The history of our association

The mafianeindanke association was founded in Berlin in the summer of 2007 on the initiative of a group of restaurateurs in response to the Duisburg massacre and the media representations of Italy linked to mafia stereotypes. The group of founders wanted to show that the world of Italians abroad represents, to a large extent, the vital and transparent side of Italian culture, against all mafias and injustices. For this reason an agreement was signed with the Berlin Criminal Police (LKA4), to facilitate the exchange of any information on Italian organised crime, and to improve the support and protection of the security forces at restaurants. The agreement already showed its usefulness after a few months when, during the Christmas period, more than 50 Italian restaurateurs received a threatening letter asking them to pay the lace. Some cars and a restaurant were burnt down under threat – but thanks to the cooperation of the LKA4 and the support network between restaurateurs, the two responsible parties were arrested within a few weeks.

The serious episode further confirmed the idea that it was really necessary to “export” the message of social anti-mafia to Germany, as it had developed in Italy since the 1990s.

In 2009 mafianeindanke officially becomes a non-profit association and continues its activities to raise awareness and promote anti-mafia culture through the organization of events, particularly focused on two annual focuses: the “Festival of Legality” and “Women and Mafia“. The two events are organized for a few consecutive years and gather more and more interest and public, the work of raising awareness is slowly making its way thanks to the commitment of energetic activists and the awareness of wanting to achieve even more results is growing.

From 2014, therefore, “reinforcements” will arrive thanks to the European Volunteer Programme, which allows two young volunteers to stay in Berlin for 12 months in support of the association. mafianeindanke thus expands the number and scope of the initiatives organised, equipping itself with a monthly bilingual newsletter of information and involving an increasingly wide audience. Activities range from the organisation of conferences, workshops, readings and film forums, to support for investigative journalists, to activities in high schools and universities.

In recent years, mafianeindanke has organised important events, such as the conference in July 2017 at the Italian Embassy in Berlin with the participation of the German and Italian Interior Ministers and the national anti-mafia prosecutor. And like the COREACT civil society event in November 2019, which brought together two hundred activists from all over Europe, with a programme of more than 15 workshops, to exchange good practices on the issues of transparency, anti-money laundering, anti-corruption, democratic education, investigative journalism and access to information.

The association also acts as a subject of dialogue between local institutions, political forces and civil society, with the aim of becoming a coordination centre for other similar initiatives spread throughout the national territory, of deepening the subject of mafias in Germany and of combating them from an international point of view, through the harmonisation of European legislation.

mafianeindanke is also part of the international network CHANCE – Civil Hub Against orgaNised Crime in Europe, with which it wants to have an impact at European level, as transnational problems require transnational responses.