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The atmosphere was uninhibited, aggressive. Fireworks were pointed at people, passers-by harassed, cellphones and wallets were stolen. The police were surprised and overwhelmed; there were too few officers on duty.
"The welcoming culture was contradicted, in that many people who had previously broadly supported it were suddenly fearful," the street worker said. With that, a lot of support was lost. "Right up to the refugee homes, where many people had still been helping us to advance social work and integration."
"Yes, we have succeeded. But 'we' in this context means really many, many people in Germany who pitched in: many mayors, many volunteers," and the many who are still supporting their new friends, neighbors, and co-workers, the chancellor told DW's Max Hofmann.
In the late summer of 2015, when tens of thousands of migrants and refugees reached Germany each month, Merkel coined the phrase "We will manage" ("Wir schaffen das") as her approach to Germany's migration policy. Merkel, however, also described dealing with the sudden influx of refugees and migrants in 2015 as the greatest challenges of her 16 years in office -- along with the COVID-19 crisis:
However, she also conceded that not everything had gone ideally: "There have also been some bad incidents, like when I think of that New Year's Eve in Cologne." Merkel referred to the events on Cologne's Cathedral Square on New Year's Eve 2016, when hundreds of women were burgled, harassed and in some cases even raped by groups of migrants.
originally posted by: Kocag
What is it that they succeeded at?