Mall of Shame - Inside Story - Demo Tomorrow

Mall of Shame

The Romanian workers at Mall of Berlin are still fighting against über-exploiter Harald G. Huth. After several weeks in the cold, they haven't received a cent. Big demo on Saturday! Apartment still needed!


The eight workers stand in front of Berlin's newest exploitation temple from 12 to 18h, every weekday. Supported by the small anarchist syndicate FAU, they struggle to engage a stream of too busy, too fancy, too taxpaying visitors with copied leaflets and self-painted banners, but sometimes they succeed.

The workers rarely get a warm meal a day and they have no permanent sleeping place. In Romania, wives, children, parents are desperately waiting for money. In their part of “Poor-ope”, having no money means freezing and starvation. The boss of the Mall knows this; he can watch them from his office, high above Berlin’s cliché of a metropolitan business district.

Over four years, right across from Germany's upper house, the Bundesrat, forced laborers built a mall with luxury apartments that cost an estimated EUR 800 million! That's roughly 1/6 of what the disastrous BER airport burned.

And like the airport, the mall could prove another disaster for Berlin's next ex-mayor Klaus Wowereit. Wowereit attended the mall's vulgar opening ceremony and praised Huth as a "committed contributor to our city's development."

But Huth is more like a modern-day Albert Speer, minus the regrets. His ruthless henchman, Andreas Fettchenhauer, principal contractor, also runs a horse stable and is apparently a sex predator (in his circles, you call it “playboy”).

Their loyal subcontractors, Mehmet Tosun (Metatec GmbH) and Viktor Keil (openmallmaster GmbH), are well-known to German labor rights organizations for exploiting illegalized migrants. And they don’t mind sending armed thugs to workers who protest when they are not paid. This is why from hundreds of unpaid, illegalized workers of the Mall of Shame, only 8 dared to complain – and they are risking their lives.

Why are the subcontractors so bold to employ undocumented workers right in the city center? Aren’t they afraid of customs police (Zoll)? It is known on the construction site that customs officers give the site manager a friendly call before their “raids” against “black work.” And that they would never dare steal Mr. Huth’s or Mr. Fettchenhauer’s valuable time by starting anything as preposterous as an investigation.

Instead they hunt workers who renovate single-room apartments in poor neighborhoods. From the highest minister to the lowest cop: authorities help Germans exploit migrants. This is also why the Bundesrat cut EU migrants’ freedom of movement just a week ago: When EU citizens can be sent back any time, they have no chance of going to court against their exploiters.

But German media portray the workers as the exploiters. Even kids know about fictional boogeymen like “Sozialhilfebetrüger” or “rumänische Räuberbanden.”

And victims believe some of that crap: When I ask them, why they don’t take welfare – like every German would – they tell me, they’ve never heard of this right. They don’t want Germans to see them as “dishonest” – so they sleep in construction containers and work for nothing.

The workers have hardly any contact with the deep support structure established during the ongoing refugee protest. The FAU is a small union and most members have full-time jobs.

The most urgent steps in the struggle are existential: The 8 workers need an apartment, they need donations to cover daily expenses and they need help with paperwork. You can also help by organizing info events at your local autonomous center. Contact the FAU, follow the Facebook site and

COME TO THE BIG DEMO ON SATURDAY, 6 DECEMBER 2014 AT 14.00h (click to see video)