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Perspectives—Letter from Berlin. A Heavy Debate about the Refugees Has Germans in a Severe Identity Crisis. (1/20)

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By Markus Ziener, Berlin Professor of Journalism

In Cologne on New Year's Eve there was no terrorist attack and no one got killed. But the massive assaults on women by a huge crowd with many asylum seekers has sent a nation into shock. The shock is multi-dimensional and deep: Germans are rubbing their eyes about a helpless police that was incapable to upholding the law. They are shocked about the criminal behavior of people Germany had welcomed and opened the doors for. But most of all: Germany is wondering about the values the country stands for – and whether they can be defended.

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