Black Woman Sues Landlord After Discrimination Admission | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 15.04.2008
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Black Woman Sues Landlord After Discrimination Admission

A 34-year-old woman is suing her former landlord. He evicted her from an Osnabrueck apartment because she was black and a single mother.

View of central Osnabrueck

Kelly was evicted from her central Osnabrueck home

Natasha Kelly received the eviction notice in December.

"Some of the other tenants are unhappy about your background and skin color and your personal situation as a single mother," the landlord wrote. "Some of the elderly ones have been here for 40 years and I cannot ask them to leave."

The landlord said two of the parties in the six-apartment building in central Osnabrueck had put pressure on him to evict Kelly and her 12-year-old daughter.

Setting a precedent?

Kelly was suing the landlord for discrimination and demanding 10,000 euros ($15,800). The case was likely to set a precedent in the application of Germany's anti-discrimination law, which came into effect in August 2006. It forbids discrimination based on a person's origins, skin color, age, disabilities or sexual orientation.

"It's unheard of that someone expresses such incriminating ideas so freely in writing," Kelly's lawyer, Simone Singer, told the Tageszeitung newspaper.

In the meantime, Kelly, who was born in Britain and grew up in Germany, has moved. She said she had been turned down before when she tried to rent an apartment because she was black, "but I have never been thrown out because of it afterwards."

"If it were just me, I would have stayed and seen this out to the bitter end, but I did not want my daughter to grow up in a racist environment," she added.

Kelly, a PhD candidate, launched a magazine last year, called X-Magazine, that deals with black people's experiences in Germany.

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