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"No, no doubt" TIME ONLINE


What does a man say who has to keep talking about something he never really wanted to talk about? Something that is now catching up with him, haunted him, so that he can do no more than just talk about it?

When Karamba Diaby's cell phone rings on Wednesday morning last week, the member of the Bundestag cannot answer the phone, he has a meeting. But, he says today, he was already surprised. Why is the employee calling? You know he can't answer now? A WhatsApp message reaches him seconds later.

"Hello Karamba, sorry for the disturbance. I just found that we have five bullet holes in our window in the community office. I just informed the police, maybe we can call later."

"Can you send me a picture of it? Kind regards, Karamba."

It is the picture that will later move the whole republic. Holes in the window pane, in the window pane of the Karamba Diaby constituency office in Halle / Saale.

Later, the police will find prints of projectiles in windows at two other buildings, an Italian wine bar and an alternative program cinema. The night after, shots will be fired on the windows of the Halle public prosecutor's office.

Halle, Halle again. 14 weeks after the attack, in which a right-wing extremist killed two people in the city and wanted to kill many more in a synagogue – 14 weeks later, hatred is on the move again in this city. This time he is targeting a politician, 58-year-old Karamba Diaby.

The first thing that went through his head, he says: "Imagine the employees were on site." There is a work station directly behind the window.

When Diaby, who grew up in Senegal, came to the Bundestag seven years ago as the first African-born MP, many in the SPD found that he had to do something with integration.

But Diaby, who came to the GDR in 1985 to study chemistry, was interested in education and the environment. He did his doctorate on the floors of Halle: Back then, in the early 1990s, it was said that the earth in the city was so poisoned that no allotments could be cultivated here. Diaby planted kohlrabi, celery, apples. He examined the fruits – and proved that everything is edible.

Diaby became a member of the Education Committee in the Bundestag. He said sentences like this in TIME: "I don't want to be famous for being black." He wanted to make politics as a matter of course, like everyone else.

But this issue, racism, haunts him.

June 2015: The windows of Karamba Diaby's constituency office are smashed. "Violence is not an expression of opinion," Diaby explains afterwards.

October 2019: After the attacks on the synagogue, Diaby is always on site as a member of parliament, gives interviews and stands up for his city. He attends a vigil, waits in front of the synagogue, says the situation in the city has become more difficult: "I've been getting more and more negative, insulting, racist comments lately."

Well, in January 2020, the bullet holes on his target. The shots, the police said, were probably fired from an airsoft gun.

The Federal President calls Karamba Diaby and says: Don't be intimidated. Angela Merkel approaches him in the Bundestag. "She said that she found it terrible what had happened that I could count on her support." And Diaby replied: If you are no longer chancellor, many will only notice what we had about you.


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