The following letter was written by a mother who has become very unhappy with the culturally-enriched social facilities in her district of Munich, to the point where she and her husband feel compelled to leave the city.
Nash Montana, who translated the piece, includes this note:
I like this woman’s letter because she keeps saying “integration”, like it’s the new religion (which it is). She doesn’t even see that she’s been brainwashed, yet she’s trying to get out of it. It is a very conflicted letter. As usual, it shows that probably all Germans by now think that “integration” per se is not a bad thing. They just gripe about the ways in which it is being done. But that it’s IMPOSSIBLE doesn’t ever seem to cross their minds.
The translated article from Die Tageszeitung:
Integration in Munich: Goodbye letter from a desperate mother
A Munich family moves away from their district. The children’s educational facilities are the main reason.
Munich — It is an honestly written goodbye letter that has reached our editor’s desk. A mother tells of the conditions in the Munich district where her family lives. And why she is leaving.
It isn’t an easy decision that the Munich family of four has made. The are turning their back on the city district in which they have been living. Behind this decision are various reasons. The 35 year old mother of two sons lists those reasons in a goodbye letter addressed to the city of Munich.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
In regards to: Why my family is leaving Munich today.
Dear Herr Reiter, dear city of Munich,
Today, in a kind of goodbye letter, I want to tell you of my reasons why I and my family are leaving the city and especially the district Milbertshofen-Am Hart. Even if nobody is interested in reading this, I am letting it all out.
I am 35 years old, I live here with my two small sons (…, …) and my husband in an upper duplex with parking. One could say, for conditions in Munich, we have a pretty good starter position. My husband certainly is earning good money. And due to our well-off situation I can stay at home and care for my family. We live well with a lot of room and a green garden. So why should a family like ours decide to give up this situation and leave the city?
And that’s what I would like to write about in more detail now:
When I was still single a lot of things weren’t very important to me in my immediate surroundings, and I had no insight into many areas of life. Also I used to live in …, which is a very different district than Milbertshofen.
When I moved here with my husband and we had our first child, I began to inform myself about the various facilities in which I would find other mothers with their children for social exchange. And I found quite a few such places.
It is my experiences that I now want to write about, because I am probably correctly assuming that your children (if you even have any) will never see the inside of such facilities, that they neither have to use public transportation nor have to learn and be educated in so-called “problem districts”. I am also assuming that you and other politicians rarely or never even take a walk around here…
OK, so on Monday morning I went to the neighborhood get-together club …, which is subsidized by the city of Munich, to take part in the Women’s Breakfast. Here I came upon about six to eight mothers, partly with their children. All the women wore hijabs and not one of them spoke German, except for the socio-pedagogical leader. She then told me relatively quickly that I would probably have a hard time integrating (!!!) myself in this group. Well I suppose I should mention that I am German. I speak German fluently, and I do not wear a hijab. So I smiled a little and then said I would try to integrate myself. Unfortunately, as everyone was prompted to bring someone for the breakfast, I brought salami and ham. That immediately reduced my chances for integration, of course. At this women’s breakfast, which should have been integrative, I did not manage to speak German with anyone and there definitely was no interest in doing so either. Not from the aforementioned socio-pedagogical female leader of the group, nor from the Arab-Turkish group which merely wanted to use the space for their own socializing.
I then asked for alternative groups and times where I might meet under different conditions. The leader grimaced a little and then explained to me that on Tuesdays there’s a group that meets and all the women are Chinese; it just happened that way. And there I would have zero chance of integrating. Others had already tried before.
So I asked her about the family brunch … which I believed was supposed to take place from … to …, that could be something for us, and maybe my husband could also get to know other fathers and we could find some other families to connect with. She advised me that the meeting takes place in separate rooms. Men and women separated. That was just something that developed. I first thought it was a bad joke. Unfortunately it wasn’t. But I didn’t give up and every Tuesday morning I went to the … playgroup. Here I had the feeling that mothers came to meet who didn’t feel welcome, and unfortunately I got the feeling that mothers and fathers from other countries were not welcome. So my impression of this particular facility in terms of integration was miserable. There is no exchange! How can a facility that is subsidized by the city of Munich tolerate such a thing? In my opinion, the entire concept of these facilities in terms of integration should be investigated.
My son has now been at … for the past two months in a guided playgroup without parents. The female chaperones do a wonderful job with the kids, but the first few have already thrown in the towel because the leader of the facility wants to push through a form of integration that just can’t work. I’m happy to thoroughly explain the reasons for it here. Let’s just say, all I have to do is point out that i am not allowed to put pork in my child’s lunch pack! Hello? We are in Germany here!
I have looked up other facilities as well. Among others, the … at … . Here, an incredibly motivated and well-educated socio-pedagogical group leader tilts against windmills. Here as well I went to many appointments, and unfortunately I had to determine that the interest of migrants in integrating themselves and their children is down to zero. I have a lot of respect for the lady who runs this facility, but unfortunately I will not expose my child to this situation any longer either.
OK, so what else does one do as a mother in this district? Exactly! One spends the majority of summer afternoons at the playground. As I already mentioned, we live right next to the park. I don’t even have to cross the street. But in the park I find incredibly family hostile circumstances. I go to the park multiple times every day between … and … and I can’t even let my children run around freely, because all the dog owners let their dogs run around, everywhere. Not one dog owner is interested in the fact that there are parts in the park where dogs aren’t allowed. Not even the playground is safe. Just today another dog that was taller than my son jumped up on him and knocked him down. I never see a dog on a leash, and there is no consideration for small children. I have yet to see anyone from the city who controls this. I live directly at the park and I can’t just let my children run around freely in the city. Just how unfriendly can a city be to its new generation?
At the playground I often find alarming situations that I just can’t expose my child to. 90% of the parents and children there do not speak German. I sit on a bench between people who, in a best case scenario, merely smoke cigarettes. But most times they have beers in hand and smoke joints while their young kids play in the sand. Last winter when it was around 5° [41°F] out, a girl and her mother and grandmother, (I’m guessing Sinti or Roma) came here. The girl was barefoot and wore only a t-shirt. She came to play with a hammer. Yes, you read it right: A hammer, and I mean a really big, authentic hammer that was so heavy that each time she swung it she flew back a meter. With this hammer she wildly beat on everything she could find and then she came over to my son and asked him, “Play?”
I could go on telling you unbelievable tales that are unbelievable even for me, and it’s even more unbelievable because a family such as mine, and don’t misunderstand me, is by far NOT the picture-perfect family. But we are, I believe, a family that hopes for a district, a city, and maybe even a neighbor or two. But I wish for other conditions for my children. I want my children to learn German, that they get taught the values behind which I also stand. I do not want my children to grow up under such unfriendly conditions.
All in all I find conditions that give me the feeling that we are just not welcome here anymore. That our family actually does not fit in here. My husband said that he feels like meanwhile we are the largest minority without a lobby. For everybody else there’s an institution, an office, a public interest, but for a heterosexual married couple with two children, neither jobless nor left-handed, neither handicapped nor Islamic, for us there is no interest left.
When I remarked in the playgroup that we were thinking of moving away from Munich, and mentioned the reasons why, I was fiercely attacked by the group leadership. Because of me integration won’t work, because we remove our children, I was told. One or two mothers also became wildly verbally abusive. Since then I have worn the stamp “xenophobic”. And inappropriate comments are made, such as: “In that group are only foreign children, you should think about whether you even want to come along.”
This is exactly the reason why people like me blow a gasket, and begin to vote for other parties. Honestly, I have traveled half the world, have more foreign friends than German, and I have zero preconceived notions or judgments against people of different origin, but I have seen a lot of the world and I know that the way integration takes place here is negligent. The stuff goes down the creek and then people who have the opportunities and options, will end up doing what we are doing which is: Either they will send their kids to private schools and kindergartens, or they will move to other communities. With that — Goodbye!
Anna.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The letter by Anna was printed in its entire length. Names and places were left out. When we asked for a statement, the Social Services Department of Munich answered as follows on Thursday:
“We want to thank ‘Anna’ for her open and nuanced account, and we are sorry that the depicted events have led the family to leave the city. So far as that the mentioned facilities are within the jurisdiction of the Social Services Department, we will together with the colleagues of these facilities take up the topic of the contents of this letter.”
Chief Mayor Dieter Reiter, to whom this letter was addressed as well, has not yet made any public statement, and forwarded the letter to the Social Services Department.
A note from the Baron concerning the header photo: I didn’t have a good enrichment picture from Munich, so I used Berlin instead.