In the latest, and most bizarre yet, twist in Europe’s refugee crisis at least seven hundred of the roughly 4,000 asylum-seekers who had initially been accomodated by the German state of Lower Saxony have “mysteriously disappeared” according to a survey in the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (NOZ).

Because many of the refugees hadn’t been registered yet, Germany’s The Local reports, nothing is known about who they are or where they might have gone; this has left the local authorities in the uncomfortable position of being completely clueless about who and where they can currently be found.

In one refugee centre in Lingen, the local member of parliament turned up for a visit on Saturday to find that over half of the 212 refugees brought to the centre had already left.

Timo Frers, spokesman for the town of Delmenhorst, said that the refugees don’t know where they are taken after they arrive in Bavaria. “Most of the time they don’t know where they are. We recently put up a map of Germany so they can orientate themselves,” Frers told the Local.

According to Sputnik, some have speculated that the immigrants departed from the mostly rural province to either reunite with their relatives or to look for more attractive places to stay elsewhere in Germany or even abroad, according to the Local. Others point to failures to provide adequate housing for refugees.

The Local adds that the Federal Ministry for Labour is now estimating that as many as 300,000 of the refugees who arrive in Germany in 2015 will travel on to other countries, although it is unclear just where considering it was Germany’s desire to welcome refugees with open hands is what set off a crisis that is rocking all of Europe, and has pushed Merkel’s popularity ratings to 4 year lows.

The local politicians are furious: “Angelika Jahn, a spokeswoman for the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Lower Saxony, described the situation as “unacceptable” telling NOZ that refugees must be registered immediately upon arrival. But others pointed to failures in the system of housing the refugees.”

As a result, the anger is spilling over to the common people too: “In Freiberg in Saxony on Sunday evening demonstrators tried to stop asylum seekers reaching a refugee centre. The protesters tried to stop a bus with refugees from driving further down the road by staging a sit-in.

Some people threw apples at the bus, while others set off bangers, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.

 

Around 50 counter-demonstrators also turned up to the anti-refugee sit-in and there were tense verbal stand-offs between the two groups, although police confirmed the situation did not escalate into violence.”

Meanwhile in Mecklenberg-Western Pomerania, two local politicans have been threatened by people with presumed far right motives, reports the Hamburg Abendblatt.

Patrick Dahlemann of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) had his car attacked with butyric acid. The foul smelling chemical was poured onto his vehicle.

On his Facebook page Dahlemann said that he would not be intimidated in his efforts to foster a “a real culture of hospitality” in the poor north-eastern state.

And with xenophobia slowly on the rise, the far-right elements are stirring: “Meanwhile in Mecklenberg-Western Pomerania, two local politicans have been threatened by people with presumed far right motives, reports the Hamburg Abendblatt.”

Patrick Dahlemann of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) had his car attacked with butyric acid. The foul smelling chemical was poured onto his vehicle.

 

On his Facebook page Dahlemann said that he would not be intimidated in his efforts to foster a “a real culture of hospitality” in the poor north-eastern state.

 

Party colleague Susann Wippermann also suffered threats when an unknown person wrote “traitor to the nation” on her car windscreen.

This follows a warning last week from the Federal Office of Investigation (BKA) which warned that politicians who support refugees face increased danger of attack from far right groups. Earlier in October Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker was stabbed while campaigning for election by an assailant with self-declared anti-refugee motives.

What would be more disturbing is if one or more of the “disappeared” refugees were to reappear in a violent capacity elsewhere in Germany, or Europe, leading to bloodshed or casualties. At that point the revulsion against the migrant invasion will surely overflow leading to a far greater crisis, one based on ethnicity and ideology, than anything the “new”, “united” Europe has suffered yet revealing just how little in Europe has actually changed in the past 100 years.


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