Open Letter to a Border Guard

Defending Our Borders against the Scum

In Germany, helpers of Syrian refugees are being put on trial. These lifesavers are being treated like enemies of the state. In his polemic, Stefan Buchen addresses a German border guard and encourages him to prevent the misery of the Syrian civil war from spilling over into Europe

Dear Border Guard, don't let anyone accuse you of making a judicial error. No. You have done everything correctly. You have acted to prevent the misery of the Syrian civil war from spilling over into Europe "by the timely introduction of police personnel". Bravo, you were as forceful as a council of war!

When the belligerent eastern folk beyond the Mediterranean quarrel and rip each other to shreds, then it's up to us to hold the squabbling and its consequences at arms' length. The only thing we should be concerned about is to vigilantly defend our borders against any surviving scum.

No one can do that more effectively than you can, by constitutionally sound means. It's all legally above board. After all, you are responsible for the old adage that even a death sentence handed down by court martial requires legal competence. This has meant that you've made far-reaching demands on yourself since the very early days. It's a high moral hurdle you clear with confidence again and again.

The smugglers' nasty game

You have meticulously calculated that there are 20,000 people in Syria ready and waiting to be illegally smuggled into Germany. You have ascertained that every day, one single criminal smuggles four of these parasites into our country on aeroplanes, trucks and ships. He soon plans to increase his daily contingent to eight.

The dangerous thing is that this enemy of the state brings the Syrian women, men and children safely over the German border. If only they would at least drown or suffocate en route! No, the lives of his eastern blood relations are sacred to this guy. He's hidden himself in bankrupt, corrupt Greece. It's easy pickings for him there; he bribes Greek airport personnel and puts the people on flights to Germany, although they don't have any papers.

German border guards in Frankfurt (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)
"Battle to maintain the purity of our demographic structure": A trial has been going on since July at the Essen district court against a number of men who brought refugees of the Syrian civil war to their relatives in Germany. It is the largest criminal trial against "smugglers" in 10 years - and it is uncompromising, merciless and prejudicial, says Stefan Buchen

This refugee smuggling scoundrel thinks he's well out of the reach of the German police and judiciary. But, dear border guard, he's reckoned neither on your tenacity, nor on your long arm. You know his name and where he lives in Athens. This is because you've been listening in to all of his telephone conversations, whether this was authorised by a judicial ruling or not.

In a "family affair" of this nature, such trivial matters are of no consequence. The police and judiciary act in concert. When it comes to border protection, some degree of esprit de corps must be permitted. You arrested the smuggler in Athens and flew him to Germany in handcuffs.

A battle to maintain the purity of the democratic structure

You elegantly refer to the "European arrest warrant" but you felt as though you were carrying out one of those CIA rendition flights. There has to be some sense of excitement and adventure. It's a way of motivating your own staff. After all, this is a battle to maintain the purity of our demographic structure.

You are glad of the fact that political opinions are extraneous in this matter. You are acting solely in accordance with the objective precepts of criminal law. And these state quite clearly: Anyone who smuggles foreigners to Germany is a criminal. Regardless of whether those who are being brought in are Moldavian women, Vietnamese manicurists or Syrian war refugees. A foreigner is a foreigner. The law is the law. There's no official who might oversee the matter and give you a different order.

Stefan Buchen (photo: NDR)
Stefan Buchen is a German TV journalist

You enforce this law against all the tricks that the eastern conman might play. You will forever be credited with not allowing yourself to be fooled by Hanna L., the head of the criminal gang. Only you were able to see through the sophisticated ploy of this snakehead from the banks of the Tigris.

For 30 years, he worked as an engineer for a construction firm in Essen – all part of the pretence. He married a German and together they begat crossbreeds. He lives in a semi-detached house that's listed under his name in the land register. The perfect double life. Behind the perfidious bourgeois façade in Essen in the Ruhr Valley, he conducted his criminal activities.

The public verdict has already been reached

Dear Border Guard, you know you have the support of the people whose borders you are protecting. But should there nevertheless still be the odd dissenter and weakling, then you have an unexpected argument ready. Not only do you stand firmly on the side of the law, but also on the side of humanity.

You say you are protecting the refugees from the smugglers. You explain that the traffickers torment the refugees and endanger their lives. You accuse the criminals of "people-smuggling resulting in death". You plant the idea that the gang is to blame for the sinking of a refugee boat in the Aegean Sea resulting in 62 deaths. You know that in doing so, you are triggering a campaign by the press the wings of which will carry you. The public has already reached its verdict. You have artfully created a prejudice.

You remain cleverly silent over the fact that before they died, the refugees were blocked and forced back by an EU coastguard patrol boat as they crossed the border, and that the accused have nothing to do with this misfortune. If the justice system decides not to tell the truth, then no one will tell it. It was the illusion of an optimistic age that the truth will come to light and tell itself.

Stefan Buchen

© Qantara.de 2013

Translated from the German by Nina Coon

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