But standing in the shadow of the west German city's imposing cathedral, on the same square where the attacks happened, students Sarah and Laura say the aftershocks are still being felt. That's too bad, but that's how it is," year-old Sarah told AFP, bundled up against the winter chill with a thick woolly scarf. Her friend Laura, 20, nods and says the events had shaken her own sense of safety.
There's a lot more hatred against foreigners now.
Hundreds of women that night described running a gauntlet of theft, groping and lewd insults in a crush of mainly Arab and north African men. Other German cities reported similar incidents during their end of year festivities. Cologne police reports Sexual attacks in germany revealed that of some 1, complaints filed about the incidents, over were for sexual assault. Most of the perpetrators were never caught. The assaults, which made global headlines, triggered a backlash against Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door refugee policy and heightened concerns about how to integrate a record number of mostly Muslim newcomers into German society.
They were also followed by a disturbing spike in attacks on refugee homeswith reported in the first nine months of the year.
Meanwhile Germans rushed to obtain small arms licenceswith the number of applications in Bavaria in the first three months of equaling Sexual attacks in germany for the whole of the previosu year. As the country readies Sexual attacks in germany a general election inthe shadow of Cologne looms large, with the ruling parties toughening their stance on immigration. For Merkel, who had won praise for opening Germany's borders to those fleeing conflict and persecution, it was a nightmare start to the year.
Her popularity plummeted as the anxiety that had been bubbling about the refugee influx burst into the open, leading to angry protests and a surge in support for the anti-Islam, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany AfD party. Under fire, Merkel moved to toughen asylum laws, vowing to speed up deportations and tighten rules for family reunification. The public mood in Germany turned darker over the summer, after an axe attack on a train and a suicide bombing at a music festival left 15 people injured.
Though not on the scale of the terror attacks that have struck France and Belgium, both were carried out by asylum seekers and claimed by Isis.
Voters punished Merkel by handing her conservative party a series of defeats in regional elections, whereas the populist AfD gained ground. The once untouchable chancellor admitted in September she wished she could "turn back time" to better prepare for the refugee crisis, and promised there would be no repeat of the unprecedented influx. But enough is enough," a year-old Cologne resident told AFP as she Sexual attacks in germany a cigarette break a stone's throw from the cathedral.
Yet despite groups of protesters holding up a "Rapefugees not welcome" banner, many more have volunteered to help refugees or have made donations. German schools have accommodated huge numbers of refugee pupils, while the government has set up initiatives to encourage firms to hire refugees.
And despite being politically weakened over the refugee crisis, Merkel is tipped to easily win a fourth term next year. In part, that's because there are no real contenders to challenge Europe's most powerful woman. "Sexual attacks in germany"