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Was the Potsdam Engineer the Victim of a Racist Attack?

DW-WORLD readers differ on whether the near fatal attack on a German man of Ethiopian origin in Potsdam was racially motivated, and what to do about such violence.

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The victim of a violent attack Ermyas M., was so badly beaten, that he lies in a coma

The following comments reflect the views of our readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

So a black man was beaten and it is now a racist item? Wrong! A man was beaten and it was a crime. Can't we get off this racist tag for everything and just call a crime a crime? It makes no difference if you're black, white, red or yellow; if a crime is committed against you it hurts no matter what your skin color. The victim needs our prayers and the suspects need jail! End of story. -- Hannover

Only insecure people will perpetrate racism. I strongly feel racists should be punished, but they should be treated first. They are psychologically sick. Today it is a black man. Tomorrow it may be an Asian. And who knows when it will be a Bavarian or a German from the east. -- gmafany

Germany is doing the best it can against the neo-Nazis, but more psychological studies need to be conducted to find out why young people are so attracted to such a violent ideology. You cannot combat it through education or legislation alone. There are socio-economic reasons that contribute to the violence. We are only beginning to ask what goes on inside of the neo-Nazis' minds and need to know more about the problem in order to effectively prevent it. -- J. White Feather, New York, NY

Schönbohm's reaction says it all: He, as well as most Germans, is in complete denial about the rise of racism and xenophobia in their country. How can he claim that it 'may not be a racist attack' since the attackers voices are clearly heard on Ermyas' wife's voicemail, saying 'nigger'?!? -- Martin Sauter, Bath, UK

I am a Canadian citizen of Jamaican descent, currently residing in Berlin, and therefore a visible minority. I had never been so aware of my skin color until I moved here. It is a sad thing when one is confronted with racism anywhere. However in Germany, with its history, it is especially tragic when the attacks are so venomous, such as the one in which the Ethiopian man was practically bludgeoned to death. I did not expect to be so boldly confronted on this issue and had no pre-conceived ideas of how racist people can be here. The EU should make it a priority to educate people, and abolish all groups that aim to suppress or eradicate individuals solely based on their ethnic origins. -- kulawa

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  • Date 24.04.2006
  • Author Compilied by DW staff (df)
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  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/8IyI
  • Date 24.04.2006
  • Author Compilied by DW staff (df)
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/8IyI