World, Europe

Germany: Real estate firm secretly discriminated against migrants, Muslims

In company’s secret records, applicants were tagged according to their ethnic and religious background, says local media

21.05.2021
Germany: Real estate firm secretly discriminated against migrants, Muslims

BERLIN

For years a real estate firm in western German has systematically discriminated against migrants and Muslims by using racist codes in its internal documents, local media reported Friday.

Brebau GmbH, the second-biggest real estate company in the city of Bremen, used codes to tag applicants according to its confidential classification system, daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.

The code E40 indicated “people of color” according to the company’s internal documents, while KT was used to tag Muslim women in headscarves, DE referred to “German citizens,” and WE meant applicants seen as “well integrated” into Western society.

Sources from the company, which owns or manages nearly 10,000 residences, told the media that the discriminatory system has been in practice for at least three years.

Most of the applicants tagged by ethnic or migration background were unable to rent a home or apartment from the company, according to the employees, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung’s investigative reporting was also backed by Radio Bremen and Magazin Panorama, a show on public broadcaster ARD.

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