Attacks reported in Germany on those identifying as LGBT+ are on the rise, according to government figures announced on Thursday.
In 2013, police recorded 50 attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, the Interior Ministry said. This subsequently rose to 97 in 2018.
In the first half of 2019, there have already been 58 crimes of this nature.
Reflection of society
Doris Achelwilm, from Germany’s Left party, said the statistics were a reflection of societal problems on a wide range of minority issues. The lawmaker also called on the government to take the situation more seriously.
Read more: Two women hurt in ‘homophobic incident’ in Germany
“The increase in violence is not a coincidence,” she said. “It emerges from a social climate that puts minorities under pressure and threatens them in a new way.”
As part of the information garnered, there has also been a sharp increase in anti-LGBT+-motivated property damage in 2019.
Not enough being done
Helmut Metzner, the spokesman for the Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD), said the newly released data represented just a fraction of the hate crimes committed as not all such crimes are reported.
“Effective measures for prevention, recording crimes and prosecution must be introduced,” he said. “Facilities for victims must be adequately supported.”
Earlier this year Berlin travel guide Spartacus reported that Germany had lost its allure as a destination for gays and lesbians, citing increasing violence against homosexuals.
In the latest Gay Travel Index (GTI) ranking, Germany had fallen from third to 23rd. The reason, Leander Milbrecht of Spartacus told DW in July, was the “increase in reported crimes against and assaults on lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) persons.”
Since the 1920s, Nollendorfplatz in the “rainbow neighborhood” of Schöneberg has been considered the center of the lesbian and gay scene in Berlin. Since 1993, a two-day lesbian-gay street festival, also known as the “Motzstraßenfest”, has taken place every summer. It marks the beginning of Pride Week and, with around 350,000 visitors, is the largest homosexual street festival in Europe.
Just a few steps away from Nollendorfplatz is Cafe Berio, a popular meeting place for lesbians and gays in Berlin-Schöneberg. On hot summer days, the terrace is the perfect place for a nice chat among friends. The cafe has an excellent selection of food and drinks, and the homemade cakes in particular are very popular.
The ArtHotel “Connection” is also located in the “rainbow neighborhood” of Schöneberg. The gay hotel wants to offer gay Berlin visitors a charming place to stay, but guests of any sexual orientation are welcome as well. The extravagant furnishings in kitsch design are definitely an eye-catcher!
The parties that take place every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at SchwuZ have long been an institution in Berlin’s LGBTQ nightlife. The music on the three dance floors varies between Pop, Rock, Techno and German traditional Schlager songs. Events such as talent competitions, Dyke-March-handicrafts and other interactive activities provide variety.
The Schwules Museum (Gay Museum) in Berlin-Tiergarten has been informing its visitors about the diversity of sexual identities and gender concepts since 1985. It also offers free guided tours in English and German every Thursday (6 pm) and Saturday (4 pm).
The memorial to the first homosexual emancipation movement, which began at the end of the 19th century with the works of sex researcher Magnus Hirschfeld, has been on the banks of the Spree since September 2017. The memorial is a popular destination for city tours tailored to homosexual audiences, such as the “Rainbow Gay Tour” or the “Queer Berlin Walk”.
Every Monday at 10 pm “MonGay” takes place in the Kino International cinema on Karl Marx Avenue, a film evening for a gay and lesbian audience. A visit is worthwhile not only because of the excellent film selection, but also because of the homely atmosphere, which is reminiscent of a relaxed film evening with friends.
The “OYA” in Kreuzberg is a pub where women are meant to feel completely at ease. Delicious, predominantly vegetarian-vegan food is served here until 4 pm, and drink service is open-ended. Every Thursday is a women*, lesbian*, trans*, inter* and queer* evening (short: FLTIQ). In addition, LGBTQ artists regularly exhibit their works here.
The Silver Future is a gay bar in Neukölln, which is known far beyond the borders of Berlin for its provocative and unconventional themed parties. Every last Monday of the month the travesty show “Dragoholic” takes place. Homosexual refugees in particular, like Haidar Darwish (picture) who fled Syria in 2016, have a place to go in the Silver Future.
For more than 15 years, Bar Himmelreich has been a regular meeting place for gay and lesbian people. A special highlight is the weekly “Women’s Lounge” every Tuesday, an evening dedicated to the lesbian section of the LGBTQ community. The Frozen Margaritas with fresh fruit alone make a visit worthwhile!