Girl claims she was 'fondled and groped' as more Cologne victims come forward

The aftermath of Cologne's New Year's attacks on more than 100 women leave tourists and locals in a state of fear

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A victim of the New Years attacks in Cologne, known as Jenny, had a firework placed in the hood of her coat and was left with burns, while another victim who did not want to be named was "groped between the legs". The news comes as more victims speak out about how they were attacked on New Year's Eve in Cologne. 

The attacks, allegedly carried out by a 1,000-strong drunk, male crowd, resulted in two reports of rape, according to an article in Der Spiegel

Police have started to identify three suspects and have confirmed that some of the alleged attackers were already known to them. However, no arrests have been made. Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere strongly criticised the way police dealt with the attacks. "The police shouldn't work like this," he said, as reports that the police barely intervened during the attacks came to light. Mr de Maiziere condemned the police, saying they shouldn't have allowed the attackers to return to the square once it was evacuated.

The victim known as Jenny, told German television how she heard a sizzling sound in her hood. "I tried to get the firecracker out of the hood. Then it fell into my jacket and burned everything. The scars will be permanent. I was lucky it didn't explode."​ 

Another victim, Michelle, described how those who allegedly attacked the women were full of “hate and anger” and she and her fellow female friends had to hold hands for safety. Many of the women were also robbed,while one victim who wished to remain unnamed told German television that she and her friends were 'fondled and groped.'

A 17-year-old unnamed British girl also came forward to share her story from New Year’s Eve. She told the BBC that she was in Cologne with her boyfriend. 

She said, “We heard a woman screaming and crying somewhere in the midst of this crowd, appearing to be escaping from a foreign man, who was shouting back and pointing his finger at her and chasing her with his accomplices.

"Later on, we saw two men corner women at the cathedral and touch them while they were screaming for help and trying to fight back.”

Around 2am, the girl says she and her boyfriend returned to the station where the situation appeared to have worsened.

"The fights had increased, people who were drunk were throwing their bottles aimlessly and I was afraid that one would be thrown at me so I had to cover my face near the crowds," she said.

"I saw a group of older foreign men go up to a group of younger girls (they looked under 18) in the underground train and started pushing them around and touching them, and the girls stumbled near to the train tracks. But thankfully a German man stood up and defended them, so the girls were able to run away."

Reports of the attacks caused widespread condemnation of Mayor Henriette Recker, who said that women should hold men at arm’s length to protect themselves.  However, as more reports surfaced that the alleged attackers were mostly of north African or Middle Eastern origin, a greater number of people are turning the crisis away from an issue of violence and intimidation, and on to a question of immigration. 

Tweets included those from MP Stephen Bilger from Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party who said: “It can’t go on like this,” he tweeted. “Urgently needed: reduction of influx, secure borders, intensifying of deportations and meaningful justice.”