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Living in Germany for black Europeans

(9 Posts)
HecomefromtheGlory Sun 04-Dec-16 20:47:08

Hello, have name changed for this.

Can anyone who is dual heritage or in a dual heritage relationship help with my query on living in Germany since the migrant crisis how things are? Due to my job, I may most likely be assigned a (research) post in Germany. And I would really love to know if things are okay for people of colour over there due to my husband and children being dual heritage. I don't want DH to be poorly treated and passport checked all the time (especially when I'm out of the country), nor do I want for our boys to be considered or treated as refugees. When we were last there >5 years ago, we had no children and DH did find it hard but we knew that the post was short lived. DH is black British Caribbean which the Germans didn't really get anyway. But I just don't want to live under a threatening culture as I have seen happen to others when I'be been out there.
Can anyone from there enlighten / calm me please?
Many thanks in advance.

anzu66 Sun 04-Dec-16 21:49:51

Hi, dual heritage relationship here, (not 'black' but 'brown' but I think probably getting about the same level of negativity).

What you experienced earlier, IMO, will not have changed all that much.

We've been in Germany 13 years, Berlin for the last 11, in a different city in Western Germany for the first two.

As someone living here, I don't think being treated poorly or passport checking has actually changed all that much in the last couple of years. There are certain areas we would avoid, but we were avoiding them before anyway.

For us, it really comes down to which part of Germany you are looking at. Berlin, okay (though there are parts of former East Berlin we would never go to. Particularly areas further away from the center, such as Kopenick, Marzahn or Weissensee)
Former East Germany, we tend to avoid, unless it is really close to Berlin. That is, Potsdam would be okay, Leipzig would okay as a day trip, but not okay to live there. More rural areas in the East, we avoid.

Former West Germany, basically okay. Though larger cities of course are better than smaller ones.

Does this help? Hope I didn't add to your worries!

HecomefromtheGlory Sun 11-Dec-16 15:23:40

Sorry for the delay Anzu, thank you however for the honest response. We would be off to the Rheinland Pfalz region. No, you haven't scared me, no stress. I just want for DH to be safe and free from intimidation when he is out and about, off to work or with our DC. Also I don't want our children to be targeted with racism if and when they walk to school ( I remember seeing other little ones doing that when I was last over there). Also, but most worryingly is that I don't want for my family to be seen as refugees. German colleagues who have been over to our UK site have been vocally prejudiced and I have my apprehensions as to how they see non white Europeans IYSWIM.

OpalsAreForever Sun 11-Dec-16 15:42:04

I live in Rheinland Pfalz. It really depends where in the State to be honest but there are two pretty huge US Military bases, one near Kaiserslautern and the other near Trier/Bitburg/Wittlich so the locals are very much used to cultural diversity.

I'm further north in R-P so can't really speak for the southern part but there are a lot of refugees in this area. For the most part they are tolerated and sympathised with. There is an element of racism, especially with the older generation, but by and large it should be ok.

Where in R-P is the job?

HecomefromtheGlory Sun 11-Dec-16 16:36:14

Hi Opal, we used to live in Mainz, and will be there for say 3months until we find something a bit more northerly as I'll be in Frankfurt Höchst. Had a colleague who has moved with his Caribbean wife & kids to Bremtal. So we might look into that area too. I just don't want to take any chances and move into a right wing area. HR at work are a bit clueless.

OpalsAreForever Sun 11-Dec-16 18:23:11

Hecome I don't really know that area all that well apart from yet again, there's a large American military presence in Wiesbaden. In my area (Lux border) we have a few family friends that are dual heritage couples with children and afaik they haven't had negative experiences. It's a tough one to call because right now we're in a massive state of flux and things change daily.

Any racism towards the refugees that I've seen, has mainly been down to the fear factor. And I've experienced it myself, it is rather intimidating walking down the street with toddlers in tow and being faced with a large group of young men walking towards you. But I'd feel that way about any big group of young men coming my way. The colour of their skin had nothing to do with it per se.

Then again there's a significant Turkish and Russian population here too and I don't feel like any feeling has changed towards them.

It's a tough one. Can you get over to feel it out?

HecomefromtheGlory Sun 11-Dec-16 18:28:16

Hi Opal, we used to live in Mainz, and will be there for say 3months until we find something a bit more northerly as I'll be in Frankfurt Höchst. Had a colleague who has moved with his Caribbean wife & kids to Bremtal. So we might look into that area too. Said colleague's wife has stayed gracefully silent on the topic of prejudice when we have tried to broach the topic. (Seriously shy lady!!) She has become a SAHM so I'm not sure how much interaction she has outside of church & nursery life. I just don't want to take any chances and move into a right wing area. HR at work are a bit clueless. When/ if we go over I'll have to be brave and ask colleague's wife maybe one to one where or what to watch out for. DH is also too gentle bless him to say anything to any person of colour when we are there, due to bad experiences last time.

Welshcake77 Mon 12-Dec-16 12:37:14

Hello hecome! Do you want to live in Rheinland-Pfalz for any particular reason? Because if you are going to be working in Frankfurt Höchst (which is probably one of the most diverse parts of Frankfurt which itself is very multicultural) I would seriously consider living in Frankfurt in your position. Höchst was the first place I lived when I came to Germany 17 years ago and as I said, very diverse but it has sadly become quite run down recently. There are many lovely areas to live in Frankfurt and a large English-speaking expat community as well as many other immigrants. I am in a mixed relationship - DH is 'brown' and Muslim so plenty of scope for issues but we haven't faced any open racism. Our DD is starting school next year so no experience on that front yet.
In general though regarding the racism/refugee points I think I'd agree with anzu and opal's summaries of how the situation is.

MangosteenSoda Mon 19-Dec-16 04:28:12

Hi. I lived in one of the Taunus towns near Höchst for a couple of years. It's a lovely area.

There wasn't a huge amount of ethnic diversity, but there was some and there was a pretty active expat population who were welcoming. I think it can take a while to get to know Germans.

Frankfurt itself and Wiesbaden are both better bets for more diversity and also for a bit more action in general. If you like Mainz, I'd guess you'd prefer Frankfurt over Wiesbaden. The Taunus can feel rather quiet and sleepy. It depends what you like doing and what kind of lifestyle you want.

Personally, I find Bremthal way too quiet. It's not got much apart from houses. Essentially, it's greater Eppstein, which is a quiet town itself. Hofheim is bigger, as is Kelkheim (but I always found Kelkheim to be less charming). They are both good for commuting to Höchst.

Bad Soden would be really convenient. It's small, but has a cooler vibe and is popular with foreigners. Bad Homburg is a good option as it's bigger and has a lot to offer, but longer commute for you. It's right next to Oberursel which would also be fine.

Which schools are you looking at? Will your husband work? If so, where? Those will all be factors in your decision.

Last but not least, it can be pretty hard to find a place to rent, so it might not be as simple as just choosing a town. I'd have a look at all of them and see what's on the market.

Also look at joining the British Club of the Taunus and the American Women's club.

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