When Rostock-Lichtenhagen burned

When Rostock-Lichtenhagen burned

They were ordinary citizens from Rostock-Lichtenhagen that let out their pent-up hatred and frustration in the summer in 1992.

Rostock-Lichtenhagen, a new neighborhood built in the 1970s, is a normal residential area. After the fall of the Berlin wall, there were the same problems found here as everywhere else in the East - unemployment, youth crime, frustration. Amidst this background, in a high-rise building in the district, authorities decide to set up the central receiving point for asylum seekers.

Soon the community and her residents are overwhelmed by the influx of refugees. Despite many warnings, leaders do nothing to defuse the situation: The politicians of the city of Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern are bogged down in a jurisdictional dispute. The federal government stokes the debate on the restriction of the right to asylum. And the police are overburdened.

In August 1992, the situation escalates to unprecedented levels: for three days and nights right-wing extremists, rioters and ordinary citizens attack the refugee center and the adjacent dormitory for Vietnamese guest workers. The scenes are like those out of a civil war.

The film shows how over the years a situation can escalate to an announced disaster because negligent politicians and authorities were unable or unwilling to shoulder their responsibility.