Friday, August 05, 2011

One Man, One murder by Jakob Arjouni (Melville International Crime 1991)

They had fled. They had travelled halfway around the world with two suitcases. They had filled out applications, they had been rejected, they had applied again and had been rejected again, they had sought shelter in barns or shared a room with nine others. They had gone into hiding and lived without papers, and now they wanted to get at least these forged ones. Out of the void they had conjured up three thousand marks - they had tried everything just to be able to say, one day: tomorrow I'll sleep late, or I'll save up for a video recorder, I should be able to get one next year, or this weekend I'll get so smashed I'll crawl home, and if a cop shows up, I'll just stand up and pull out my wallet. But they never had a chance. Those who were rejected would remain so: the refugee "in whose native culture torture is a common and transitional method of interrogation:" the refugee "who, if he had not become politically active, need not have feared reprisals - and who was fully conscious of the risks of his activity;" and the "economic asylum seeker" who is labelled a parasite in the world of German supermarkets, as if hunger and poverty were a kind of "human right" for three quarters of the planet's population. He or she was merely the ghost of the "at our expense" notion, never mind the fact that we lived for centuries at his expense, and that he is trying to go where "our" pedestrian malls, "our" air force and "our" opera houses have been built - at his expense. He is a "parasite", never mind that coffee, rubber heels, and metal ores do not grow in the forests of Bavaria.

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