Racism in Germany: A Beginner’s Guide



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What is the worst kind of racism?

I am a Palestinian who had the privilege to come to Germany to study because I am a german national thanks to my father who worked there for a long time. Having experienced racism in germany was shocking for me because it is so subtle. The people who are racist don't even realize that they are...and that is the scary thing about it

Raiden 44 days ago

Totally believable they answered this way...

I am an immigrant living in Germany. I have never seen any immigrants in high positions in a company, my german colleagues in the university find jobs way faster than i do, even tho i have significantly higher grades and speak more languages. I am treated way differently when i am among german friends than when i am among a group of internationals. I was almost fired before because i brought up the fact, that someone has been unfair to me and i had the feeling it was because i am not german.

I totally believe Germans answered these questions this way because they literally answered some of mine in the same way and any german would say otherwise is not being realistic. I told a friend of mine that the company where i had my internship (it was a very famous international corporation) had almost no international workers. His answer was "Maybe we have enough good german employees, that is why they do not hire the international ones. " and this guy considers himself very tolerant with immigrants.

Now i hate to play the victim but i am just a student after all and have not had much experience with the real society, but i believe that one way or another i will have to find another place for myself where i can feel accepted by the society without trying too hard.

Immigrant 152 days ago

Not only if you're black...

It doesn't happen in Germany only because you're black. I'm latina and went through several racist experiences, and two direct attacks on the streets of Berlin.
White Germans, they live in a bubble. If you tell them about racism they denie it. "oh but we're very tolerant" ...
I wouldn't live in Germany again. I wasn't happy feeling that i will never be accepted for real.
And their lack of kindness, and their rudeness, and they can be really really square.
Only for holidays maybe but to live there, no thank you!!.

Natalia 156 days ago

White Immigrant - Racism Exists

As a white European immigrant I have to admit that racism exists in Germany. And after several years spent in Germany and other EU countries, I have to admit that racism flourish in Germany. Both racism against blacks and racism against white lower class non-germans. My opinion is that GERMANY IS THE MOST RACIST COUNTRY in the EUROPEAN UNION.

Incognito 170 days ago

Thank you for this

It's really a structural problem.
When I was 12 years old I got myself a dream catcher from a flea market. Nobody ever mentioned to me that it might be problematical to buy that. 4 years later a friend that was into leftist groups and all who visited me in my room called me out for that. I never heard of the term "whitewashing" ever before. How would I? Its something that's never mentioned in class rooms. Your parents don't know about it. Your friends don't know about it. Of course, when you never heard of the sole concept of things like that ever before, you're also completely oblivious to the possibility of explicit racism in your country.
It's definitely one point that the cultures in Germany aren't as separate from each other as in America, but its definitely not as if racism wouldn't exist.
I really don't know enough about it and this article and also the comments really made me aware of it. But how the hell was I supposed to know about this if the topic never gets mentioned in school, the german-turkish people in school don't seem to get discriminated in any way (they were equally parts of the "cool kids" and parts of the outsiders, exactly like the other people, and they made their Abitur too), as long as you're not really really interested into politics and left topics and exchange these things with other people there is like NO WAY you could EVER be confronted by these things here.
It's a completely structural problem that definitely certainly doesn't get better by ignoring it like politics does.
German police is really really awful. Yeah they're not killing black people on the streets. But instead they illegally steal their datas from the computer databases to leak them to their neonazi friends.
It's all so shameful.
I am really trying to learn but get called insensitive so much, its really exhausting. Like there is nobody I can ask questions about these things or anything. The questions I am asking are already considered insensitive in themselves, so I am really lost here.
Yes, Germany is racist.

20 y old german woman 175 days ago

An answer from a friend whos German

1) this means you have his number. First of all, its inappropriate, but he talks as if he told this to Germans and asked of their opinion and they said its not racist. Counting this for all 7 points he made. I dont believe he asked in the way he mentions it there.
The first one would be for me a joke to a friend, otherwise it's racist. Just like someone joking about us drinking beer or eating Schnitzel or that we have no humor.
2) The reason I doubt this is because this would make international news, no single company will tell you this as reason, this is an assumption
3) Fair enough, I did that to you. I didnt feel racist nor am I a racist, if that offended you then I apologize hereby. If you remember I said your name sounds like a runner in a zombie movie, the fast running zombies
4) Having one common language is normal in school because the entire purpose is to prepare you for society. Outside of school you can do what you want. Not once have I heard of a case where it was banned on a playground, how should that even be enforced?
5) Again, this cant be communicated and I highly doubt this. It surely happens at some point, somewhere, but its not like this always happens. If it does, then I view this as an issue about the person applying. Also, again, the title was "Here's a list of things, possibly incomplete, that white Germans have told me are not racist:" do you actually think a single person, assuming its right that he got denied a job by appearance, would not say thats racist? Like, cmon
6) We dont have grammar schools...Our schools teach grammar. All of them. Extra lessons have to be paid for and have 0 to do with teachers, they dont decide that, nor do they pay that. These are external, outside of school
7) I have not seen this a single time because our bus controllers ask EVERY single person. I told you how I received 6 40€ tickets in a year and had to pay 600€ extra afterwards because I exceeded the limit of 3, so 100€ extra for each. You dont get caught if you dont get controlled. But on the other side, if I see that most of my clients without tickets are black, then this is not racist in my view, thats experience in your job field. But again - they control everyone. The drive is by far long enough for that and they earn money from it.

Kheka 346 days ago


Kheka, very single one of your eight points is spurious and together they prove how deeply and unconsciously
racist you are and how little you know about your own country. You argue as if you know what happens in every school playground, on every bus, how every employer responds to job applications, you do not trust the first writer's methodology in finding his responses. You deny deny deny.
Your responses bring back bad memories of the ten years l spent in Germany, the endless Rechthaberei. And by the way, you do have Grammar Schools, but you call them Gymnasien.
You assume God or Stasi like knowledge of your country, but ha ha what a joke.

Rod 235 days ago

Racism is Real

Thankful for this piece,Let me help us Define Racism like this : It is a systematic oppression ( the key word is systematic oppression, the system is designed in such a way that flows from bloodstreams to Generation till what its called norms in the society, it is in the law, structured in such a way that strains us out to the lower rungs of the ladder.
it is very understandable that a level of German is required to some do some jobs, but we have ever asked ourselves that, Why hasnt there been any black in the German parliament or Head the Big companies in Germany, if you are German reading this, If your Successor is a Black person would you pass on the barton....
when i realised i have to put a passport on my CV is when i knew OMG, i have entered the net of Racism
However, i would like to know if the HR Law of German has changed which states that the only time a position can be given to a non citizen is if only the citizen reject and there is no other person that can take up the job i.e prove beyond doubt that the coloured applicant is the best.

This alone is enough stress while running applications for Job opportunities and this leads to a lots of things (Vices) in order to get a residency in German & Europe as a whole. i need no survey to understand this, Just wake up early in the morning/ late at night and see the set of individuals going or coming from work. it so disheartening.
if you say it hasnt happened to you, dont worry marry a white German and then you will understand the full picture, if you dont , trust me your kids cant / will never escape it for his/her peers.
let be guided by our thoughts and try to correct the notion that,it isnt real, we have FEARS everywhere, from work, schools, even environment.

Guten Abend

Joseph more than 1 year ago

Racism? Maybe

I am an Indian living in germany for the past six years. Not once have i experienced racism here. Not once. Consider that.

Deepak more than 1 year ago

Good for you

"It didn't happen to me, so it doesn't exist" yeah sure buddy. I was there on a job interview and the CEO of the company, a white german, told me that there is no difference between looking for a house in Munich as a Turkish person and as a German person. There are studies showing that it's 4 times easier for a German person in comparison to a Turkish person.

My friendly advice to you: Don't move to Munich. Because the same white german CEO told me that it's practically impossible to find a house in Munich with an Indian looking name. After three years in Germany, I can say one thing: The racism must be so blatant that even white germans admit it.

Kemal more than 1 year ago

Germany is a racist country

Germany is a more racist country than the USA. There are no immigrants in positions of power.

In the USA Indians and other Asians have the highest mean income.

Cuckslayer more than 1 year ago

never ever ever

ever ever ever read the comments

im Brantfall more than 1 year ago

Dumb dumb land

It’s the country of white supremacy where they just compare itself to other places on any other topic pretending they are better. Pretty sure the only people they don’t look down on are Scandinavians and Austrians. Berlin is a shithole pretending it’s a paradise wake up. I get pushed off the sidewalk by some inbred wearing Humana daily

German Ass Clown more than 1 year ago

Point taken but...

...try living more than six months in any American city if you're visibly A) non-"white" and B) non-wealthy. Or just C) non-wealthy and travelling on foot. Profoundly degrading. Berlin is a much more viable option and will remain so until the virus of American Materialism (in which Wealth = Virtue and Vulgar, Trumpish bad taste embodies Wealth) takes over. American Materialism may not be the root of American Racism but it's certainly a volatile accelerant. The difference between the two national styles of racism (comparing, at least, Berlin to any of the many northern American cities I've lived in) is palpable. I don't want to need to be able to afford to buy a new SUV every year before I can feel human, so I'll stick with Berlin.

In closing, an anecdote: a week after I first landed in Berlin (1990) I was walking down a dark side street (I am tall, brown, well-built), near the Ku'Damm, when two well-dressed white German ladies (c. 50 years old each) approached me to ask directions to a particular night club. I remained in shock the rest of that evening. The first time in my post-kindergarten Life that I didn't feel like a suspect.

Steven Augustine more than 1 year ago

Not true

I’m brown and I lived in the US for 6 years. I only made $1900 net per month. I was just fine and I made my best friendships over there. I now live in Berlin which supposed to be the most tolerant city in Germany. Trust me, no German wants to befriend a Middle Eastern like me even though I’m very liberal for Middle Eastern standards.

Majed 205 days ago

Who is dumb?

As a Yugoslav, I have been living in Austria for the past four years; in between one of those in Germany. Find it funny - better yet paradoxal - that it were Turks who had literally built Germany in 70's and Yugoslav (war) refugees which have had built Austria in late 90's but nontheless both ethnic groups are still looked down at. Though, not the same generation. Just wanted to point out/correct GAC there is racism present in Austria as well. There is very many racism present in Österreich. Not just present days... Regards,

JohnFromCarniolaWhite 267 days ago

on dw

yesterday someone said on DW yesterday that there is in Germany a romanticisation of the civil rights fights and not a real reflection on structural racism in German society. What is this "migrationsuntergrund" otherwise? It is precisely the idea that an arab-german or a turkish-german have less possibility to learn. But maybe because schools are not SO good? Also, what it should be different now is that the protests should be lead by POC, whites are there only as allies. I honestly do not care to march with a bunch of white German antifas....

Vanessa more than 1 year ago


I think xenophobia is the bigger problem in Germany, not necessarily racism and this is also validated by your examples. Truth is Germans have a superiority complex and in most of your examples you can replace 'Turkish / Arab' with 'non German' and you get a more accurate picture.

Cumbias Chichadélicas more than 1 year ago

po-tae-to po-tah-to

Can we address the elephant in the room instead of discussing its color?

Kemal more than 1 year ago


We wont' get some, but I am absolutely sure that most Germans now live outside of Germany. Not only in Spain.

Stefan 289 days ago

white non-german

Racism happens in Germany, as it does everywhere in the world unfortunately. Self-awareness is indeed key. But all the generalizations towards 'white Germans' this writer is casually referring to, is in a sense also quite racist. Oh, the irony.

'I have talked a lot about casual racism in this country, the microaggressions, so many of which are worsened by the fact that Germans in general don’t care about hurting strangers’ feelings, racism + bad manners = 74,0000 micro-aggressions every day of the week.'

willy wonka more than 1 year ago

racism against white germans

"generalising about germans, that's also racism" - this is so so ignorant, and so annoying. Read a god damn book about racism. Maybe one about white fragility (for example the one that has that very title).

Beethoven more than 1 year ago

Reverse racism doesn’t exist

Stop pretending to be victims of racism, white Germans. Lol Berlin is the world capital for gaslighting and dismissal

German ass clown more than 1 year ago


They gaslight about racism, in Germany, the way Americans gaslight about Fascism.

Steven Augustine more than 1 year ago

Please accept

my 74000 micro-apologies.

SJWsAreCancer more than 1 year ago

Definition of racism

Generalizing around white Germans may be prejudicious (although I think this text is making a point in a bold way, and generalizing sometimes it's necessary). But it's definitely different from racism. Why? I'm glad you asked:

Racism is not defined by being an individual prejudice or belief that a race is better than others. Racism actually is a system of power, privilege, and oppression based on race. This is a great time to get educated mate, don't throw it out the window.

Lee more than 1 year ago

Definition of racism

Generalizing around white Germans may be prejudicious (although I think this text is making a point in a bold way, and generalizing sometimes it's necessary). But it's definitely different from racism. Why? I'm glad you asked:

Racism is not defined by being an individual prejudice or belief that a race is better than others. Racism actually is a system of power, privilege, and oppression based on race. This is a great time to get educated mate, don't throw it out the window.

Lee more than 1 year ago

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