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Xenophobia mushrooms in shadow of Berlin tower blocks
by Jean-Michel Hauteville
There's little to break the monotony of communist-era apartment blocks stretching across Marzahn-Hellersdorf, an east Berlin satellite district that has gained national notoriety for a spate of anti-foreigner protests.
Week after week, hundreds of residents here have angrily rallied against plans for a new centre to house refugees seeking asylum on a stretch of parkland now ringed by cyclone fence and watched by security guards.
As Germany confronts a rise in far-right populism, with "anti-Islamisation" marches drawing thousands in the eastern city of Dresden, this bland corner of the sprawling capital, a district home to almost 300,000 people, has become another flashpoint of resentment and xenophobia.
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