The fight on Sunday underlines the difficulties Germany faces in handling hundreds of thousands of migrants. Although incidents in such centres are common, the chaos in the shelter at Berlin’s disused Tempelhof airport was more violent than normal.

“There were apparently many hundreds of people involved,” a police spokesman said. An unspecified number of arrests were made.

Michael Elias, who is in charge of the shelter, said 830 people were housed at the facility and that between 20 and 30 started the disruption. “It’s the simple fact that there are a lot of young men travelling alone here. We withdrew … because the situation simply exploded. It was a complete blow-out,” he said.

48 thoughts on “Hmm”

  1. “A lot of young men travelling alone”

    As others have said, an unusual demographic distribution for people fleeing a war zone.

  2. “Earlier this year, the German police union and women’s rights groups accused the authorities of playing down reports of sexual assault and even rape”

    I thought it was extreme right wingness to raise this?

  3. According to a lady in the Question Time audience, it’s young men because they are coming first to “make the journey safe for their sisters”. Apparently.

  4. Not to be contentious- I don’t find it unusual for young men to be fleeing a war zone. I would have thought that any young man would have been first up on the ISIS/Assad/other miscellaneous nutter hitlist because they were either suspected of being combatants or could easily become combatants.

    Assuming that the young men are fleeing because they don’t want to be shot/beheaded/thrown off buildings, seems reasonable.

    (Of course, they could also be terrorists hiding in the sheep pack, but no one said security of borders in a time of mass migration was easy, did they?)

  5. John, a lot of them aren’t fleeing war zones. This has become a free for all for anyone in Middle Eastern countries who can pay the smugglers to try and get to Europe. Once they’re here, they can play the family reunification card to get the rest of the family over. Oddly enough the BBC aren’t reporting it.

  6. John Square

    So your argument is that it’s OK for me to flee because they fear being shot, and quite understandable that they might leave behind their female relatives – for what? To take special islamic flower arranging classes? To bake cakes for ISIS?

    They are raping and murdering and enslaving women. I can think of no circumstances in which I would run away from ISIS and leave my wife and daughters, or my sister, or my mother, behind. I’d rather fight and die. Much rather.

  7. Hope Ms Coppola is enjoying the benefits of the mass immigration she wanted in order to teach the xenophobic british a lesson.

  8. Fred: Not much chance of that. As was pointed out at the time, she lives in nice white Rochester–cos the house prices are so reasonable there.

  9. “According to a lady in the Question Time audience, it’s young men because they are coming first to “make the journey safe for their sisters”. Apparently.”

    It takes a special level of delusion to think that Western Europe, and travel through it, is less safe than a war zone with one side using chemical weapons and the other a fanatic death cult, with occasional air raids from sundry other powers.

  10. Anyone know the relative numbers? Here are some for US immigration at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th.

    http://www.nber.org/chapters/c5134

    in 1907 (choosing a totally random year) Italian migration to US was 4:1 in favour of men to women. Japanese migration was 9:1, Polish 5:2, Hebrew 8:7 English 11:6, Greek 22:1

  11. @ken,

    It makes evolutionary sense for men to migrate. Culturally the question is will they integrate and start going to university, drinking beer, and so on, or will this become a threat (some violent some not) to the European/British way of life and standard of living – things which I for one think are worth defending. We live in a golden age and going backwards is not a good idea.

    There’s a hint of the answer to the question in Iraq, in which Bush and Bliar believed that regime change was all that was necessary for secular liberal democracy to take root.

  12. Rob,
    I’d expect more balanced genders if they were genuine refugees. You don’t run from a burning house saying “I’ll go back for my wife / mother / daughter once I’ve built a new home”.

  13. @interested.

    Not my argument, really- I was just noting that men of military age are fairly high up the snuff list in these circumstances, and thus (providing they are fleeing from a warzone) it’s explicable.

    I’m not saying there aren’t terrorists in the mix, nor that some of them shouldn’t have stayed, or that we shouldn’t refuse to allow some to settle.

  14. And the point from the audience member on QT is obvious bollocks, and unhelpful. As Rob said, any reason for the men acting as pathfinders is spurious, given the state of the place where you women are.

  15. There’s a hint of the answer to the question in Iraq, in which Bush and Bliar believed that regime change was all that was necessary for secular liberal democracy to take root.

    To be fair, I at least credit them for giving the Iraqis the benefit of the doubt on that score. Unfortunately, it is difficult in the aftermath to reach a conclusion that is not along the lines of “these swarthy ragheads are savages and need a strongman to keep them in line”.

  16. Bingo: Tim.

    Who wouldn’t want to benefits of that liberal secular society? In hindsight, it looks naieve (and Iraq probably killed off the last 40 years worth of foreign policy as “Give them the choice and they’ll do the right thing” when dealing with despots).

    Not sure what the new foreign policy should be, either. But apparently no one is. Well, aside from Putin.

  17. @John Square

    Ah – fair dos.

    I don’t personally think that many of the Syrians who are trying to come here or elsewhere in Europe are terrorists, or even sympathisers.

    However, many of them are adherents of the world’s most repressive and illiberal religion, a religion which is in violent schism, and they have tribal and ancestral and clan allegiances which we cannot hope to fathom.

    I’m sure there are many decent people among them, and I don’t blame them at all for trying to move. But the best case scenario seems to be we get a few doctors and engineers and young Brits of the future along with (going by Molenbeek and Paris etc) a large new bunch of marginalised and vaguely ghettoised people who quickly become disillusioned with what we can give them, because we’re essentially broke.

  18. Berlin was bombed to shit in 1945 and the Germans rebuilt their country very quickly (albet with the help of others).

    Baghdad and Damascus have been bombed less comprehensively and the will and money is there for them to rebuild.

    But no-one thinks they will. No-one foresees anything but fifty years of bloodshead, murder and chaos.

    Why? Because they are not Germans but Iraqis and Syrians, and they do not want to rebuild (or not enough of them do); they would rather settle ancient enmities and old blood feuds and insane and arcane religious disputes with AKs and car bombs.

  19. Google ‘WW2 refugees’ and have a look at the pictures. A lot of women, children and old men. Very few young men, for the obvious reason that any male from 15 to 55 was in the forces fighting on one side or another.

    Its not a refugee horde entering Germany, its an army.

  20. @Jim: get you point, but respectfully disagree that the two conflicts have sufficient similarities to allow us to draw useful comparisons.

    WW2 was fought between to organised nation states with recognised borders and so forth. What’s going on within Syria is just ducking carnage and slaughter. The Nazi’s wanted to extend Germany’s borders outward: I think IS are more trying to destroy everything over a poorly defined area of control to build a new society within it’s sphere of influence.

  21. @john square: “WW2 was fought between to organised nation states with recognised borders and so forth”

    Not really. Once the war kicked off, particularly on the Eastern Front, borders were irrelevant. Refugees were just shifting away from the fighting, whatever nominal territory it was taking place on.

    The point is that if there is a war on, young men of fighting age should be fighting, not running away faster than the women and children, which is what we are seeing here. If all these young men hate IS (which I severely doubt) they should be over there fighting them, not heading for the West and demanding welfare.

  22. Hello Jim,

    “The point is that if there is a war on, young men of fighting age should be fighting, not running away faster than the women and children, which is what we are seeing here.”

    Don’t think I don’t agree with you in principle, but there are many genuine reasons why some of the men in questions are genuine refugees, and not terrorists, cowards and the like.

    I suspect in Raqqa at the moment, you are either inducted into IS or shot where you stand. In those circumstances, I suspect a great many will just run for it. Not being part of IS is as big a victory as may be possible for some.

  23. Iraq has suffered 30 years of conflict and sanctions. Baghdad’s water and sewerage, electricity and telecoms are fucked. That’s what “regime change” means.

  24. “a lot of young men travelling alone”

    Really?

    I thought they were all desperate families with sad-eyed toddlers.

    Silly me.

  25. “there are many genuine reasons why some of the men in questions are genuine refugees, and not terrorists, cowards and the like.

    I suspect in Raqqa at the moment, you are either inducted into IS or shot where you stand. In those circumstances, I suspect a great many will just run for it. Not being part of IS is as big a victory as may be possible for some.”

    And there you have the prime reason there’s so much oppression in the world. If oppressors are not stood up to, they’re successful. Freedom’s not a right. it’s a priviledge, often needs fighting for.
    No-one’s doing Syria – or any of the other countries – any favours by taking in these refugees. These are exactly the people needed in their own homeland to confront IS. If they won’t do it for their own people, why should anyone else?.

  26. “I suspect in Raqqa at the moment, you are either inducted into IS or shot where you stand. In those circumstances, I suspect a great many will just run for it. Not being part of IS is as big a victory as may be possible for some.”

    Fair enough. So when you reach a safe place (Turkey) do you not find out how to join up with like minded people who are fighting IS? After all your womenfolk are still under the IS yoke are they not? Why not join with those attempting to liberate them? Why try to make the thousand mile journey to the West instead?

    Let me give you an example from personal knowledge. A good friend of mine’s father was Polish (he died a few years ago). In 1939 the Russians came to his farm (he was about 12) and took his father away, never to be seen again. A while later they came again and took him, his sisters and his step mother on trains to Siberia where he was made to work in labour camps. Amazingly amidst all this he kept his sisters and step mother with him and alive. Then when Hitler invaded Russia the Poles were let go, and he and his family travelled all the way to Iran where the Free Polish Army was formed, women and children included. The British then shipped them all the the UK, and all the men joined the Allies in fighting the Nazis. They didn’t all leave their families behind and try to get to Sweden or Ireland to avoid fighting, they fought fanatically to defeat Nazi Germany. Wherever the fighting was fiercest, there you would find the Poles.

    Why are these young men not prepared to do likewise?

  27. BiS and Jim: good points, both.

    I wish people would do as you both say (and I wish we’d gone into Syria in 2013), and I believe that a secular liberal state is the best way forward for people worldwide. But I’m unsurprised that, in the face of western vacillation, some folk are cutting and running in the way many east Germans wished they’d done in the hours before partition

  28. Jim

    Read
    http://www.baen.com/WarTraining-Part2.asp

    Axiom 8.

    …Vignette Two: Me and my brother against my cousin; me, my brother, and my cousin against the stranger.

    Wadi Natrun, Egypt, Summer, 1985

    Lemme tell ya a story, true story as it happens.

    Some twenty-eight years ago, during Bright Star 85, the Egyptian Army – clearly one of the better Arab armies – set up some tents for us not around Wadi Natrun, generally northwest of Cairo. The Egyptian lieutenant in charge of the detail looked at the Americans, looked at the tents (which were, by the way, better than ours), looked at the Americans…

    Plainly he was thinking that an American’s signature on a hand receipt would do him no good if one of those tents grew legs. He put his platoon in formation and announced, “I need three guards”.

    Every man reached into his back pocket, pulled out a wallet and began peeling off notes. The three who came up with the smallest bribes were picked to guard the tents.

    To sum up, there is no army that they can join.

  29. I’ve moved country 4 times, and 4 times I have spent several months in the new country before sending for the missus and kids. Although my missus and kids weren’t left in war zones, and I could just put them on an Easyjet when the time came.

    Anyway it’s natural for young single men to move – because they’ve nothing to lose. No risk to your family and no risk to your career (if you have even started one) – just a lot of potential upside if you manage to get a job (and therefore have the resources to attract a woman and spread your seed – as BiG says it’s evolutionary). In my case the older I got the more stressed I got about moving the kids schools, etc – and I’ve swore I’m not doing it again.

  30. “Anyway it’s natural for young single men to move …etc”

    And this is why, when you have immigration, you’ll always be getting a disproportionate amount of the donor country’s criminal class.

  31. Since Europe, or Angela Merkel on Europe’s behalf, has already decided that they’re going to accept all these people, whether they’re really war refugees or not is kind of irrelevant. The only thing that matters is how well they’ll integrate into European society. And the early returns aren’t too promising, are they?

  32. If we look at immigration in early 1900s for comparison then we still have to consider why men went first.
    Typically there was a cost element to moving to the new world and so it made sense to send the person with best earning potential over first who could then send money back and save to bring over rest of the family. The same went for West Indians coming to Britain post war where the wage earner came first.
    Given the current situation we have a cost for smugglers etc and this is a group of people who likely don’t see woman as earning an income, but staying home with kids. So in that sense there may be justification for parallels, but it does ignore the war zone part. Using data from other historical periods is always fraught with danger around context.

    There were always a certain number of people that took advantage to escape responsibility back home and disappear of course, or wives that turned up to find another family in place.

  33. Bloke not in Cymru – OK, but have you seen the invaders?

    They don’t look like family men to me.

    TBH though, I don’t actually care about their life stories. They need to be made to fuck off.

  34. The English upper class sent loads of younger sons to the colonies. No inheritance at home. It was an easy way to offload the bludgers, scroungers and drunks.

  35. “If we look at immigration in early 1900s for comparison then we still have to consider why men went first.”

    FFS! We know that economic migration sends the young men first, thats a given, for all the reasons you detail.

    However we are being told these are ‘refugees’. In which case it shouldn’t be young men first, it should be the old, the children, the women, escaping the fighting. But it isn’t, is it?

    Get your story straight. If you are saying the reason that its all young men is that they are like the economic migrations to the New World, then they aren’t refugees at all, and we can close the borders and send the ones already here home. Deal?

  36. @UKL ‘Iraq has suffered 30 years of conflict and sanctions. Baghdad’s water and sewerage, electricity and telecoms are fucked. That’s what “regime change” means.’

    No. Actually, I was in Baghdad at various points in the 1990s and it functioned fine from the point of view of water and sewerage, electricity and telecoms, even out in Sadr City.

    Immediately post 2003 there was a sizeable fuck up involving getting these services restored – not least because western aid agencies and governments were more keen to get women to join the new police force and to sort out democracy than they were the water and sewerage, electricity and telecoms (probably because they have never themselves lived without these things, and are unimaginative, stupid, solipsistic, arrogant cunts).

    However, the reason water and sewerage, electricity and telecoms are still fucked (ish) is because of Iraqis. You can rebuild a city pretty quickly, often better than it was before – see Berlin post 1945 (or London post 1666 FFS) – and the money was certainly there. It could now be a shining beacon of rebuilt modernity. But some Iraqis would insist on killing others with power drills and car bombs and machetes, and thus we are where we are.

  37. “Why are these young men not prepared to do likewise?”

    How do you know they’re not? Let’s offer British citizenship to any Syrian families who get to Iran, on the condition that the men join the British army to fight ISIL, and see what happens. (To make a proper analogy, we should first make a pact with Assad to invade Iran. But let’s not do that.)

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