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Deutschland schafft mich

Book review

"Germany is finishing me off" by Michel Abdollahi

"Earlier the racists were still honest. Today they tie a carrot in front of your nose and let you run around in a circle"

  Claudia Ermel | 06.03.2020

Michel Abdollahi, born in Tehran, has lived in Germany since he was five years old. Since 1986 he has witnessed the ups and downs of German migration and immigration policy up close. As a journalist, television presenter and co-founder of the event series “Kampf der Künste”, he has repeatedly been the focus of the media as a “showcase migrant”. Since 2000 he has also been considered a luminary in the poetry slam scene. Michel Abdollahi was always close to the lives of migrants throughout his life, always affected by his origins. After the committed journalist and author recently noted with renewed concern the renewed emergence of hatred and rejection, it was now "high time" for this book.

In “Germany is finishing me off”, Abdollahi describes the change in German society from a cosmopolitan, foreign culture to a fire-threatening, brutalizing group of hate arsonists. It describes how a new right is developing through constant adaptation to the spirit of the times and political developments. At the latest since Thilo Sarrazin's "Germany abolishes itself" appeared on the market in 2010, according to Abdollahi the gradual shifting of the boundaries of what can be said began. The manners became unrestrained to brutal not least due to the blossoming of social media and the resulting anonymity. But even in real life, he observed the gradual division within our society.

Participation not wanted at all?

“When the migrants left their guest roles and began to take part in this life together, they became a threat especially for the right wing. An active role had not been planned for the "guests". If they had to be there, please be invisible if possible. In recent years, the migrants have actually only done exactly what politicians and the general public have always asked them to do: They left their shadowy existence on the margins of society and began to actively interweave with them. There is a word for this: “Integration”. ”Abdollahi does not fail to mention that there is still no sufficient lobby for migrant organizations and individuals.

The fact that in German society spanners are being thrown in the works again and again is demonstrated by the author with many examples of circumstances that he experienced, told to him or was publicly known. And Abdollahi reports on the ever-growing Islamophobia, the fear of bio-Germans (in the AfD jargon often called ethnic Germans) of foreign infiltration, above all the unknown, of refugees, of unchecked mosque construction, of the destruction of German culture and language ...

All just single offenders

At the same time, the author draws a terrifying timeline of all the racist “individual acts”, which range from the NSU murders to burning refugee homes, attacks on Jewish institutions, and death threats against politicians on social media. We know from the recent past that it was not always just "threa

Michel Abdollahi is not the only one to have realized that the situation is only getting worse. Concerned and frightened people with a migration history who suddenly no longer feel safe after years of peaceful life in Germany are turning to the author with their concerns more and more. He also reports about this in his book. Because the New Right is developing more and more, as he notes with concern. It is growing in the middle of a society that is currently too sensitive to diffuse fears and worries. “This was made possible by a chain of unfortunate circumstances, technical progress, dormant politics, social ignorance and unpredictable global political events. The lasting damage to society is enormous. It is almost a miracle that not much more and much worse has happened in this charged atmosphere, ”says Abdollahi.

In his descriptions, the author repeatedly makes it clear that politics and the media play an immensely important part in social discourse. The preservation of democracy and freedom of expression should be equally important to these two parties involved, if only for self-interest. Abdollahi uses many examples to make it clear how marginalization and "covert" racism work for us - also through the media. He knows that there can be no simple solution, and perhaps a first approach would be for as many people as possible to read his book first.

Michel Abdollahi „Deutschland schafft mich“ Verlag Hoffmann und Campe ISBN 978-3-455-00893-7

It will soon be in the kargah-Bibliothek

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Schirmherrin des Projekts Welt-in-Hannover.de ist Frau Doris Schröder-Köpf, Landesbeauftragte für Migration und Teilhabe.

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