By Michael Smith (Veshengro)
An apartment block housing Sinti and Roma families was the target of an apparent racial arson attack in the west German city of Leverkusen in the last week of July 2011 and prosecutors have, in fact, put a 5,000 Euro bounty on any information leading to apprehension and conviction of perpetrator(s).
Unknown assailants threw several Molotov cocktails into the ground floor apartment of the building, where a well-known Gypsy family of Leverkusen had their home. Luckily the occupants managed to escape unharmed.
Witnesses have spoken of four perpetrators who drove off in a car and minibus.
Police do 'not rule out a radical right-wing background' in the fire-bombing of the four-storey building.
The apartment was totally gutted by the flames, however fire-fighters were able to prevent it from spreading to the rest of the apartments.
Germany has time and again witnessed brutal racist and xenophobic attacks in recent years as the center-right government of Chancellor Angela Merkel has
tried to downplay the problem.
Most of the racial assaults are committed by mostly young-Neo-Nazis who live in what used to be formerly communist East Germany.
The German government has been under fire for not really cracking down on far-right violence which is targeting mostly foreigners and leftist activists.
Young neo-Nazis feel more and more emboldened to commit hate crimes, knowing that police won't charge them with an offense.
Most of the suspects implicated in far-right crimes are juveniles.
Hate crime experts and sociologists have repeatedly stressed that Germany's political leadership lacked a clear and effective strategy to really combat neo-Nazi crimes.
It has to be said that this is nothing new and has been going on for years and years though in recent years attacks seem to have gotten more severe. One can but wonder as to whether the Neo-Nazi groups are being emboldened by what is happening in Hungary in the way that the Jobik and other groups get away with attacking Gypsies.
I must say that I have been – unfortunately – predicting firebomb attacks to be headed the way of our People and have, more than once, suggested that people took precautions, including of anti-firebomb curtains and such like.
Other, more active defensive actions, obviously, are not something that we, the Gypsy community, would ever be allowed to consider, unlike the Jewish community who can have their own guards, armed ones even, protecting homes, businesses, schools, synagogues, and such like.
One rule for the Gypsy and one rule for others, as per usual...