1598 The Aufbau
It was a New York newspaper, once. Its job was to teach refugees from Nazi Germany how to assimilate into life in America.
There’s nothing on this earth like a German with a rule book. So when the huge wave of immigrants swept ashore here, the Aufbau took it upon itself to offer a reading of the rules.
--don’t brag about how great Germany is or was.
--don’t brag about how high ranking you were or give the impression you’re doing America a favor by being here. (no one cares and no one will believe you.)
--don’t expect a hearty welcome.
--DO expect suspicion (We know you’re not a spy, but what do we know?)
--Get a job and show up for it every day you’re scheduled.
--As in Germany, promptness is a virtue here.
--Don’t make blunt overtures to people of the opposite sex immediately on meeting them. (And that goes for you, too, frauleins.)
--Oh, in case we failed to mention it earlier…
Fast forward to today. Germany is experiencing a mass influx of immigrants of its own. And as a public service, some groups have dusted off the “how to act” rule book.
This time, it’s in Arabic.
This, after more than a thousand newbies started robbing and sexually assaulting residents in Cologne. Germany has put out the willkommen mat, but only half heartedly… like the kind of welcome they got here in the 1930s.
Like the Germans in America, the Middle Easterners are bringing an established culture with them. There’s a wider gap between German and Arab than there was between German and American.
They were right to circulate the customs via the Aufbau back then. And they’re right to be circulating them now in Cologne, Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt and Nuremberg.
No country that accepts refugees is immune to culture clashes. Most can be handled reasonably and sanely.
The Germans have to get used to the pop up mosques that will no doubt pop up.
The incomers will have to learn that Europeans in general will react unkindly to women in facemasks, to killings, robbery, street rampages and Islamic quirks like “trial by husband/daddy/brother,” beheadings, male supremacy and female circumcision.
But what they will react kindly to is the idea that the refugees will want to be there and try to fit in.
Quote of the day:
“We received a letter from the police saying she was caught trying to steal condoms.” -- Honor killer Assadulah Kahn under questioning by police in Darmstadt, Germany when asked why he strangled his 19 year old daughter.
--Okay, Iowa, here come the last five minutes of your 15 minutes of fame. Once the caucus results are in and all the jabbering about them ends, you can get back to normal. And so can the rest of us.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2016