Immigrants Fire Back at Xenophobic Campaign*

*In Germany
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2008 11:57 AM CST
Young men chat together near Kieferngarten Underground Station on January 3, 2007 in Munich, Germany. After an elder man was attacked by juvenile criminals in a Munich Metro Station, Roland Koch, State...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Germany’s immigrants are fed up with Roland Koch, whose bid for reelection as governor of the state of Hesse is exacerbating racial tensions, Der Spiegel reports. Koch seized upon a December subway beating to blast "criminal young foreigners," and the rhetoric quickly escalated to anti-immigrant rant, portraying them as barely civilized brutes. A coalition of more than 100 immigrant groups has responded with an angry open letter.

The letter—sent today to Koch and Chancellor Angela Merkel, both members of the conservative Christian Democrats—accuses the governor of “feeding prejudice." Last summer  Merkel sponsored an "Integration Summit," an effort undermined by her backing of Koch, an immigrant leader says. "Using minorities as scapegoats is nothing new. Koch is running a witch hunt. I hope it will become a problem for him."