A sadly inevitable next chapter in the now infamous New Year’s attacks. The eternal question: Who’s assimilating whom?

Cologne’s mayor has been widely criticised for suggesting that women “keep at an arm’s length” from strangers to avoid sexual harassment, after scores of women were sexually abused and mugged in the city during new year celebrations.

Asked by a journalist how women could protect themselves, Henriette Reker said: “There’s always the possibility of keeping a certain distance of more than an arm’s length – that is to say to make sure yourself you don’t look to be too close to people who are not known to you, and to whom you don’t have a trusting relationship”…

Reker also advised women to “stick together in groups, don’t get split up, even if you’re in a party mood”.

Not only is she blaming the victims, she’s not remotely engaged with the reality of what happened. How are you supposed to keep an “arm’s length” when you’re surrounded by a group of degenerates who, police suspect, showed up at the train station specifically intending to assault people? Here’s what one woman saw when she got there:

Steffi, 31, said she saw “countless weeping women” when she arrived at the station and was hit with a volley of sexist slurs shouted in German as she made her way through the crowd.

“I saw a girl… who was crying, with ripped stockings, her skirt askew — she was just wrecked,” she told the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

“A young guy came out of the crowd and made vulgar comments. ‘Can I help you? I know I can help you’ he said with a strong accent and made obscene gestures with his hand. When she wanted to get away, he followed her. I told him to piss off.”

It wasn’t just Cologne. Per the Daily Caller, “similar incidents” happened in Hamburg and Stuttgart, although on a much smaller scale. One theory the police are kicking around is that some of the attackers came in from Dusseldorf, where police “have identified more than 2,000 suspects of North African origin in connection with organized thefts,” but that’s obviously politically convenient for Cologne authorities to say. It’d be a strange, ironic coda to the refugee debate in Europe if different cities started blaming each other’s Arab/Muslim populations for crimes committed nearby. “It’s not our people who did this, it’s their people.” Time for Cologne and Dusseldorf to close their borders, I guess.

Blaming the victims arguably wasn’t the worst thing Cologne’s mayor said yesterday, either. Think on this:

However, she also said that visitors from “other cultures” should also be educated on acceptable conduct.

“We need to prevent confusion about what constitutes happy behaviour and what is utterly separate from openness, especially in sexual behaviour,” she said.

That’s the second time in three weeks that Europe’s need to formally educate people from “other cultures” that rape is wrong has arisen in a major news story. You would think that contempt for sexual assault would be a prerequisite to resettling in the EU but apparently there’s no cultural difference that can’t be papered over in the name of securing cheap labor. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: However terrible you think Obama’s legacy is, Merkel’s legacy in Germany will be worse.

Update: Here’s one of the Cologne victims speaking out. How do you think the “arm’s length” technique would have fared in this scenario?

Michelle said: “There were 11 of us together at the time.

“At around 11pm we were at the main train station and wanted to travel on to see the fireworks, and that was when we first noticed all these men standing around.

“We managed to go into the cathedral and wanted to go past the Museum Ludwig to join everyone and watch the fireworks by the river, but suddenly we were surrounded by a group of between 20 and 30 men.

“They were full of anger, and we had to make sure that none of us were pulled away by them. They were groping us and we were trying to get away as quickly as possible.