Ivan Jurcevic is a Croatian immigrant who works as a doorman (or perhaps a bouncer) at a hotel on the Hauptbahnhof Platz in Cologne. On New Year’s Eve (Silvester) he had a front row seat for the culturally enriched events that have now become notorious throughout Germany and the rest of the Western world.
In the following interview, Mr. Jurcevic gives an account of what he witnessed that night, and how he did his best to help women who were menaced, harassed, and molested by the “youths” who took over the main train station:
Below is an article from T-Online.de telling Ivan Jurcevic’s story. Many thanks to Nash Montana for the translation:
How a Doorman Experienced the Horror Night of Cologne
It all started right around 19:00 hours: “Groups of six, of ten, and of twelve North Africans. I have never seen anything like it in my life before,” says Ivan Jurcevic. “They looked like a real army.” Jurcevic has been a doorman since 1989. Every year at Silvester he protects the entrance to the Hotel Excelsior in Cologne. The hotel is located to the west of the Dome [cathedral] within eyesight.
“They came with beer and schnapps bottles in hand. Most of them were already staggering,” he remembers.
“Come with me”
Problems began immediately: hotel guests who were smoking cigarettes outside in front of the entrance were verbally accosted: “Give me cigarette,” they muttered. “Come with me,” they loudly propositioned women.
At the exact same moment, Peter Erkelenz and his wife were walking across the Dome plaza. Erkelenz is the brother of the CDU city council member Martin Erkelenz. He calls himself an original Cologne native. He was wondering about the mass of Arabic-speaking young men. The mood was aggressive. Erkelenz got worried, and he and his wife quickly moved away from the Dome plaza.
At around 10pm, as the situation escalated completely at the Dome plaza, fireworks and small rockets were fired into the crowds, and east of the Dome the owner of the “Kunstbar” bar, Paolo Campi, was watching: “It was totally antisocial,” he says. “There’s always chaos in front of the dome on Silvester every year. If it was worse this year, it’s hard to tell.” He also can’t tell if it was mostly North Africans who caused the chaos.
But where Ivan Jurcevic was standing in front of the Hotel Excelsior, things got increasingly bad: “Two women came running, they were fleeing a mob of North Africans and asked him for help.”
I’m not one to be tangled with
The men in pursuit of the two women threatened the experienced martial-arts trainer: “I am 1.98 meters tall (6’ 6”) and weigh 130 kilos (285 lbs). I am not the kind of guy you want to mess with,” the otherwise calm, collected and friendly Jurcevic mentions.
When one of the pursuing men attacked him, he drop-kicked the man off his feet and then immediately retreated inside the hotel. The men came closer. “So I went back out, and kicked one in the chest so that he flew back three meters. After that they retreated,” said the Croatian, who’s lived in Germany for forty years.
As the attackers retreated they verbally threatened him: “We will come back and ice you,” they called to him in English. At that point the director of the hotel had already told all guests not to stand in front of the doors anymore for a smoke. The guests accumulated on the first floor and were watching the chaos with horror written in their eyes.
Rioters were beating each other up
Meanwhile, a police force of a hundred showed up. Jurcevic could see how they were shot at with fireworks. Even the police officers seemed to be intimidated.
After midnight: Several fights in front of the hotel had broken out. Jurcevic observed one knife fight. The Arab North Africans seemed to also chase black Africans who came from countries south of the Sahara.
The rioters were also fighting amongst themselves: In front of Jurcevic’s eyes one man was beaten with a bottle until he passed out. When the man with the bottle started to kick the passed-out man’s head, Jurcevic and a doorman from the neighboring restaurant stepped in.
No time for filing police complaints
Police walked up and arrested the man — only to let him go again in a few minutes, because all of the police jail vans were hopelessly overfilled. As a farewell, the man spat on the squad car’s window. “ The police,” he yelled in Jurcevic’s face. Jurcevic lost his nerve and punched the man to the ground.
At 1:30 in the morning, Peter Erkelenz and his wife left the Silvester party they had been attending. They wanted to take the subway home. But the subway at the main train station was closed.
There was a policewoman who was standing right in front of Erkelenz. Suddenly a man jumped her from behind, grabbed for the pocket inside her coat, then fled. She gave chase and managed to wrestle him to the ground. Then she lectured him. And that was it. There was too much chaos to make arrests or police reports; the cops had to put out too many fires all at once.
Erkelenz then learned why the subway wasn’t operating: dozens of men were walking on the tracks. They attacked subway passengers, and were chased around by the police. The subway was not going to operate anymore that night. Erkelenz and his wife, who emerged from the chaos without harm, took the streetcar instead.
“I was very afraid,” Erkelenz said. “Especially now that our annual Spring Festival is coming up, and what all could happen then.”
It was only between five and six in the morning that the chaos started to die down. The vandals started to disappear. Only a few drunks remained. In the meantime, the police had gotten the first nauseating reports of women who were molested and harassed. One woman was raped. Many didn’t immediately go to the police because they were in shock. It took until Tuesday for 90 reports to be registered. Apparently only a handful of perpetrators have been arrested.
Hat tip: Vlad Tepes.