A small food bank in the German town of Essen (called the Essener Tafel) has been thrown into the national spotlight as it decided to give out new member cards to ‘Germans only’ while turning down foreigners.
As a result, their truck was spray-painted with the words ‘Nazis’.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The controversy surrounding the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tafel?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tafel</a> food bank in the western German city of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Essen?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Essen</a> has led to reactions from across the political spectrum in Germany. Even German Chancellor Angela <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Merkel?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Merkel</a> made comments about it. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EssenerTafel?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EssenerTafel</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Germany?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Germany</a> <a href="https://t.co/qvqOfXuVQ6">https://t.co/qvqOfXuVQ6</a> <a href="https://t.co/FJWSQt5Yj2">pic.twitter.com/FJWSQt5Yj2</a></p>— InfoMigrants (@InfoMigrants) <a href="https://twitter.com/InfoMigrants/status/968860152173596672?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 28, 2018</a></blockquote>
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The reality is somewhat different though. The food bank explained to the press that now already some 75% of their donations go to migrants, and that elderly people and women are regularly being scared away by them.
<i>Related coverage:</i> <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/19533-German-Town-Votes-76-Yes-To-Keep-Giant-Hitler-Church-Bell">German Town Votes 76% ‘Yes’ To Keep Giant ‘Hitler’ Church Bell</a>.
Chancellor Mrs Merkel said that: "One shouldn't run services on the basis of such categorizations. That's not good. But it also shows the amount of pressure there is, and how many people are needy. That's why I hope they can find good solutions which do not exclude groups."
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Germany has seen a huge rise in the number of migrants coming into the country in recent years. During the first years of the civil war in Syria, more than one million asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan made their way to the country as Chancellor Merkel famously said ‘Wir Schaffen Das’, or ‘We will take care of it’.
Those numbers could be linked, according to some, to the rise in xenophobia and Islamic terrorist attacks in the country between 2015 and 2016. In any case, in the election of late 2017, Ms Merkel paid a heavy price at the ballot box.
The head of the local food bank, Mr Jörg Sartor responded to the criticism: "A load of politicians are laying into us now - but they are ill-informed. They ought to reciprocate and help out here, after that they can voice an opinion, by all means."
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