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A Different Germany

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Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei

I was in Leipzig over the weekend, which used to be part of communist East Germany. We were sitting in a cafe on Saturday and a young black man walked in. It suddenly occurred to me that he was the first colored person I’d seen all day.

From that moment on, I kept my eyes open, actively looking for ethnical diversity in Leipzig. But throughout the rest of the weekend, I hardly saw any black, Asian or Turkish people. And I didn’t see any ethnic shops either – no Turkish fruit sellers, no Indian stores with colorful saris and Bollywood movies, no Vietnamese specialty shops, or Asian supermarkets.

I’m sure these people and these shops exists in East German towns like Leipzig – they just aren’t as visible as in West Germany, where large parts of the population are now of Turkish, African or Asian origin.

And it’s bizzarre that Neo-Nazism, xenophobia and racism are much stronger in the East than in the West – even though the population there is much more “GERMAN” than in the multi-ethnic cities of western Germany.

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Written by Thorsten

March 31, 2008 at 12:49 pm

One Response

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  1. You’re right. Leipzig is definitely a nice place and has quite something to offer, not just from an architecture side of things, but also in a lot of other aspects like entertainment, spare time activities, environment (Compared to the city’s total area, Leipzig has the largest % of “green areas like parks, etc. of any city in Germany!)
    As far as the ethnic diversity goes, oh yeah, you bet there is diversity. Especially in the districts of Neustadt-Neuschönefeld/Volkmarsdorf/Süd-Vorstadt you find a lot of ethnic diversity, really. It just adds something to the whole flair. And as far as neo-nazism goes, I think it’s not as bad as it used to be. I think Leipzig is on a good way. 🙂

    Benny

    April 24, 2008 at 9:04 pm


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