German authorities have confirmed that there was at least one rape, as well as more general sexual harassment.
De Maizière [Interior Minister] warned however that the events should not lead "to placing refugees of whatever background, who seek protection from persecution here, under general suspicion." Vice-President of the Federal Parliament Claudia Roth (Green) warned about stirring up prejudices against refugees. "We cannot now say that this is typical of North Africa or typical or refugees," she said to the radio broadcaster WDR 5. It was masculine violence.Source
Barbara Steffens, the minister for emancipation in the North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) government, said the New Year’s Eve incident was “the tip of a very unpleasant iceberg”. She called for a “larger societal condemnation of a male abuse of power”.
One of the victims, identified only as Katja L, told the Kölner Express: “When we came out of the station, we were very surprised by the group we met, which was made up only of foreign men … We walked through the group of men, there was a tunnel through them, we walked through … I was groped everywhere. It was a nightmare. Although we shouted and hit them, they men didn’t stop. I was horrified and I think I was touched around 100 times over the 200 metres.”
One investigator told the Kölner Express: “The female victims were so badly pushed about, they had heavy bruises on their breasts and behinds.”
Critics of Merkel’s open-door policy on refugees were quick to blame it for the attacks, despite the police’s insistence that the alleged perpetrators were not new arrivals.
One tweet attributed to a follower of Pegida, the anti-Islam, anti-immigrant protest group , stated: “Merkel … you’re an accessory to the abuse at Cologne.”
On Pegida’s Facebook page, a woman identifying herself as Angelina Southern got more than 500 likes for her comment: “I could puke when I read this, and there are still so many deluded idiots who say ‘Welcome refugees’ … Close the borders now. For God’s sake, Merkel belongs on the scaffold.”Source