A different picture of Berlin shows the police series «Dogs of Berlin», which is exhibited on Netflix, and which includes U Na scene in Santiago de Chile.
The work of ten chapters tells the story of two policemen investigating the murder of a Turkish-German football star. These characters now call attention: one of them is Turkish (and gay in passing) and the other was Nazi in his youth and likes gambling.
Both will face not only a gambling mafia of Eastern Europe, but also an Arab clan that performs extortion, among other criminal acts, and dominates a district of Berlin («Kaiserwarte», which does not exist in reality) where the police do not enter.
In «Dogs of Berlin», there are also gunfights in broad daylight, corrupt law enforcement officers who are left with seized money and football leaders of dubious reputation.
The city has also just been involved in a new controversy, after the administration of a park decided to «legalize» the sale of drugs in certain parts of the Görlitzer Park.
But is it real this portrait of the city that, according to German statistics itself, is the most insecure in Germany, only surpassed by Frankfurt?
Alejander Dinger is a police journalist and directs the respective section in the local newspaper Berliner Morgenpost. He refuses to have areas of Berlin where the police cannot enter.
«Berlin is a young city, incredibly alive, where I love to live, but there are also problem areas,» he admits.
Dinger points out that one of them is the multicultural district of Neukölln, where in addition to living many foreigners, there are also neo-Nazis.
He explains that «Kaiserwarte» is actually found in the Hermannstraße, and that the metro station of which the series speaks is Boddinstraße.
For this journalist, the closeness between fiction and reality is seen in the assassination of an Arab, «Mahmud», occurred in September 2018, which was executed by three gunmen of eight shots. It was only a few hundred yards from that station, one Sunday afternoon.
The 36-year-old victim, born in Lebanon, but without nationality for allegedly Palestinian origin, was a long-standing criminal, who spent 14 years in prison. The Berlin government asked several times for its deportation, but with no Lebanese passport, it was not possible.
It was part of one of the Arab clans that in Germany are associated with crimes as diverse as drug trafficking, prostitution and robbery. His murder, apparently, is linked to a clash between criminal groups.
His burial brought together two thousand people, including members of a criminal clan who recently suffered the seizure of 77 real estate. The perpetrators of the crime are still on the lam today.
The police are another outstanding actor in «Dogs of Berlin», also for the dubious actions of some of its members. However, for Dinger «You can trust the police.»
«It’s incredibly international and diverse,» he emphasizes.
Indeed, according to a statistic of 2017, 25% of the policemen in the German capital have migratory origins. Among those trained officials, the figure reaches 37%.
As for Nazism among officials, none is openly. The sensitivity is enormous: Last year there was a scandal of proportions because in an internal communication an official used the formula «88», which is associated with the far right and the term «Heil Hitler». All very far from a real militancy in those ranks.
What is there is a very active Nazi group in the aforementioned district of Neukölln, which has attacked bookstores and houses of trade unionists and leftist politicians, without arrests so far.
As for corruption, Dinger admits that there are indeed «black sheep»… Not in Berlin, though.
In 2018, in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, in an Antimafia investigation, two police officers were accused of delivering information in an illegal way to the mafia. However, it was not even possible to prove that they had received money.
A separate chapter is corruption in football. In fact, the president of the German Football Association ((DFB) Reinhard Grindel, announced in April his resignation for accepting undue gifts. Its predecessor, Wolfgang Niersbach, also resigned: It was in 2015, accused of buying votes for the organization of the World Cup of Germany 2006.
In 2009 there was a major world scandal that affected several countries. In Germany, players and umpires were accused of manipulating the results in 32 games of the lower leagues. Two footballers admitted to receiving bribes.
The scandal was preceded by another in 2005, whose central figure was referee Robert Hoyzer. He was convicted along with three other Croatian accomplices.
However, as in the previous case, no major series matches were involved, the Bundesliga, although it was in the German Cup.
As for criminality, statistics do not lie. According to a report of 2019, the German capital is the second most insecure in Germany, only surpassed by Frankfurt. And the most common crime the simple robbery.
In this regard, Dinger underlines the importance of the context, especially since Berlin is a tourist city. Only in 2018 he received 13.5 million visitors.
«There are many crimes specifically linked to tourism, such as burglaries,» he stresses. «But in comparison to other European cities, Berlin is a very safe city.»
In fact, it reveals that this year the criminality fell for the third year followed. For example, in 2014, 131 murders were recorded, but in 2018 were 94.
In 2018, compared to the previous year, the Lanzazos (-26.2), the house robberies (-11.7), the car thefts (-11.2) and the unpaid public transport travel (-26%) fell. Tax evasion (+ 24.7%), illegal immigration (37.9%) went up instead and drug trafficking (7.4%).
«Feeling» of insecurity
«Berlin is generally a safe city,» he insists.
«Although there is obviously an objective and a subjective security. That means that the witnesses to the assassination of ‘ Mahmud ‘ eventually do not perceive Berlin as a safe city, «he accepts.
«We actually recently published on a building where a member (of an Arab clan) resides that terrified their neighbors. Nor will they say it’s a safe city. I for one can only say that I feel very good in Berlin, even if I write daily about crime. »
Sale in Park
Finally, with regard to the release of certain areas in the Görlitzer Park, in the Kreuzberg district, for the sale of drugs, Dinger is rather skeptical.
«A community only works when the rules are applied,» he says. Many of the vendors are migrants without work permits.
«The Görlitzer Park is not out of the rule of law. The sale and consumption of drugs must be punished. Anyone who wants to legalize cannabis use must achieve political majorities. »