demo-
crats and the Greens had more police available on New Year’s Eve than those provinces
with Christian Democrat governments. In many cases, the legislators took the opportunity
to commend police on their work that evening. Occasionally, they even suggested that
refugees were themselves calling for additional policing. Heiko Maas, the SPD Minister of
Justice, expressed a desire to increase implementation of existing laws by increasing the
staffing of federal offices and adding 3000 additional positions for federal police.30 He went
on to connect the need for more police to the need to expedite deportation proceedings, for
“then we also protect the hundreds of thousands of innocent refugees in our country who
have not earned it, to be thrown in the same pot as criminals.”31
Such a general call for police surveillance works to obscure the ways in which police surveil-
lance tends to target and therefore exclude racialized groups. The UN Committee for Ending
Racial Discrimination has repeatedly expressed significant concerns about Germany’s Fed-
eral Police Act, which gives broad permission for police to stop and search people based on
their physical appearance in trains, train stations and airports; the 2015 report reiterated
these concerns to the federal government.32 Only the Green Party responded to the UN
84 | English Language Notes 54.2 Fall/Winter 2016
report with an official inquiry to the federal government. In response, the ruling coalition
largely dismissed the inquiry misunderstanding racial profiling, arguing that targeting people
based on their ethnic or national background is only prohibited in European law if no other
factors are considered, and that adequate police training is already in place.33 However,
several high profile cases of police brutality have recently confirmed that increased police
surveillance may indeed make the lives of people of color more precarious in the name of
providing security for white women. Furthermore, forms of white queer gentrification in Ber-
lin demonstrate that increased police surveillance disproportionately affects the most pre-
carious of groups, trans people and queers of color.34 Thus, widespread calls for increased
police surveillance risk promoting the production of differential racialized vulnerability by
the police.
Sara Ahmed’s examination of whiteness, comfort, and movement in the UK resonates with
the politics of movement enacted through the discussions of Cologne. She suggests that
“to be comfortable is to be so at ease with one’s environment that it is hard to distinguish
where one’s body ends and the world begins […] whiteness may function as a form of public
comfort by allowing bodies to extend into spaces that have already taken their shape.”35
Perceived threats to white women’s bodies and comfort of movement result in responses
that inhibit the movement of bodies of color, male and female alike.
Safe Countries of Origin
One of the major points of Asylum Package 2, a draft of which was agreed upon the day
before by the ruling coalition, and which went into effect in mid-March 2016, remained
nearly entirely absent from the parliamentary debate about Cologne. Added to this draft
from previous 2015 proposals was an expansion of the list of so-called “safe countries of
origin” to include Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco—the countries from which the perpetrators
of the Cologne violence were presumed to come. According to legislation dating from the
so-called refugee crisis of the 1990s, “safe countries of origin” are defined as countries in
which there is no danger of political persecution. Asylum Package 2 “speeds up the pro-
cess of applying for asylum” for Algerians, Tunisians, and Moroccans, a euphemistic way
of saying that refugees from these three countries will be more rapidly deported insofar
as they are effectively prohibited from seeking asylum. It should be noted that despite the
publicity accorded alleged economic refugees from North Africa, fomented by right populist
groups including and inspired by Pegida, such refugees form an extremely small percent-
age of the total applicants for asylum. It is of course problematic to set up a clear division
between “economic” and “political” refugees, but the reality is that the vast majority of the
refugees are fleeing a state of war, with the largest numbers coming from Syria, Iraq and
During the parliamentary debate about Cologne, only one representative addressed the
provision for new safe countries of origin: Andreas Scheuer of the CDU/CSU, who was so
committed to the expansion that he not only brought it up during his talk but interrupted
other speakers to convey its importance as well.37 Scheuer, who has a long history of
anti-immigrant positions, states:
Weber | 85
The process for members of certain states, who evidently come here purely
as economic refugees – you mentioned the Moroccans – takes too long. Why?
Because we lack the expansion of the list of safe countries of origin. We must
bring about a quick decision so that these groups, as economic refugees, leave
our country as quickly as possible.38
A complex set of silences converge at this point. The desire to find a legal means to exclude
North African refugees as a response to the violence of Cologne is so problematic in the
mainstream political context today that only the most extreme voices can utter such a
desire. This taboo doubles, however, an unspeakability that renders the imagination of ref-
ugee participants in European democracy unimaginable. Indeed, the latter silence informs
the former: because refugees are imagined as necessarily outside of the discussions of
democracy, resulting in no attempt to incorporate or even respond to refugee voices during
the parliamentary debate. The exclusion of North Africans from German space is rendered
more palatable, and therefore harder to challenge, or even speak about. Ironically, the inter-
jections of Scheuer function to make this double silence noticeable by calling attention to
the desire to prevent refugee migration from North Africa, exposing the racialization of secu-
rity by inserting the connection to Asylum Package 2 into the debate about the violence in
Cologne. Through his words, so-called economic refugees, largely perceived to come from
North Africa, are marked as undesirable refugees, while those whose presence is viewed
more explicitly as a consequence of political persecution and threat of physical violence (in
other words, Syrian refugees) are seen as more acceptable.
To be clear, the decision to declare Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia “safe countries of origin”
did raise controversy in parliamentary discussion of Asylum Package 2, just not during the
debate on the consequences of Cologne. Following the vote, numerous SPD politicians, as
well as some CDU/CSU politicians, expressed significant concerns about adding Algeria,
Morocco and Tunisia to the list of safe countries. Some pointed out that the package didn’t
address the overall need to develop legal paths to immigration for people who lack economic
or life prospects in their own country; others were deeply troubled by the barriers created
to family unification or youth protection;39 still others pointed out that trans, lesbian, gay
and queer citizens of these countries remain subject to persecution.40 A few made explicit
links to Cologne. SPD representative Simone Raatz argued that “it cannot be a solution to
declare insecure countries safe, because a crazy mob at the plaza at the Cologne cathedral
damaged the reputation of millions of other refugees,”41 while Frank Heinrich of the CDU/
CSU repeated the dictum that the events of New Year’s Eve demand better prosecution of
criminal activity and intensification of integration processes.42 But although Cologne comes
into view when the limiting of asylum possibilities is under question, the rights of asylum
seekers largely disappear when the focus is on Cologne. That is to say, the safe movement of
white women comes into view when the parliament discusses the limiting of asylum, but the
rights of asylum seekers disappear when the focus is on the threat to white women thus set-
ting up a hierarchy that prioritizes gender issues over those of refugees and obscures their
mutual imbrication, prohibiting attention to refugee women as well. The delinking of the
right to two aspects of security of person—movement in public space, and access to basic
86 | English Language Notes 54.2 Fall/Winter 2016
means for survival—has powerful consequences, indeed, for refugees from North Africa who
seek alternatives to extreme poverty, joblessness, and homelessness through migration to
Europe. The separation of political from economic refugees, whose economic insecurity is
deemed unworthy of redress in the name of public safety, intensifies the precarious condi-
tions in which all refugees live.
Sexual Assault and Rap e Laws
The Cologne attacks occurred just weeks after the chancellery gave its stamp of approval
to a revision of the federal law on sexual assault that had been proposed by the minister
of justice in October 2015. Although Germany was one of the first signatories to the 2011
Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and
Domestic Violence, informally known as the Istanbul Convention, it had neither ratified nor
brought German law into accordance with the convention. In particular, crimes could not be
prosecuted as sexual assault or rape unless the victim could demonstrate physical resistance
to the attack.
When changes were finally proposed in 2015, there was moderate public reaction and cover-
age in the news media. After Cologne, however, many more people and organizations across
the political spectrum expressed support for the reform. The need for change became a topic
in the January 13 parliamentary debate as well, when several representatives emphasized
the importance of tightening laws against sexualized violence. Notably, Thomas Strobl of
the CDU remarked that
This coalition does not only discuss, it acts. This is also true when it comes
to deportation of foreigners and those who have applied for asylum who have
been sentenced for a crime. It is beyond explanation how one can flee from
violence, rape, torture and war and then do something similar here. It is appro-
priate to remove such people from the process of asylum. Of course we show
a red card in Germany for “grinding” [Antanzen]—what a trivializing concept!
—and to the hundredfold groping of women.43
After years of CDU resistance to alterations in the definition of rape, the violence of Cologne
suddenly enabled the need for much more radical changes to become “self-evident” [selbst-
verständlich]. I’m certainly not suggesting that renewed attention to sexualized violence and
a commitment to expanding the definition of rape in German law are undesirable. However,
to link attention to sexualized violence to the necessity for greater surveillance of refugees,
who should also be easier to deport, is both to obscure the longstanding problem of sexu-
alized violence in German and other European societies while simultaneously appropriating
anti-violence discourses in order to expel certain populations from German space.
When reform was first discussed in 2014 and 2015, the discussion revolved almost exclu-
sively around rape, although the reform proposed by the Ministry of Justice included added
language about groping as an example of sexual assault in which the element of surprise
would prohibit active resistance.44 After Cologne, however, a broadly expanded definition of
sexualized violence that emphasized the criminality of groping emerged in public discussions
Weber | 87
of the reform; references to groping almost inevitably referred back to Cologne and the fact
that many, if not most, of the incidents reported that night could not be punished under
current law. During the debate, Manuela Schwesig, Minister for Family, Seniors, Women and
Youth, suggested that
If we want to prevent right extremists from using these deeds in such a repel-
lent way as they are doing, then we Democrats must have the courage to say:
yes, on New Year’s Eve it was men from many countries, who really had said
they wanted protection here, yet they took protection away from the women
here. […] However, we must also take this discussion as an opportunity to bet-
ter help women. For this reason I strongly support the recommendations of the
Minister of Justice to close the loopholes in sex crime law, and for this reason
we must now, more than ever, have a debate about how important equal rights
for men and women are.45
The debate ultimately set (white) women’s rights against (male) refugee rights, and con-
structed a hierarchy of state protection that discriminates amongst differently racialized
subjects’ access to human rights, belying the cautions against racist constructions of the
immigrant other that were so often repeated in the debate. Because the parliamentarians’
assertions of anti-racist intent failed to acknowledge the continued circulation of whiteness
as a source of authority and object of protection, they ultimately functioned to reproduce the
very old trope of the sexually dangerous racialized other. Activist and intellectual opposition
to this trope has had an effect, in that it seems to be taboo to utter sweeping generalizations
about the immigrant other. It is clear as well that for most there is a desire to combat the
most extreme hatred that has emerged from the far right – indeed, Schwesig here frames her
remarks in the name of combatting right hatred. Yet, the more careful attention to language
seems here to have merely reinforced the power of whiteness. These minimal declarations
of antiracism exemplify what Ahmed has called, in another context, non-performative state-
ments of commitment,46 in which declarations of antiracism might accumulate value for the
speaker or institution even though the statements do not do what they claim. For example,
a declaration of antiracism might function to distract from the existence of racism in an
Human Securit y, Communi ties of Di sse nt and the Distant Ot her
Readers will note that I haven’t entered into a discussion of “what really happened” on New
Year’s Eve. There are many reasons for this: it is too early to have the full picture that would
allow us to assess the accuracy of the reports, and in particular the assertions about the
scope of the attacks, and I have no interest in participating in a discourse of victim-blaming.
More importantly, however, I think it is vital to consider the workings of whiteness and rac-
ism precisely at complicated moments that are easily appropriated to validate an opposition
between women’s rights and the rights of immigrants, refugees, and even Germans of color.
The central paradox I have highlighted above, that representatives might name an anti-
racist position even as they contribute to structural racism, reflects and proliferates a lim-
ited understanding of the complex workings of racism, and delinks human rights from a
88 | English Language Notes 54.2 Fall/Winter 2016
conception of human security that can incorporate broad-based understandings of justice.
The parliamentary debate on the consequences of Cologne evinces a political community
conceived as national, with the occasional gesture to the European, whose impulse is to
protect women, largely coded as white and German. The insistence on a tension between
the needs of German women and of male others figured as dangerous participates in a pow-
erful set of narratives that had earlier gained renewed currency after unification,48 narra-
tives that downplay the potential for sexualized violence perpetrated by white men, prohibit
possibilities for multipolar alliances against sexualized and gender violence, and obscure
the violence faced by trans and queer people of color in Germany today. One cannot merely
dismiss the implications of the “national” as the natural consequence of state politics, given
the ways in which the national is reified as white. Alternatively, although the focus here on
the national parliamentary debate has not brought this into focus, one also cannot ignore
that this reification of whiteness is taking place in the context of a Europe-wide return to a
set of discourses, intensified by current refugee flows, discourses that despite their range of
political viewpoints and focuses nevertheless share a desire to recover an imaginary set of
European values. To name just a few contexts, the anti-immigration sentiment that arose in
the Brexit debates, as well as the insistent refusal to accept refugees by many EU countries,
putting them in non-compliance with EU laws, and retroactively often justified with vague
references to “the violence against women by refugees in Germany.”
After Cologne, can German conversations about human rights be interrupted and differently
imagined? At the very least, this requires a conception of the future that envisions refugees
as contributory participants, in stark contrast to the parliamentary debates which utterly
excluded refugee voices in any form. Groups such as Syrians against Sexism have formed
in response to Cologne to demonstrate for an anti-sexist future, while the social media cam-
paign #ausnahmslos (#withoutexception) has worked to articulate possibilities for a genu-
inely anti-racist, feminist coalition against sexualized violence. Already before the violence
in Cologne, refugees were actively seeking to participate in constructing their own futures
in Germany via initiatives such as the occupation of Oranienplatz in Berlin and the construc-
tion of as an online public.49 Shortly before the events of New Year’s Eve, Naika
Foroutan, academic and public intellectual who arrived in Germany herself as a refugee in
the 1980s, called for “a debate about ourselves” in which “we need to be educated into an
empathy that serves as a barrier for the devaluing of others. At the same time, it must also
be painful when one notices any form of discrimination.”50 I only name, here, a very few
among the array of projects taking shape within German borders in which potential imagina-
tions of the future are formed by the diversity of peoples living in and passing through the
space we call Germany.
Furthermore, attention to a broader understanding of human rights as human security must
be coupled with a persistent attention to the complex, multivalent workings of racism and
whiteness. Superficial declarations of antiracism are inadequate to the task; the very artic-
ulation of rights must rely on analysis and rejection of the racialization of rights. As con-
sequence, racial and economic justice requires that refugees marked as non-European be
granted the same fullness of human life imagined for Europeans. This means that human
Weber | 89
rights cannot be reduced to a mere limitation of the immediate threat of politicized physi-
cal violence. The discussions of the violence of Cologne, and the decision, partly taken in
response, to effectively prohibit North African immigration to Germany, ensure the opposite:
that certain populations are deemed exterior to the fully “human” of human rights.
The empathy for which Foroutan calls can only function if it is imagined as empathy across
difference rather than a discovery of sameness. More just futures invoking a discourse of
rights may best be imagined by a community of dissent that constructs a new notion of
human security and human rights. Such a community can rely on neither a discovery of
shared experience, nor of shared identity. Indeed, Étienne Balibar proposes that we even
might think of Arendt’s work as pointing to a new political community—a political commu-
nity yet to come rooted in a perpetual condition of dissidence, a community without founda-
tion or of ground.51 However, for the foreseeable future, communities that come together in
the interest of a human rights as human security can only do so effectively with a commit-
ment to recognizing and ending the ways in which whiteness and race subject certain groups
to increased vulnerability that exclude these populations from rights, and from justice.
Such a community might call for a more just notion of human security, one which imagines
freedom from gendered and sexualized violence, freedom from racialized violence, and rights
to basic sustenance as constituent parts of security: in short, human rights as a fullness
of human security. Imaginations of human security must reject the opposition of women’s
rights to refugee rights that continues to emerge in the discussion of Cologne, and instead
conceptualize experiences of violence as dependent on complex sets of intersecting and
mutually constitutive constructions of otherness—among which race, gender, sexuality, and
religious and cultural difference are particularly current. Human security also requires per-
sistent acknowledgement of the ways in which those institutions often charged with the
enforcement of rights, such as the nation-state and the police, participate in deeply racial-
ized forms of exclusion, as well as of the ways in which the very conceptualization of human
rights continues to exclude large groups from the human. To return to the words of Ahmed,
increased surveillance may merely extend the ways in which “whiteness may function as a
form of public comfort by allowing bodies to extend into spaces that have already taken their
shape.”52 A more just notion of human security, then, relies on a new discourse of human
rights and security that can undo epistemologies invested in recuperating a European heri-
tage of justice and rights that has never existed.
Beverly Weber
University of Colorado B oulder
1 My thanks to the editors of this issue and the anonymous reviewers for their thought-provoking comments
and feedback. Gratitude as well to Danika Medak-Saltzman, Deepti Misri, and Peggy Piesche who provided
90 | English Language Notes 54.2 Fall/Winter 2016
insightful responses at various stages of writing, and to Robin Cadow and Emily Frazier-Rath for their
thoughtful discussions of current refugee movements in Europe during their thesis writing.
2 Sara Ahmed, “A Phenomenology of Whiteness,” Feminist Theory 8, no. 2 (August 1, 2007): 150,
3 Ibid., 160; 162.
4 Beverly M. Weber, “’We Must Talk about Cologne’: Race, Gender, and Reconfigurations of ‘Europe,’”
German Politics & Society 34, forthcoming (2016).
5 Lora Wildenthal, The Language of Human Rights in West Germany (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania
Press, 2012), 6.
6 Ibid., 2–4.
7 Klaus J. Bade and Myron Weiner, Migration Past, Migration Future: Germany and the United States (Ber-
ghahn Books, 2001), 85–86.
8 Ibid., 86; Konrad Hugo Jarausch and Michael Geyer, Shattered Past: Reconstructing German Histories
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 215–16.
9 Walter D. Mignolo, “Who Speaks for the ‘Human’ in Human Rights?,” Hispanic Issues On Line, Human
Rights in Latin American and Iberian Cultures, 5, no. 1 (Fall 2009): 9–12.
10 Peggy Piesche, “Der ›Fortschritt‹ der Aufklärung – Kants ›Race‹ und die Zentrierung des weißen Sub-
jekts,” in Mythen, Masken und Subjekte: kritische Weissseinsforschung in Deutschland, ed. Maureen Maisha
Eggers et al. (Münster: Unrast, 2005), 14–17.
11 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Righting Wrongs,” South Atlantic Quarterly 103, no. 2–3 (April 2004): 524,
12 Michael Rothberg, Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization
(Stanford University Press, 2009), 23-24-58.
13 Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Stanford University Press, 1998),
14 Alexander G. Weheliye, Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories
of the Human (Duke University Press, 2014), 15–16; Sylvia Wynter, “Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/
Power/Truth/Freedom: Towards the Human, After Man, Its Overrepresentation--An Argument,” CR: The
New Centennial Review 3, no. 3 (2003): 257–337, doi:10.1353/ncr.2004.0015.
15 Two reports of rape were reported to a non-police hotline; the first proved a false report, and the second
was an anonymous report. “Köln: Bewährungsstrafen in ersten Prozessen um Silvester-Gewalt,” Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung, February 24, 2016,
sten-prozessen-um-silvester-gewalt-14087803.html; Daniel Taab, “‘Vergewaltigungsopfer’ war gar nicht
in Köln,” Kölnische Rundschau, July 28, 2016, sec. Rundum,
16 Kristiana Ludwig and Max Hägler, “Gewalt gegen Frauen an Silvester: Das bleibt,”, January 14,
2016, sec. politik,
17 “Köln.”
18 May Opitz, Katharina Oguntoye, and Dagmar Schultz, Farbe bekennen: Afro-Deutsche Frauen auf den
Spuren ihrer Geschichte, (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1992), 49–53.
19 Weber, “’We Must Talk about Cologne’: Race, Gender, and Reconfigurations of ‘Europe.’”
20 Judith Butler, “Performativity, Precarity and Sexual Politics,” Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana 4,
no. 3 (2009): ii.
21 Myra Marx Ferree, “The Discursive Politics of Gendering Human Security: Beyond the Binaries,” in Gender,
Violence, and Human Security: Critical Feminist Perspectives, ed. Aili Mari Tripp, Myra Marx Ferree, and
Christina Ewig (New York: NYU Press, 2013), 287.
22 “Plenarprotokoll 18/148. Deutscher Bundestag Stenografischer Bericht 148. Sitzung Berlin, Mittwoch,
den 13. Januar 2016” (Berlin: Der deutsche Bundestag, January 13, 2016),
23 Ibid., 14576.
Weber | 91
24 Some feminists noted similarities to what takes place yearly as part of Oktoberfest in Bavaria, during
which among huge crowds of people, sexualized violence is commonplace. Relying on a commonly cited
figure that only 10% of rapes are reported, the suggestion was made that dozens of rapes take place every
year, a suggestion that led to widespread outrage in the news media. Don Alphonso, “Sexuelle Gewalt in
Köln mit dem Oktoberfest kleinreden - Deus ex Machina,” FAZ.NET, January 6, 2016,
deus/2016/01/06/sexuelle-gewalt-in-koeln-mit-dem-oktoberfest-kleinreden-3075.html; Rainer Meyer, “Sex-
uelle Übergriffe: Lügenzahl vom Oktoberfest,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, January 8, 2016, http://www.
html; Hilal Sezgin, “Sexuelle Übergriffe: Ich bin es leid,” Die Zeit, January 6, 2016, sec. Kultur, http://www.; Susi Wimmer, “Sexuelle Übergriffe: Der weite
Weg von Köln zum Oktoberfest,”, January 11, 2016, sec. muenchen, http://www.sued-
25 “Plenarprotokoll 18/148,” 14583.
26 The two Christian Democratic sister parties, the CDU and CSU, function as a singular party for the pur-
pose of national politics. The CSU exists in Bavaria only; the CDU exists in all other provinces but not in
27 Ibid., 14584.
28 “Plenarprotokoll 18/158 - 18158. Deutscher Bundestag Stenografischer Bericht 158. Sitzung. Berlin,
Donnerstag, Den 25. Februar 2016,” 15467, accessed April 3, 2016,
29 “Plenarprotokoll 18/148,” 14576.
30 Ibid., 14575.
31 Ibid.
32 Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, “International Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Racial Discrimination. Concluding Observations on the Combined Nineteenth to Twenty-Second Pe-
riodic Reports of Germany” (United Nations, June 30, 2015),
33 “Rassismus in Deutschland vor dem Ausschuss der vereinten Nationen. Antwort der Bundesregierung
auf die Kleine Anfrage der Abgeordneten Sevim Dağdelen, Wolfgang Gehrcke, Jan Korte, weiterer Abgeord-
neter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE. – Drucksache 18/5199,” July 2, 2015,
34 Jin Haritaworn, Queer Lovers and Hateful Others (London: Pluto Press, 2015), 62–62; 76.
35 Ahmed, “A Phenomenology,” 158.
36 Étienne Balibar, “Europe and the Refugees: A Demographic Enlargement,” openDemocracy, Sep-
tember 24, 2015,
37 “Plenarprotokoll 18/148,” 14577.
38 Ibid., 14584.
39 “Plenarprotokoll 18/158,” 15646.
40 Ibid., 15648.
41 Ibid.
42 Ibid., 15646.
43 “Plenarprotokoll 18/148,” 14578.
44 “RefE: Gesetz zur Änderung des Strafgesetzbuches – Verbesserung des Schutzes der sexuellen Selbstbes-
timmung,” Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz, July 14, 2015, 16, https://www.bmjv.
45 “Plenarprotokoll 18/148,” 14582.
46 Ahmed, On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (Durham: Duke University Press,
2012), 116.
92 | English Language Notes 54.2 Fall/Winter 2016
47 Ibid 112 – 134.
48 Schirin Amir-Moazami, “Dialogue as a Governmental Technique: Managing Gendered Islam in Germany,”
Feminist Review 98, no. 1 (July 2011): 9–27, doi:10.1057/fr.2011.8; Fatima El-Tayeb, “Time Travelers and
Queer Heterotopias: Narratives from the Muslim Underground,” The Germanic Review: Literature, Culture,
Theory 88, no. 3 (2013): 305–19, doi:10.1080/00168890.2013.820637; Fatima El-Tayeb, European Oth-
ers: Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011); Beverly
M. Weber, Violence and Gender in the “New” Europe (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).
49 Olivia Landry, “‘Wir Sind alle Oranienplatz’! Space for Refugees and Social Justice in Berlin,” Seminar: A
Journal of Germanic Studies 51, no. 4 (October 26, 2015): 398–413, doi:10.3138/seminar.2015.51.4.398.
50 Karen Krüger, “Wir brauchen eine Debatte über uns selbst,” - Dialog mit der islamischen
Welt, December 12, 2015,
51 Etienne Balibar, “(De)Constructing the Human as Human Institution: A Reflection on the Coherence of
Hannah Arendt’s Practical Philosophy,” Social Research 74, no. 3 (Fall 2007): 727–738,946; Etienne Bal-
ibar, “On the Politics of Human Rights,” Constellations 20, no. 1 (March 1, 2013): 18–26, doi:10.1111/
52 Ahmed, “A Phenomenology of Whiteness,” 158.
This article examines how German print media have represented male migrants with Muslim backgrounds in relation to mainstream society and the stereotypes drawn on and created, including that of the migrant Muslim man as a criminal and sexual perpetrator. Media reports about ‘lecherous refugees’ have risen in the wake of wider social controversies about the European refugee crisis and the consequences of welcoming over 1.5 million refugees from predominantly Muslim countries into Germany in recent years. Many of these reports reflect the Cologne New Year’s Eve 2016 sexual attacks by migrant men against German women. This study of German print media identifies a racialisation and ‘islamicisation’ of sexual violence and proposes the original theoretical concept of intersectional stereotyping to conceptualise the intersecting of religious, racialised and gendered patterns in media representations of male Muslim migrants. The research combines and extends the analytical frameworks of intersectionality and stereotyping to develop a new concept useful in media studies and beyond. The article provides a previously unexplored insight into racialised anti-Muslim stereotyping in German society in socio-political and historical context through the lens of print media.
The perceived crisis triggered by the current refugee influx highlights the contradiction at the heart of human rights discourse. Modern humanity has been constructed as both European and as universal; the racialized "Other" against whom the "modern human" disturbs this construction by laying claim to human rights from the very heart of Europe. The sexualized violence reported in Cologne on New Year's Eve fed into racialized fears of refugees and immigrants promoted by groups on the radical right, even as racialized fears returned to mainstream discourses. Critical responses to the racism of the radical right unfortunately also participate in racialized discourses by resorting to "Europe" or "European values." This analysis suggests the need to consider Europe as a field of power, one in which the contestation over what Europe is or should be results in concrete, racialized disparities in access to social mobility,education, or public agency. A project for racial, gender and economic justice requires the thinking of Europe as an ongoing project of world-making.The call to revisit or reclaim "European" values cannot succeed here. Nor can a response to the new right (or the newly normalized racism of the center) allow the new right to determine the parameters of debates about possibilities for the future.
Human rights language is abstract and ahistorical because advocates intend human rights to be valid at all times and places. Yet the abstract universality of human rights discourse is a problem for historians, who seek to understand language in a particular time and place. Lora Wildenthal explores the tension between the universal and the historically specific by examining the language of human rights in West Germany between World War II and unification. In the aftermath of Nazism, genocide, and Allied occupation, and amid Cold War and national division, West Germans were especially obliged to confront issues of rights and international law. The Language of Human Rights in West Germany traces the four most important purposes for which West Germans invoked human rights after World War II. Some human rights organizations and advocates sought to critically examine the Nazi past as a form of basic rights education. Others developed arguments for the rights of Germans-especially expellees-who were victims of the Allies. At the same time, human rights were construed in opposition to communism, especially with regard to East Germany. In the 1970s, several movements emerged to mobilize human rights on behalf of foreigners, both far away and inside West Germany. Wildenthal demonstrates that the language of human rights advocates, no matter how international its focus, can be understood more fully when situated in its domestic political context. Copyright
The paper suggests that we can usefully approach whiteness through the lens of phenomenology. Whiteness could be described as an ongoing and unfinished history, which orientates bodies in specific directions, affecting how they `take up' space, and what they `can do'. The paper considers how whiteness functions as a habit, even a bad habit, which becomes a background to social action. The paper draws on experiences of inhabiting a white world as a non-white body, and explores how whiteness becomes worldly through the noticeability of the arrival of some bodies more than others. A phenomenology of whiteness helps us to notice institutional habits; it brings what is behind to the surface in a certain way.
Multidirectional Memory brings together Holocaust studies and postcolonial studies for the first time. Employing a comparative and interdisciplinary approach, the book makes a twofold argument about Holocaust memory in a global age by situating it in the unexpected context of decolonization. On the one hand, it demonstrates how the Holocaust has enabled the articulation of other histories of victimization at the same time that it has been declared "unique" among human-perpetrated horrors. On the other, it uncovers the more surprising and seldom acknowledged fact that public memory of the Holocaust emerged in part thanks to postwar events that seem at first to have little to do with it. In particular, Multidirectional Memory highlights how ongoing processes of decolonization and movements for civil rights in the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, the United States, and elsewhere unexpectedly galvanized memory of the Holocaust. Rothberg engages with both well-known and non-canonical intellectuals, writers, and filmmakers, including Hannah Arendt, Aimé Césaire, Charlotte Delbo, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marguerite Duras, Michael Haneke, Jean Rouch, and William Gardner Smith.
Who Speaks for the 'Human' in Human Rights? Hispanic Issues On Line, Human Rights in Latin American and Iberian Cultures
  • D Walter
  • Mignolo
Walter D. Mignolo, " Who Speaks for the 'Human' in Human Rights?, " Hispanic Issues On Line, Human Rights in Latin American and Iberian Cultures, 5, no. 1 (Fall 2009): 9–12.
Der ›Fortschritt‹ der Aufklärung – Kants ›Race‹ und die Zentrierung des weißen Subjekts
Peggy Piesche, " Der ›Fortschritt‹ der Aufklärung – Kants ›Race‹ und die Zentrierung des weißen Subjekts, " in Mythen, Masken und Subjekte: kritische Weissseinsforschung in Deutschland, ed. Maureen Maisha Eggers et al. (Münster: Unrast, 2005), 14–17.
Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/ Power/Truth/Freedom: Towards the Human, After Man, Its Overrepresentation-An Argument
  • Alexander G Weheliye
  • Habeas Viscus
Alexander G. Weheliye, Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human (Duke University Press, 2014), 15–16; Sylvia Wynter, " Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/ Power/Truth/Freedom: Towards the Human, After Man, Its Overrepresentation-An Argument, " CR: The New Centennial Review 3, no. 3 (2003): 257–337, doi:10.1353/ncr.2004.0015.
and the second was an anonymous report Köln: Bewährungsstrafen in ersten Prozessen um Silvester-Gewalt Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitungbewaehrungsstrafen-in-ersten-prozessen-um-silvester-gewalt-14087803.html; Daniel Taab
15 Two reports of rape were reported to a non-police hotline; the first proved a false report, and the second was an anonymous report. " Köln: Bewährungsstrafen in ersten Prozessen um Silvester-Gewalt, " Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, February 24, 2016,; Daniel Taab, " 'Vergewaltigungsopfer' war gar nicht in Köln, " Kölnische Rundschau, July 28, 2016, sec. Rundum,