WORLD / EUROPE
Chinese community angered by German book claiming the coronavirus comes from China demands apology and recall of the book
Published: Mar 08, 2021 03:39 AM
A waiter wearing a face mask serves customers at a reopened restaurant in Berlin, Germany, on May 16, 2020. (Photo by Binh Truong/Xinhua)

A waiter wearing a face mask serves customers at a reopened restaurant in Berlin, Germany, on May 16, 2020. Photo: Xinhua


After maliciously claiming that the coronavirus comes from China, a German children's book has sparked outrage in the Chinese community in Germany. The Chinese consulate in Hamburg has lodged solemn representations against the publisher and several Chinese residents threatened to take legal actions. 

The Chinese community believes a simple apology is not enough and asked for the recall of the book. 

In the picture book, titled A Corona Rainbow for Anna and Moritz, or Ein Corona Regenbogen für Anna und Moritz, in German, published by Carlsen Verlag, the father of Anna and Moritz says that the coronavirus came from China and then spread to the rest of the world. 

This has angered the Chinese community in Germany. The Chinese consulate in Hamburg said it has lodged representations to the publisher and warned Chinese people that provocation, discrimination and hatred are not in line with Germany's mainstream values. Chinese citizens need to be cautious and calm when facing such acts, warned the consulate.

Some Chinese residents in Germany told the Global Times that they rushed to the internet to leave poor ratings and comments about the book. Some also said they will leave the issue to lawyers to take legal actions and are preparing to stage protests against racism and discrimination. 

"If the publisher issues a notice of recall, people will know it is problematic…it is useful to pass the message," a Chinese resident in Germany told the Global Times.

Another said that Carlsen's handling of this issue shows no sincerity so far. If children are indoctrinated with this wrong idea that coronavirus comes from China, how will they treat Chinese kids in school? He also pointed that a book circulates like a virus, passing from person to person, from generation to generation.

The cover of the February 2020 issue of the German news magazine Der Spiegel read, "coronavirus made in China", which prompted the Chinese Embassy in Germany to express its strong condemnation saying that "releasing such a picture does nothing to the outbreak, but only causes panic, mutual blaming and even radical discrimination."

A Chinese lawyer in Germany said that insulting and discriminating acts against Chinese immigrants and their children are soaring, due to some misleading reports by German media. "This has caused psychological trauma to Chinese community, especially to the kids. For such reasons, Chinese people in Germany had a stronger reaction than usual about this children's book that may trigger racial discrimination and hatred," he said. 



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