A key turning point in German public sentiment (and subsequent anger) against the unprecedented refugee wave swarming the nation took place during a NYE celebration in Cologne, when multiple reports suggested that as many as 1,000 men “of Arab or North African origin” participated in "monstrous" coordinated attacks on German women in Cologne. "About 90 women have reported being robbed, threatened or sexually molested at New Year celebrations outside [the city’s] cathedral,” Reuters wrote, adding that the men were “between 18 and 35” and appeared to be "mostly drunk" as well as of foreign origin.
This led to an outpouring of anger across Germany, and even Cologne mayor Henriette Reker chimed in calling the incident “unbelievable and intolerable” while Justice Minister Heiko Maas described the attacks as “a new scale of organized crime."
It also resulted in a prompt reversal in Angela Merkel's notoriously liberal immigration policy, the result of which was a dramatic slowdown in refugee flows using the "land corridor" entering central Europe, and leading to the infamous deal with Turkey which promised Erdogan billions if he manages to contain the millions of Syrian refugees within his borders.
Now, according to local press reports, it turns out there was more. Germany's The Local reports that a high-ranking police officer has alleged that his seniors tried to strike the word rape from an internal police report after the mass sexual assaults in Cologne over New Year.
The local media outlet reports that a chief superintendent in the Cologne police told the investigative committee established in the wake of the attacks that the interior ministry in North Rhine-Westphalia had sought to influence the investigations.
According to the officer, the government attempt to intervene in the narrative took place when an official from the ministry had called about a rape charge mentioned in an internal police report. "That isn’t rape. Get rid of it. Delete the report," the ministry official said, according to the chief superintendent.
The rape report was made by a young woman who alleges she was surrounded by a group of around 50 men, some of whom pushed their fingers inside of her. When he complained about the caller’s angry and abrupt tone, the official replied "these are the orders from the ministry. I’m simply passing them on."
While the 52-year-old chief inspector said that he had never in his career experienced an intervention of this nature from the ministry, he was quick to add that he did not believe it was part of a cover-up, even though that is precisely what it appears to have been.
"They didn’t understand what is meant by rape," he suggested.
The government was unsuccessful in its cover up attempt, however, when hundreds of women filed similar complaints in the days and weeks after the attacks with police, alleging that they had been sexually assaulted or robbed by groups of men around Cologne’s central train station.
The superintendent's report corroborates unconfirmed rumors made in the days after the attacks, when allegations were made that the police had sought to cover up the crimes, due to the fact that they appeared to have been committed by men with a migrant background.
The Local also notes that in March police conceded that they had almost half the number of officers on duty during the assaults as they had originally claimed. A police report published the day after the attacks claimed 140 officers were present at the scene, when in fact at most only 80 were present. The sexual assaults on New Year's Eve have brought stronger calls for reforms to Germany's law on rape. Proponents for change say the law doesn't sufficiently protect victims because it does not mention consent and courts often place too much emphasis on whether a victim physically resisted.
Whether Merkel's cabinet had intended on toning down the nature of the Cologne attack in order to maintain the illusion that her refugee adoption ideal was without fault remains to be seen, however as a result of these allegations one wonders if Merkel's standing with the public will be further adversely impacted, and providing another boost to the suddenly ascendant AfD which as we reported yesterday has been increasingly targeted by the local media in attempts to discredit its "conservative" agenda and its anti-Muslim rhetoric, an onslaught which we speculated may only boost the AfD's popularity and will certain lead to even more vote for the political organization if the Cologne coverup scandal grips Germany's national attention.