News & Politics

Bornheim Backs Down, Will Re-Admit 'Migrants' to Public Baths

The indoor swimming pool in Bornheim. (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)

The town of Bornheim, Germany, has now relented on its no-male-migrants admissions policy to its public baths:

The German town of Bornheim, located roughly 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Cologne, will reopen its doors to male refugees on Wednesday after blocking access last week following a string of sexual harassment complaints, the town announced in a statement on Monday.

“The cancellation is not the result of pressure from the media’s response, but rather follows intensive discussions with refugees on how they should treat women with respect, regardless of whether they have a migration background or not,” the statement said.

Yeah, right…

Bornheim said last week it wanted social workers to teach asylum seekers at shelters in the area about gender equality and the need to respect women, adding that the city was not prepared to compromise on German cultural norms. “Once our social workers tell us that they have received the message, we’ll terminate the measure,” said Markus Schnapka, head of Bornheim’s social welfare office.

Yeah, right…

The move comes amid heightened tensions in Germany following a wave of sexual assaults reportedly perpetrated by North African migrants during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cologne.

Good luck with that. Karneval, the Cologne-based bacchanal that is the German equivalent of Mardi Gras, gets underway in earnest on Feb. 4 with the Women’s Carnival:

Early in the morning, the streets are alive with women in fancy dress on their way to the office, their place of work or to shops, and from 10.00 a.m. they all head towards the Alter Markt. At 11.11 a.m. the Street Carnival is officially opened at the Alter Markt by the three principal Carnival figures: the Prince, the Peasant and the Virgin. At 13.30, Historical play “Jan un Griet” (Jan von Werth Carnival society) at the Severinstor, followed by a procession to Alter Markt to honour the Jan von Werth memorial with cheerful music and dance performances. In the afternoon and evening: masked balls and parties.

Brace yourselves.