An intersection in Halberstadt, like thousands of others in the cities and towns of the former East Germany. On its four corners: a Turkish kebab shop, the abandoned Youth Club of GDR days, a jeweller, and a bar with little red lamps in its dirty windows.
The blood stains on the sidewalk in front of the Youth Club, a concrete ruin covered in weeds and broken glass, have been washed away and a brand new sign suggests that video surveillance is in place.
There’s no evidence that neo-Nazis beat five men to a pulp here a couple of weeks ago, but much that they’re around. Pedestrians are a rare sight in most of Halberstadt but where there are people, there’s the uniform – bomber jacket, black boots, camouflage pants, hooded sweatshirt with Gothic slogan. And the look of bored anger.
Asked about the incident, the Turkish kebab-shop owner shrugs. “I’ve learned how to cope with them – where not to go, what not to say.” He shaves down the rotating spit of meat with a knife. Maybe he has no more reason to worry than any other Halberstadter. The victims of this most recent attack were white.
In the wee hours of June 9, a group of 14 actors, singers and dancers from Halberstadt’s theatre were ...