Over the weekend, most German politicians looked with astonishment at the videos emerging from Duisburg where groups of migrants were duking it out during the night, fighting each other with metal pipes, knives and machetes.
The groups were from Turkish, Kurdish and Lebanese origin. The police afterwards admitted that several smaller fights had taken place in the past few days and weeks between those groups as well and declared a state of emergency for the weekend. Some 100 police officers were called in from neighbouring districts to calm things down.
<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Migrants turn Germany's streets into warzone. Two groups attack each other with machetes in Duisburg <a href="https://t.co/4VOthh8zXB">pic.twitter.com/4VOthh8zXB</a></p>— Voice of Europe (@V_of_Europe) <a href="https://twitter.com/V_of_Europe/status/979068402953281537?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 28, 2018</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
A police spokesperson declared to local newspaper Der Westen: "There are three rival groups. It may be a conflict between Turks, Lebanese and Kurds. Unlike with a demonstration of that size, we do not have a contact person, nobody wants to talk to the police.”
<iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UWO4qQ5YOoQ" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Last year, the leftwing Social Democrats, who mostly hold a working majority together with a centre party, saw with shock how the far-right AfD took some 16% of the vote in this otherwise sleepy town.
Two pensioners, Mr Manfred (77 years old) and Elfie Kratz (66 years old) explain what has happened in the city: "Many people are afraid of the refugees."
According to the couple Chancellor Merkel's refugee policies of 2015-2016 are the main reason the AfD had such a strong showing in Duisburg and allover Germany.
"I don't go out at night alone without my husband anymore. Everything has changed."