Neo-Nazi assaults US national for speaking English

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German police say they are seeking a man, believed to be a neo-Nazi, who beat up a US national because he was speaking English in a McDonald's restaurant.

21st December 2007

Gelsenkirchen, Germany (dpa) - German police say they are seeking a man, believed to be a neo-Nazi, who beat up a US national because he was speaking English in a McDonald's restaurant.

The victim, 54, was taken to hospital with serious injuries after the incident on Saturday, which has not previously been reported.

The victim had been talking to his female partner in English in the fast-food eatery in the industrial city of Gelsenkirchen when the stranger interrupted and demanded they speak in German.

The girlfriend replied that her partner only knew a little German. The assailant, described as having short blonde hair, used an epithet, calling him an "Englander," and said, "This is Germany. German must be spoken."

After the assailant said "Heil Hitler" and did a Nazi salute, the victim replied - in English - that he would call the police. The German then head-butted the US national, kicked him repeatedly as he lay on the ground, and fled.

Police issued closed-circuit TV pictures of the incident from the restaurant security camera and appealed for some of the many other people who had queued at the McDonald's counter at the time to come forward as witnesses.


1 Comment To This Article

  • Edward H. Day posted:

    on 23rd December 2007, 12:21:24 - Reply

    As a white, Anglo Saxon American stationed in Germany for over five years, I have never encountered such behavior. Before I go on, please allow me to somewhat digress from my final point for a moment.

    I understand where this xenophobia comes from. It is in your history and right or wrong, it is here with you today. I am married to a German citizen and have had first hand observations of the events and issues facing the German people of the twenty-first century. I understand these things and I understand how some people can and do think this way. I never considered myself a “foreigner’ in Germany. Rather someone who doesn’t speak your language very well. Through my wife, Germany is now my second home.

    Americans here in Germany and especially U.S. military members are not in here for the remainder of their lives. We have not come seeking asylum, we do not take jobs from the German people and we are not drawing off your social resources. We add to them – in the form of rents, utilities paid, jobs on U.S. installations, fuel purchased, services rendered, etc. As military personnel, we serve our tours of duty and return home to the United States; basically what most German people want foreigners to do – go home. The main complaint from xenophobes is that foreigners come to Germany, consume your social resources, take jobs and live parasitic lives. I’m not saying that other groups do not do this. I am sure there are examples where foreign elements within Germany are actively defrauding the German system and displacing German workers from their jobs, but for Americans, this could not be further from reality.

    Now to my point. As U.S. military veteran of 20 years including three combat tours of duty, my last in Iraq, I would welcome such an event; anytime, anywhere. I would be more than happy to “explain”, in detail, the hazards of such rude behavior, to this clearly educationally deficient and possibility chemically dependent individual. It is unfortunate that it was a 54 year old gentleman that was the focus of this individual’s aggression. I hope he is recovering and holds no anger toward the German people. In the future, perhaps these and other like minded people will select a more physically fit, emotionally prepared American to vent their hostility toward. However they may be very surprised at the response and find themselves unable to deal with the immediate repercussions.