The Christmas market selling Santa chocolates, Advent wreaths and spiced wine is in full swing.
In a German town with an unrivalled record of welcoming migrants and making them feel at home, excited children wave from carousel rides as shoppers chattering in German and Arabic mingle.
On the face of it, it’s a relaxed scene of which Angela Merkel, the German leader, would surely approve.
Except that here in Salzgitter, things are abruptly changing. It’s pro-refugee Mayor has declared a moratorium on any more foreigners coming to join the 5,800 who have already arrived.