Tens of thousands demonstrated in Berlin against hatred and racism. The organizers of "#unteilbar" were overwhelmed. Singer Herbert Grönemeyer recalled the fragility of democracy.
At the end of the demonstration against racism and exclusion in Berlin, the organizers were overwhelmed by the great participation shown. "It is a very wonderful autumn of solidarity, which was staged here in Berlin," said Anna Spangenberg, spokeswoman for the alliance "#Unteilbar", which called for the demonstration.
According to organizers, more than 240,000 people took to the streets on Saturday afternoon in Berlin. This number far exceeds the 40,000 participants registered. The police did not want to give their own information, but spoke only of "a few tens of thousands" people. The demo ran from Alexanderplatz through the city center to the Victory Column.
Demo was peaceful
"It says loud, it says clearly, we are all indivisible", called the participants to the prelude of the mass demonstration. On posters was about: "No place for Nazis" or "Sea Rescue is not a crime". It was also read "No to hate against Muslims" and "racism is not an alternative".
The demonstration was followed by a demonstration that was to lead via Leipziger Straße, Potsdamer Platz to the Brandenburg Gate and then to the Victory Column. Around 900 police officers were deployed to protect the demonstration train over a distance of almost six kilometers. The demonstration went peacefully, no major disruptions were reported. The police spoke "more of a happening character".
The "indivisible" alliance was joined by several church organizations. Among other things, the SPD and Pro Asyl had called for participation in the event.
Nahles and Maas support demo
"We must show the face for a solidary society, for our welfare state, for a peaceful and respectful togetherness," said SPD leader Andrea Nahles in Berlin. Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also provided support: He called the call for a rally in conversation with the Funke media group "a great signal". Germany can not be split, "of right-wing populists certainly not", said the SPD politician.
"New nationalism does not solve a single problem, we do not need foreclosure but more international cooperation." The majority in Germany stand for tolerance and cosmopolitanism, stressed Maas. "A variety of origins, skin colors, religions and lifestyles is an asset to us and not a threat," he said.
Grönemeyer: "Nobody is more German than others"
In addition to Nahles and Maas, other celebrities such as the television presenter Jan Böhmermann and actor Benno Fürmann support the demonstration. Until the evening ran on the Victory Column in Tiergarten also a stage program. Herbert Grönemeyer, Konstantin Wecker, Dirk von Lowtzow from the band Tocotronic, Romano as well as singer Joy Denalane and other artists performed there.
Grönemeyer warned against a shift to the right in Germany. "We are a very, very young, fragile country and we have carefully worked our freedom together for years, it is not self-evident or carved in stone," said the singer. "We are under scrutiny and there is much to defend – no one is more German than others, there is not Germany, there are millions of Germans – and that is the inseparable beauty of this country."