Cologne Assaults Police Report Outlines 'Chaotic and Shameful' New Year's Eve

An internal police protocol has revealed the full extent of the violence in Cologne on New Year's Eve. According to the report, which SPIEGEL has seen, officials were overwhelmed and powerless to help some people calling for help.


Law enforcement officials lost control of the situation in Cologne on New Year's Eve, according to an internal report by Germany's national police, the Bundespolizei, obtained by DER SPIEGEL. The author of the report, dated Jan. 4, is a senior official. He writes: "Women, accompanied or not, literally ran a 'gauntlet' through masses of heavily intoxicated men that words cannot describe." The horde in front of and inside the train station was unmoved by the presence of police.

According to the report, officers encountered many distraught, crying, frightened pedestrians, particularly women and girls. They reported "fights, thefts, sexual assaults against women, etc." Groups of male migrants were repeatedly named as perpetrators.

Identifying those responsible -- especially the perpetrators of sexual assaults -- "was unfortunately no longer possible." The reason: "Security forces were unable to get all of the incidents, assaults, crimes, etc. under control. There were simply too many happening at the same time." Police were frustrated at their inability to help each victim. At times, it wasn't even possible to record all of the complaints that were being lodged.

The report lists several examples of police officers' experiences:

  • Officers were hindered from pushing their way through to people calling for help by tight clusters of men.
  • A man is quoted as saying: "I'm a Syrian! You have to treat me kindly! Ms. Merkel invited me."
  • Witnesses were threatened when they provided the names of perpetrators.
  • People reportedly demonstratively tore up residence permits in front of the police, grinned and said: "You can't touch me. I'll just go back tomorrow and get a new one." The report did not, however, confirm the authenticity of the documents.
  • Orders for people to leave the premises were ignored; taking repeat offenders into custody was not possible due to lack of resources.
  • After track closures due to overcrowding, people simply forced their way over adjacent platforms and train tracks back to the closed platform.
  • Physical fights broke out as trains were being boarded; it was "every man for himself."

The situation, which was described in the report as "chaos," was so out of control that there were concerns about serious injuries or even deaths, according to the author. That is why the operation leader decided to clear the square. The report notes that police officers were "bombarded with fireworks and pelted with glass bottles." Even after the square was cleared, there were "repeatedly multiple physical confrontations between people as well as groups of people, thefts and robberies in several places at the same time."

The author of the report draws a grim conclusion: The actions of the police officers was met with a level of disrespect "like I have never experienced in my 29 years of public service." Because too few officers were on the scene, the ones that were present "reached the limits of their abilities pretty quickly" -- their deployment lasted from 9:45 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. As central problems facing law enforcement, the report cites overwhelmed police officers, insufficient personnel and weaknesses in equipment, which were "not to be expected." The author describes the entire situation on New Years' Eve as "chaotic and shameful."

In the days since the New Year's Eve attacks, Cologne police have received more than 100 complaints. In an initial statement on the morning of Jan. 1, the police press department noted that the situation on the prior evening had been "relaxed." Cologne Police President Wolfgang Albers later admitted that "this initial statement was incorrect."



Discuss this issue with other readers!
26 total posts
Show all comments
Page 1
ken_pittman 01/07/2016
1. Man Up!!
When the government has ceased to protect you then it is time to take your own measures, as unappealing as that sounds. Even further, when government policies have put you in peril and cannot protect you from their own created problems, you have an inherent and natural right to defend yourselves and your families. Man Up!!!! Do not blindly harm the innocent but make damn certain these foreign ingrates know whose land they are in and who is in control. We are lamenting what your women are going through here in America. God be with you all.
AndrewBell 01/07/2016
2. Cologne
In Raqqa a slave market. In Cologne a meat-market. 'Signposts on the Road', as Qutb would say. If Germany lets in more migrants, the UK must impose visa controls on Germany to prevent onward migration: even if the Schengen countries are happy to let Frau Merkel take critical decisions for them, and even if Germans are willing to let her take still more critical decisions for them, we cannot let her take decisions for the UK. We have to seize back our borders.
burnie608i 01/07/2016
3. Embecilic German Nation Leadership Brings Pain and Suffering to German Citizens
Poor emigrants - they need a civil society to vent against and perform attacks on to relieve themselves properly. Whilst the leadership is surprised and dictates to the citizen women to be more civil to these poor suffering emigrants. What's wrong with this picture?
steve i 01/07/2016
4. The Police were disrespected?
Unbelievable how utterly ineffective the Police were. Mass assaults, sexual violence, rioting and NO arrests. All they can manage is a report after the fact detailing how "offended" they were. Every large public event - in every western country has contingencies for public disorder; van loads of well equipped & trained Police. Is this not the case in Cologne? How they can say they were "disrespected" boggles the mind. Are they so used to a more polite type of violent sociopath in Germany that they forgot to do their jobs?
ray06perez_1971 01/07/2016
5. German Quality of life Threatened.
It's sad to witness such behavior by some refugees that Germany welcomed into there country. But I will say this; the German government number one responsibility isn't providing for refugees, it's protecting its citizens first and foremost. EEUU and U.S wisdom in dealing the current Syrian refugee crisis is lacking; furthermore, absent. Many of these refugees never wanted to leave there country; if EEUU, U.S and United Nations authorized a safe zone within Syria this would've probably never happened. Now Europe and the U.S through their lack strategic thinking and wisdom are responsible for whatever occurs in there respective countries. Today's Western leaders are weak and lack the aptitude to deal with today's worlds events/challenges. It seems to me that the whole world is spinning out of control and our leaders are just concerned with climate change and nothing else. The U.N is a placebo organization, they're worthless to the core. Also it's shameful that the mayor of Cologne ( A Woman Herself) has such a low regard for what her citizens went through;furthermore, I believe the mayor owes these women a public apology. Moreover, the next big celebration that takes place in the city of Cologne the mayor should attend without her security detail so, she exercise into practice her strategy to dealing with such rude, aggressive and unwanted behavior.
Show all comments
Page 1

All Rights Reserved
Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH

Die Homepage wurde aktualisiert. Jetzt aufrufen.
Hinweis nicht mehr anzeigen.