BERLIN: The German government Monday condemned the “cold-hearted and cowardly” mob that tried to stop a bus from taking migrants to a shelter for asylum seekers, calling the ugly episode “deeply shameful”.
About 100 people in the Saxony town of Clausnitz shouted “We are the people” and tried to block the bus carrying about 20 asylum-seekers on Thursday night.
The images captured on video, which show some terrified migrants crying, have gone viral on social media, sparking widespread outrage. “I want to say on behalf of the chancellor and the entire government that what happened in Clausnitz is deeply shameful,” said Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert.
“How cold-hearted and cowardly one must be to stand in front of a bus with refugees and shout with the aim of frightening the passengers, including women and children,” he said, calling for a “clear response from government institutions and the majority of citizens”.
Seibert also said that individuals must stand up against racism and xenophobia. “This is not something that we can solve with rules from Berlin. It is something that we must, as a society, take a clear stance on.
That’s something that we can do. That’s something that each of you can do,” he told a press conference. Germany, which received 1.1 million asylum seekers last year, has recorded a rise in the number of attacks against migrant shelters.
The former communist east in particularly has seen a disproportionate number of far-right hate crimes.