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DIE WELT (Germany)

Worldcrunch

Over the past three years, U.S. lifestyle brand Hollister has opened 17 retail outlets in Germany opened during the last three years.

According to information acquired by Die Welt, a number of former employees of the stores have sued the German subsidiary of the U.S. mother company Abercrombie & Fitch for practices ranging from body searches and heavy camera monitoring on the job, but also for hindering the formation of an employee association.

One former staffer told Die Welt that when he left work in the evening his female boss patted him down and made him open his back pack for inspection. "When you’re an object of suspicion for your employer, it creates a bad atmosphere," he said.

He said he quit after four months because the working climate was so unpleasant.

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A Hollister store in Germany (Peter Lustig)

Another former employee said in court that "they constantly let you know that there were plenty of other people to fill your job, and that you were totally expendable."

Die Welt wrote to the CEO of the German Hollister company asking if body searches and heavy camera monitoring of employees were store policy. The letter was sent to the main U.S. office for answering. It responded that it would not reply to the questions.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Searching For Marianna, A Pregnant Doctor From Mariupol Held Captive By The Russians

We’ve heard about the plight of the soldiers-turned-prisoners from Mariupol. Here are some traces of the disturbing fate of a young female doctor who’s been taken away.

A paper dove reads "Mariupol" at a shelter for displaced children in Uzhhorod, western Ukraine.

Paweł Smoleński

"Wait for me, because I will return…"

Marianna Mamonova wrote these words to her family, among the text messages and short phone calls that are the only remaining fragments used to piece together her recent past. We also have a photo of her, posted on Russian websites, where she looks into the lens, gaunt and exhausted, signed with a number like a concentration camp prisoner.

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Until the Russian-Ukrainian war, Mamonova’s biography was available to anyone who wanted to know. She was born in 1991, studied at the Ternopil Medical University, and later at the Kyiv Military Academy. After completing her studies, she was sent to work in the coastal city of Berdiansk. Her mother says that this is where her daughter's dream came true: She’d always wanted to be a military doctor, and worked in Berdiansk for three years, receiving the rank of officer in the Ukrainian army.

Beginning in 2014, she’d worked stints as a front-line doctor in the Donbas region, and when Russia invaded Ukraine in February she went to war again. This time in Mariupol.

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