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Fake news

Fake news of the week: The refugee train

Half-empty beer bottles, rubbish on the floor, graffiti... but who vandalised this train?

Source: Whatsapp; Screenshot: CORRECTIV.Faktencheck

Each week, in a partnership with Correctiv, Exberliner will bring you a piece of misinformation that has been circulating online – and the corresponding fact check.

In the video, the train has been trashed. Half-empty beer bottles lie about, rubbish is strewn on the floor, the walls are scrawled with graffiti and the toilet sink looks to be overflowing with urine. The person filming the scene is a worker complaining about the state of the train as it prepares to undertake its return journey. He mentions nothing of who exactly was responsible for the chaotic scene, that information is provided by text covering the image:  

Germany, this horrified driver shows the train which brought refugees from Ukraine. They even pissed in the sink and on the floor. 

This video was circulated online last week between March 21 and 22, often accompanied by aggressive statements against those responsible. 

But when Correctiv looked into the source of the video, they found that the train route was in Baden-Würrtemberg and those responsible for the mess were probably fans of the football team FC Augsburg. 

Source: Ministry of Transport Baden-Württemberg / Whatsapp; Screenshot und Collage: CORRECTIV.Faktencheck

From the pattern on the seat, Correctiv’s fact checkers were able to identify the train as belonging to the “Bwegt” company, which operates in Baden-Württemberg. When they contacted the regional Ministry of Transport, they confirmed that the vehicle in question was traveling from Ulm main station to Plochingen on March 19, 2022 – the same day FC Augsburg lost 3-2 to Stuttgart. The stickers which had been plastered on the walls also carried message of support for FC Augsburg.

The Ministry of Transport added that while a few Ukrainian refugees had traveled on trains in Baden-Württemberg each day, they have so far always “behaved peacefully”.