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From oneb!!!!panix!!!!sun4nl!!!sinan Mon Apr 18 16:05:08 PDT 1994
Article: 28428 of soc.culture.german
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Date: 18 Apr 94 13:19:59 GMT
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 Chicago Tribune 

BERLIN -- One of the United States' most senior career 
diplomats for Germany has described this nation as ''a 
racist society'' and has echoed criticisms that Chancellor 
Helmut Kohl's government has failed to provide the ''moral 
leadership'' required to halt neo-Nazi violence. 
    Douglas Jones, in his last public address before 
retiring, said Thursday that the Kohl government is to blame 
for an environment in which minority civil rights are not 
    ''Although Chancellor Kohl has unequivocally condemned 
the anti-foreigner and anti-Semitic wave of violence, the 
German media too have criticized his political strategy -- 
if it can be called that -- on the issue,'' Jones said. 
    Jones cited Kohl's refusal to visit survivors of 
skinhead firebomb attacks and his statements that Germany 
''is not a country of immigration'' -- both of which are 
appeals to conservative voters. 
    ''That would signal to me that the nearly 7 million 
foreigners who live here legally do not belong here and that 
I am justified in wanting them out,'' Jones said. ''And, to 
be honest with you, this sentiment is by no means limited to 
    His comments coincided with the release Thursday of 
annual crime statistics showing that right-wing extremist 
violence in Germany increased sharply in 1993. 
    The Interior Ministry said right-wing attacks on the 
homeless or handicapped doubled to 300 last year. Felony 
assaults on foreigners and Jews remained the same, at about 
700 cases. 
    About 30 people have died in right-wing violence since 
Germany reunified in 1990. Last year, there were 18 cases of 
murder or attempted murder, which claimed eight lives. In 
1992, there were 15 homicidal attacks and 17 people died. 
    Jones said this violence against ''victims of 
convenience on the street'' suggests ''a deeper-seated 
social alienation and a lack of civic solidarity'' in modern 
    Jones, who is assistant chief of mission at the U.S. 
Embassy in Bonn and principal officer of Berlin's embassy-
in-waiting, spent his life specializing in German politics, 
history and culture. 
    A Chicago native, he studied in Germany during high 
school and college. His diplomatic resume in Germany also 
includes minister-counsel for political affairs in Bonn and 
consul general in Stuttgart. 
    His speech, delivered in German, was not cleared by the 
State Department before its presentation at the Brandenburg 
Institute of Memorial Sites, whose responsibilities include 
preservation of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp north 
of Berlin. 
    ''I am not saying anything inconsistent with U.S. 
foreign policy. The views of this administration -- of any 
administration -- would be no different,'' Jones said before 
his speech. 
    ''If Germany is not a racist society, why is its 
nationality law, which was written in 1913, predicated upon 
race?'' he asked his audience. ''Public attitudes about 
minority communities in Germany are ambivalent at best, 
hostile at worst.'' 
    He criticized the government for rejecting ''the concept 
of a multicultural society as the standard'' and called on 
Germany to resolve a situation in which ''there is virtually 
no race-relations legislation. There is virtually no 
immigration policy.'' 
    Other worrisome trends identified by Jones include 
significant financial support for Vladimir Zhirinovsky, 
Russia's arch-nationalist, by German business and right-wing 
    Jones said U.S. concerns ''about right-wing extremism in 
Germany are an outgrowth of our friendship and commitment -- 
not a desire to dictate morality.'' 
    And he took issue with a common belief here that foreign 
news organizations, particularly U.S. ones, give 
disproportionate coverage to rightist violence in Germany. 
    ''Violence aimed at foreigners is important news, with a 
unique historical resonance,'' Jones said. 
    Among encouraging signs cited by Jones is public outrage 
expressed against right-wing violence, especially when 
''hundreds of thousands of Germans have demonstrated in 
solidarity with victims.'' 
    He complimented Germany for its ''unambiguous support 
for Israel and for survivors of the Holocaust,'' as well as 
a policy of generosity for victims of the war in former 

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