‘Are you worried about being sexually assaulted?’: my night in Cologne

Chasing the shadows of New Year’s Eve through the spring carnival

13 February 2016

9:00 AM

13 February 2016

9:00 AM

Last week the indigenous white population of Cologne took to the streets once again to celebrate their annual ‘Crazy Days’ spring carnival. I stepped out of the hotel at ten o’clock on the morning of the designated ‘women’s day’, wondering how the women of Cologne had reacted to the events of New Year’s Eve, and to Mutti Merkel waving in a million-plus young Muslims per year to pep up the flagging gene pool of the 10 million indigenous males aged 20–30. As the Economist magazine’s ‘World in 2016’ supplement, throwing off all pretence, so excitedly puts it: ‘There is only one last hurdle to Germany officially becoming a land of immigrants, and it is politics.’

In the cobbled streets of Cologne’s Altstadt, I join a drunken crowd of Father Christmases, bloodied hospital patients, admirals, policemen, highwaymen, after-dinner speakers, sheep, robots, matelots, musketeers, airline pilots, football referees, Sherwood foresters, clowns, druids, more police (real ones this time, sprinting pell-mell through the crowds towards an incident), City slickers, Woodstock-era hippies, surgeons, deep-sea divers, ghostbusters, bishops, Arab sheiks, gnomes, fairies, seraphim, ancient Greeks, Romans, pharaohs, convicts, surfers, wizards, punks, fly agaric mushrooms and bananas. The festive human current sweeps me up and bears me along. Rousing German drinking songs issue from loudspeakers outside every bar. Inside and outside the bars people are singing and dancing. The bars are rammed to the ceiling with dancing, singing Germans. The atmosphere in the street is good-natured and humorous, though there are the fallen, the puking, and the unconscious to be negotiated, and some of the teenage boys are dangerously out of their minds. Cologne’s senior citizens are out in force, too, perhaps exerting a civilising effect on the youth. The gravity of an elderly German couple dressed as chickens picking their way across the broken glass of a thousand smashed Jägermeister bottles is something to see. Cologne Germans have English faces. I must have a Cologne face because not infrequently people bawl German at it from six inches away.

It is something of a relief to find myself unexpectedly on the chilly, windswept bank of the majestic river Rhine with room to move. Tethered to the bank is an enormous double-decker pleasure cruiser, perhaps 150 yards long, the all-glass exterior affording a view of the interior life of the ship, like the cross-section of an architectural drawing. Along the entire length of the ship, on both decks, revellers in fancy dress are dancing like maniacs to music I can’t hear. I lean on the promenade rail to take in the extraordinary sight. Leaning meditatively on the rail next to me is Il Duce, resplendent in a dazzling white field-marshal’s uniform and regal white cape. The guy is about 70 and his face in repose bears the same serene belligerence as the subject of his impersonation. ‘Der Führer must be spinning in his shallow grave,’ I observe in English. Il Duce acknowledges my comment by slowly closing his eyes.

Crusader knights, Vikings, highlanders, polar bears, Dalmatian dogs, fortune tellers, tigers, demons, monks, tatterdemalions, Tudor gentlemen, William Tells, Teletubbies, tarts. And look — here come Napoleon and Josephine! A woman dressed as a dice, and so beautiful I have to avert my eyes, shouts: ‘L’état, c’est moi!’ Which only goes to show that German education isn’t what it was, either. ‘Are you worried about being sexually assaulted by North African migrants?’ I ask her. She and her friend laugh at me as if I’ve made a very good joke. ‘Let me ask you something. Are you mad?’ she says.

I continue to drift on the crazy human current and next find myself on the forecourt of the Cologne central station. Beside the open door of a police van, officers are interviewing four men of North African appearance. The interviewees are small of stature. One of them is wearing a silver top hat with the words ‘Happy New Year’ written across the front. The German police officers have middle-class faces. The last time I was in Germany was 1976, in Frankfurt. My friends and I were arrested for fighting with the police. Afterwards they were frightfully decent about it all, and in the morning they let bygones be bygones, released us, and even helped us find the car. Since then I have always laughed when I think of the exceptional niceness of the German police. Germans: don’t you just love them? One minute they are a Nazi state, the next a hippy one.

A circular crowd is grooving to a pirate steel drum band tonking away at its centre. I pass through the swing doors into Cologne Central station, walk up to the information desk, and ask the woman behind the glass: ‘Were you working here on New Year’s Eve?’ She nods grim assent. ‘The sex attackers — were they refugees?’ I ask her. She wags an admonitory finger. ‘No. They were North Africans,’ she said. ‘They come here almost every night to deal drugs.’

‘What sort of drugs?’ I say, keen to buy. She says she has no idea.

Back outside on the thronged station forecourt, a bunch of six male bananas are getting on famously with eight Superwomen. I go to the tourist information office on the far side of the forecourt. The woman behind the counter is dressed as a chef. She has a Hitler moustache drawn on her upper lip in black felt tip. ‘My wife,’ I say, ‘is terribly worried that while she is here she might not be sexually assaulted by North African drug dealers. Is there anything you can suggest that will calm her fears?’

‘If she is assaulted she should find a policeman,’ says the woman, shortly. ‘There are more than 2,000 here today.’ ‘That is very reassuring,’ I say. ‘Many thanks.’

Back out on the forecourt, a police press spokeswoman is giving a TV interview. When she’s finished, I intercept her and introduce myself as an English journalist representing The Spectator, the oldest magazine in the English-speaking world. I am dressed as a Regency buck in a dazzling tailcoat richly embroidered with gold, silver and purple curlicues and coronets. Instead of a powdered wig and tricorn, however, I am wearing a red sequinned trilby hat decorated with multi-coloured lights. The lights have three settings: fast flashing, languid flashing, and just plain on. I’m switched to fast flashing.

‘Why is Germany committing national suicide?’ I ask her.

She has very blue eyes. ‘This is of course a matter for the politicians, not the police,’ says she.

Danke schön,’ I say, bowing low.

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  • Polly Radical

    In fact, there is a clear evolution from Nazism to aggressive ‘hippyism’ as evidenced by the Baader-Meinhof etc. We shouldn’t be surprised that Germany has made the transition so smoothly.

    • red2black

      The opposite is also true; hence the influence of Hitler’s ‘Green Party’ during the Third Reich.

    • Hamburger

      You should read Hitler’s Children. You would then realise that what you wrote is nonsense.

  • deepeekay

    the doomed waiving from their tumbril.

    • Ingmar Blessing

      lol yes they do.

      In fact the organisers have even given out an invitation in Arabian to all the migrants

      The (recently elected, highly incompetent green party and open door) mayor stated that women should simply keep an armlength of distance to stay save from harrasment..

      about like that: http://static1.akpool.de/images/cards/37/379741.jpg

      We’ve entered the stage of ridicoulusness. I believe it’s the last one before sending SOS

      • Marian Hunter

        Hi Ingmar your comment and attached document really has made my rather dull Valentine’s Day. Thank you. Very, very funny.

  • thetrashheap

    There is no point in asking relatively rich city folk. They need to be very unlucky to come into contact with them.

    Ask the working class who live near them. Those in small village that is now 15% refugee.

    • Sue Smith

      They’re called “ghettos”.

    • flipkipper

      Another neunmalkluger Dreikäsehoch who knows nothing about Germany or Cologne. Have you ever been?
      It’s the low-grade city centre locations, typically around transport hubs, that house the highest level of immigrants pro rata.
      There are no “ghettos” in Cologne as they exist here. Decent mixed-use social housing macht’s möglich.

      • Copyright101

        You utter tool.

        • flipkipper

          Copyright101! Welcome back.
          How much did it cost you to get your profile reinstated on these blogs?

  • UncleTits

    My street seems to have an increasing number of Middle-Eastern Muslim men being moved in and I have personally witnessed under-age child sexual exploitation from my window and yes, it’s really true, complete with plying the girl with vodka and cannabis. All cultures are not equal, multiculturalism is a lie, everybody already knows it, and Merkel should be merc’d.

    • Sue Smith

      Germany does everything to extremes; this is just another example. And, for the information of the Economist, Germany has long been a multicultural nation. They used the Turkish people to rebuild after WW2. No news there.

    • Leftism is a societal cancer

      Do something about it.

  • Cobbett

    ‘There is only one last hurdle to Germany officially becoming a land of immigrants, and it is politics.’

    What about the German people…don’t they have a say?

    • justejudexultionis

      They do not have a say because democracy in Europe is dead and ‘liberal’, atheistic multiculturalism rules.

    • mohdanga

      Maybe the editors can take in a few of these “immigrants” to experience first hand their enriching qualities.

      • Cobbett

        It’s good for GDP(apparently)…that’s all they seem to care about.

        • mohdanga

          Yes, borrow money to hire more police officers, rape crisis workers, hospital workers, ESL workers, builders of “asylum seeker” housing, fix property torched and destroyed by the enrichers, etc. We should take in millions more because GDP will increase even more!

        • Ed The Duck

          Yes, except what really matters is GDP per head – and low wage migrants depress that.

          • Cobbett

            Like I care either way…they’re not wanted FULL STOP.

  • Zanderz

    Apologies all – Jeremy did indeed purchase his requirement from the North Africans. This passed editorial by mistake.

  • jim

    Only an arab would find this article amusing.Certainly no white man could.

    • 9sqn

      Was that the point of it ? I was wondering ..

  • Child_of_Thatcher

    The Economist is getting excited about slave labour for its business readers, they also cheered black majority rule in Africa. Its short term thinking. The Merkel has had a free ride from the media party compared to the Donald, but she is much more of an extremist. Her lack of any credible argument for her dictatorial actions has forced her to conspire with the Zuckerberg creep to censor any criticism of her policies. This creature is either malevolent or incompetent but either way, if the German people don’t get rid of this virus quickly it will get rid of them.

    • Sue Smith

      From the content of this article I’d say the German people have “Stockholm Syndrome” already. Please console yourself that it is not your problem if you live outside Europe. I’m happy to have them all deal with it. In fact, we in Australia would like to wave any wannabees onwards to your general direction!! Very happily.

  • 9sqn

    What a pointless, meandering, boring article. Jeremy Clarke, don’t call us, we’ll call you.

  • justejudexultionis

    Jeder Jeck ist anders. Deutschland schafft sich dennoch mit dieser wahnsinniger Einwanderungspolitik ab.

    • flipkipper

      wahnsinnigeN, matey.
      Lern Deutsch or STFU.
      Google Translate is no substitute for a non-existent education.

      • Mr B J Mann

        “Google Translate is no substitute for a non-existent education.”

        Try putting that in Google translate and see if it can translate it into English?!

  • Gareth

    police admitted their efforts with generator-powered lights, video surveillance, and more police officers had failed to clear the “problem groups from North Africa” who caused chaos and raped hundreds on New Year’s Eve around the cathedral steps and were still congregating there during carnival.

    In a report by Cologne’s new chief of police Jürgen Mathies, as soon as the force had to relocate officers away from the Cathedral steps to deal with trouble elsewhere, “immediately after this highly problematic [group] gathered” there again. While the senior officer cited this experience as an argument for the force keeping a maintained presence of more officers in the city, there is no suggestion police could be everywhere all the time.


    • Rajmuld

      “Raped hundreds on New Year’s Eve”….Yes, of course. All the evidence is there – it was all captured on CCTV and all the camera phones out that night. And you’re Josef Goebbels, naturally “Gareth”….. Amusing that you quote the Breitbart site – an embarrassing far-right fanzine written by illiterate racists pretending to be ‘journalists’ for illiterate racists sitting in armchairs doing nothing (people like you).

  • jeffersonian

    ‘‘Are you worried about being sexually assaulted by North African migrants?’ I ask her. She and her friend laugh at me as if I’ve made a very good joke. ‘Let me ask you something. Are you mad?’ she says.’

    Of course. Nothing to see here, move along, and of course none of these things have anything to do with Isl…I mean this is just a public order issue. No?

    • Sue Smith

      The German women have learned their lessons in cultural marxism very very well.

  • mohdanga

    ‘There is only one last hurdle to Germany officially becoming a land of immigrants, and it is politics.’ Or maybe the wishes of tens of millions of Germans not to be “a country of immigrants”. Not sure why the Economist trumpets that a country and area with several thousand years of history and culture should now become better by being overrun with millions of non-assimilating, violent 3rd worlders…but they must be smarter than us.

  • Sovay.

    Sherwood Foresters? What, the original Notts and Derbys, or the Mercian battalion that currently has the honour of that title? I’m intrigued .

  • Rajmuld

    Congratulations to the excellent Jeremy Clarke for pouring water on the pathetic little racists who sit in their armchairs spreading lies about what really happened in Cologne. Churnalist sites like Breitbart and far right extremists like Allison Pearson in the Telegraph concocted so much defeatist garbage about one rowdy news year’s night in a German city that it was embarrassing. White men are just as likely to carry out sexual assaults as dark skinned ones and no amount of Brexit-related BS will ever change that.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      A Brit Immigration officer at LHR screamed “racist” at me last week. Think he meant “heretic”. Hard to be sure when you’re dealing with a Nutter.

    • Copyright101

      White men are just as likely to carry out sexual assaults as dark skinned ones


      • Rajmuld

        Racist coward

        • Copyright101

          What’s a ‘racist’?

    • Vinnie

      Unfortunately for you, the stats don’t point to your favour. Breitbart may concentrate on this issue but they have a tonne of ammo (fact based sources). You however have emotional rhetoric.

      The difference is the Right have facts the Left have feelings.

  • Terence Hale

    Mr. Clarke addressing you observations in Cologne you forget this was the fifth season of the year where everything has an end only the sausage has two, a culture foreign to the British. The Germanic tribes have their ways to be “nuts” a few days in the year.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Been exploring Leicester recently, I have to admit I feel right at home in a sea of different colour faces where everyone seems to speak a different language. But then I have just arrived from multicultural Malaysia. One plus is that Brits really know their way around an Indian take-away menu. And there are all the Chinese students up at the Uni.

    • Copyright101

      You’re a tool.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        I’ll be leaving YUCK for good tomorrow. You?

        • Copyright101

          Good, don’t come back.

    • EUSSR 4 All!

      When is your next dose of Methadone due?

    • Phyllyp Sparowe

      Isn’t Malaysia that non country where everyone lives in their little ethnic ghettos and all the politicians are bought and paid for by the House of Saud?

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Only a fool would identify with their host nation. Or indeed any nation.

        • Sue Smith


    • Andy JS

      We’ve already had 50 years of multiculturalism in the UK and manners have gone downhill during that time if anything.

  • Sean L

    People were drunk at ten o’clock in the morning? Rubbish article mate.

  • Harryagain
    • Qaisar Rashid

      Condemn the police and not the refugees.

      • Harryagain

        Still trolling?
        They are all evil cult members, they have no business in the UK.

        • Qaisar Rashid

          Tell this point to your government not to me.

  • Qaisar Rashid

    The happy news is that the English are coming to terms with the Germans. Associations are drawn and common grounds are found. This is a good omen for Europe and especially for Britain-German harmony. Good luck!

  • Qaisar Rashid

    When I had been to the UK, the British used to advise me against my decision to go to Germany for further studies. The Cologne incidents, as these have been projected, must have changed the minds of the British and made them share common grounds with the Germans. I hope now onward no Britain will revile the Germans and Germany.

  • Qaisar Rashid

    “The last time I was in Germany was 1976, in Frankfurt.” The last time I had been to Germany was 2002 and the British met me at a laundry in Berlin asked me why I was in Berlin for higher studies and not in the UK. I hope now no British will embarrass any Pakistani by asking such “stupid” questions. I am happy that the Cologne incidents have brought both the British and the Germans closer to each other. Good luck!