Brebau GmbH, the second-biggest real estate company in the city of Bremen, used codes to tag applicants with ethnic or migration background, daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports, making them unable to rent a home or apartment from the company.

Muslims leave the evangelical church of St Martha's parish, after their Friday prayers, as the community mosque can't fit everybody in due to social distancing rules, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in Berlin, Germany, May 22, 2020.
Muslims leave the evangelical church of St Martha's parish, after their Friday prayers, as the community mosque can't fit everybody in due to social distancing rules, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in Berlin, Germany, May 22, 2020. (Reuters)

For years a real estate firm in western Germany has systematically discriminated against migrants and Muslims by using racist codes in its internal documents, local media has reported.

Brebau GmbH, the second-biggest real estate company in the city of Bremen, used codes to tag applicants according to its confidential classification system, daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.

The code E40 indicated "people of colour" according to the company's internal documents, while KT was used to tag Muslim women in headscarves, DE referred to "German citizens," and WE meant applicants seen as "well integrated" into Western society.

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Discriminatory system for at least three years

Sources from the company, which owns or manages nearly 10,000 residences, told the media that the discriminatory system has been in practice for at least three years.

Most of the applicants tagged by ethnic or migration background were unable to rent a home or apartment from the company, according to the employees, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung’s investigative reporting was also backed by Radio Bremen and Magazin Panorama, a show on public broadcaster ARD.

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Source: AA