Host Nation Update, Oct. 17, 2023
Antisemitic incidents are increasing in the Stuttgart region.
In the past few days, in several locations in the Stuttgart region, Israeli flags have been torn down, stolen, or set on fire. Antisemitic graffiti has also appeared.
In Fellbach (Rems-Murr district), last weekend, a four-meter by one-meter Israeli flag was torn down that had been hoisted at the Schwabenlandhalle. According to the police, the flag was set on fire and then hung on a lamppost at a subway station with the burn marks. In the upper Schlossgarten in Stuttgart, an Israeli flag was also set on fire and damaged last week. Additionally, unknown individuals in the city center sprayed anti-Israel slogans on a house wall. In Waiblingen-Hegnach, an Israeli flag was stolen on Sunday morning from a flagpole. In all cases, the state security service is now investigating.
During the night to Tuesday, unknown individuals tore down and damaged an Israeli flag in Stuttgart-Feuerbach. According to the police, the flag, which was five meters by one meter, was torn down from a flagpole and thrown into a bush a few meters away.
Antisemitic incidents throughout Baden-Württemberg are not limited to the Stuttgart region: Over the weekend, unknown individuals removed a flag from a flagpole at the town hall in Rheinfelden (Lörrach district), as the police announced on Monday. Burned remnants of the flag were reportedly found nearby. In Bad Säckingen (Waldshut district), over the weekend, an Israeli flag hoisted by an evangelical church community was pelted with eggs. According to the police, a witness allegedly saw a masked individual on Saturday who fled when noticed. The dirtiness was reported on Sunday. Already last week, an Israeli flag was torn down, as reported by the police (SWR 17 October 2023).
S-Bahn in Ludwigsburg: Electric scooters and bicycles on tracks for the seventh time.
“Does anyone have a problem with the S4? In the past few days, objects have been placed on the tracks of the S-Bahn near Ludwigsburg-Favoritepark seven times. Is it a serial offender?
Over the weekend, unknown perpetrators once again threw an electric scooter and a wooden board onto the S-Bahn tracks in Ludwigsburg, which were run over by the train. A train driver was able to brake just in time on Saturday when he saw a bicycle lying on the tracks. According to the police, the affected section was once again the Favoritepark-Freiberg route (Ludwigsburg district).
For the past week and a half, there have been S-Bahn accidents or near-misses on this route, mostly because electric scooters are placed on the tracks. The train on this route travels at a speed of 100 kilometers per hour. So far, no one has been injured. However, there are always track closures and delays in S-Bahn traffic. Passengers had to be rescued from the S-Bahn.
In the collision on Wednesday (October 11), the affected S-Bahn was severely damaged, according to the federal police. The train ran over an e-bike (pedelec) that someone had placed on the tracks. Because of the damage, it had to stop – right on a railway embankment. Therefore, the fire department had to evacuate the passengers and bring them out of the S-Bahn with ramps. A replacement train took the passengers back to Ludwigsburg station.” (SWR 16 October 2023).
Train takes EU Members of Parliament to Disneyland instead of Strasbourg.
Their destination was the European Parliament in Strasbourg. However, a special French train took hundreds of Members of the European Parliament and EU Parliament staff to Disneyland near Paris.
They believed they were on their way to a parliamentary session in Strasbourg, but instead, on Monday, Members of the European Parliament and their staff were taken to the Disneyland amusement park near Paris. The reason: a switch was set incorrectly. Rail company SNCF: Train mistakenly redirected “Where dreams come true – the new slogan of the European Parliament?” quoted French MEP Emmanuel Foulon, who was on the train, in the online service X, formerly Twitter, playfully referencing Disney’s slogan. The train, coming from Brussels, was accidentally directed to Marne-La-Vallée, the location of Disneyland, explained the French rail company SNCF casually. It then turned around and finally arrived in Strasbourg with a 45-minute delay.
“We are not a Mickey Mouse parliament” Numerous occupants of the train commented on the incident on the internet. “We are not a Mickey Mouse parliament,” wrote German Green Party MEP Daniel Freund on X, while a spokesperson for a Danish MEP speculated on the title of the next Disney film: “The parliamentary session and the train that wanted to go on vacation.”
Most of the time, EU Members of Parliament hold their sessions in Brussels. However, they are required to travel to Strasbourg for twelve plenary sessions per year – as stipulated by the EU treaties. The elaborate and expensive “travel circus” is controversial (SWR 16 October 2023).
The next Bundesliga game will take place this upcoming Saturday, on October 21, at 3.30 p.m.
FC Union Berlin vs. VFB Stuttgart