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Oktoberfest To Have Added Security Due To Fears Of Sexual Assault From Arab Migrants

REUTERS/Michael Dalder

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter

For the first time since its start in 1810, Munich’s Oktoberfest will have security checks at entrances due to fears of sexual assaults from migrants and the potential for a terrorist attack.

Included in the new measures will be bag checks, increased security personnel and possibly a fence to cordon off the festival area. Perhaps worst of all though will be the fact that the famous beer tents present at the event each year will be opening at 10 AM, an hour later than normal.

“No-one should be afraid to go to the [festival],” said deputy mayor Josef Schmid to Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. “There is no concrete danger. But of course we’re adjusting ourselves to the changed global context.”

The increased security protocols follow the deadly terrorist attacks in Brussels in March and Paris last November. While Germany has not experienced a similar terrorist attack, German citizens in Cologne were the victims of rampant sexual assaults by mobs of Arab men on New Year’s Eve. It took several days for German authorities to acknowledge the attacks in what was an apparent cover-up.

Oktoberfest has been one of the most famous and iconic pieces of both German and Bavarian culture for hundreds of years. The event began after King Ludwig I, then the crown prince of Bavaria, invited the citizenry of the city of Munich to a grand festival in celebration of his marriage to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The area in which the festival takes place is known as the Theresienwiese (Therese’s fields), in her honor. The event grew in popularity over the years, and now draws as many as 6 million visitors from across the globe.

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