Has multiculturalism failed in Germany?
I don’t think that it has just yet, but it is really about time to inform and educate the people about multiculturalism. I do believe that only information helps.
You are coming from Eastern Germany. Why is the situation for foreigners there much worse?
Since there are not many migrants in Eastern Germany, then the people tend to be afraid of foreigners. This phenomenon is reinforced by the fact that so many people are not doing that well in Eastern Germany and they are easily incited against the foreigners. They are afraid of unknown and they don’t even know what they are telling. They don’t even know any migrants. But then suddenly a foreigner comes and turns out to be a very nice person… I think the poverty is the reason.
A lot of people, including many politicians, are really afraid of the topic multiculturalism. It is a sensitive and fervent topic. It is very easy to classify a person, who talks about this issue, in one corner – either he or she is right away a leftist hippie or a right-wing conservative. It is difficult to position oneself in this situation.
Do you feel the difference between East Germans and West Germans?
Yes. But there is also a big difference between North Germans and South Germans. The South Germans are friendlier than people in the north. North Germans are calmer on the other hand. Of course, I am not very impartial. But you can really tell that the West Germans have lived much longer in a capitalist system and because of that the status symbols play a much bigger role in the West.
As of me, I come from a rural area and don’t really know any brand-names. Therefore, I must always ask my friends what this or that label is. It is somehow ridiculous.