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'Leave town' police tell pair harrassed by Nazis
Photo: DPA

'Leave town' police tell pair harrassed by Nazis

Published: 16 Nov 2012 12:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Nov 2012 12:12 GMT+01:00

A German couple who complained about receiving threats from neo-Nazis were told by police that it would be safer to leave town, sparking criticism from politicians and fellow officers, it was reported on Friday.

The pair, both 33, claimed to have been the target of 15 angry far-right extremists after taking down neo-Nazi stickers in the Saxon town of Hoyerswerda.

When they asked the police for help, officials said they could not guarantee the couple's safety and advised them to leave town for a secret location, Die Welt said on Friday.

“It is easier to take two people and put them somewhere safe than it is to keep watch over 30 suspects, or install five police cars in front of a house,” a spokesman for the town police told broadcaster MDR.

Criticism came almost immediately from the state's Green Party, which pointed out that the number of police officers in Hoyerswerda had been cut from 136 in 2009 to 104.

The fact that officers had not managed to gather information on suspected neo-Nazis was a scandal, said Eva Jähnigen, Saxon Green party domestic policy spokeswoman.

Socialist party Die Linke called on the state's Interior Minister Markus Ulbig to re-think “massive planned cuts to police jobs.”

Ulbig did not comment on the job reductions, but he said it was the police's responsibility to protect the people of Saxony, which “means that everyone should be able to live safely in their homes.”

Bernd Merbitz, police chief in the nearby city of Leipzig and co-ordinator for anti-far-right extremism operations, also criticised the officers for advising the couple to leave town, but said that he doubted there were enough officers to protect people from far-right violence.

Mayor of Hoyerswerda Stefan Skora did not directly acknowledge the police action but offered his sympathy to the couple concerned. He added that he expected a full investigation from the police into the suspects.

The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:24 November 16, 2012 by sonriete
The politicians out of office crow that we should hire back more police, but where does the money come from? People in a poor eastern town like this don't even have money for their electric bills, which go up by double digits every year, they can't afford to raise taxes for more police.

From what I read here this couple enraged the local Nazis by destroying their literature and made themselves targets, in an ideal world the local populace would rally to their defense and the police would provide round the clock security to their home, unfortunately this world is less than ideal.

we hear that now that even In Israel women who are not dressed "modestly" are stoned when they pass trough the Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

I wonder if it is the internet hat is emboldening these young bullies? Probably lack of Job prospects also.
15:27 November 16, 2012 by catjones
Unless the threats can be proven in court, there's little the police can do until a law is broken and offering lifetime protection isn't in the budget or realm of responsibility.
16:04 November 16, 2012 by raandy
sonriete, exactly they made themselves a target by taking down those stickers, you have to be obtuse to think otherwise. It is the police that should remove that type of material in Germany.
16:22 November 16, 2012 by twisted
I wonder how many of the police in that town are also neo-Nazis?
16:24 November 16, 2012 by sonriete
Or at least the local sanitation department, but again that department probably had budget cuts as well. Another article here today described how they have even stopped cleaning toilets in public schools and children are becoming sick from it. Where does this end, where are the happy stories?
17:31 November 16, 2012 by Leo Strauss
Police response time in eastern towns and cities, even larger centres like Leipzig, is woefully slow. Citizens facing imminent violence have had to wait up to an hour for the police to show up after placing emergency calls- often with the expected consequences.

Unfortunately, in some of these communities there is the added problem that the Nazis can count on local "braun" police for support, if not from the highest rungs of the law enforcement. Perhaps the officer was doing this courageous (naiive?) couple a favor.

110`s a joke, boooooooooooooy.
00:16 November 17, 2012 by DoubleDTown
@LeoStrauss - indeed. I called the DD police one day about some guys fighting and instead of quick and competent dispatcher I got a soothing female voice out of a science fiction movie telling me "Polizei Notruf, bitte warten Sie" over and over for several minutes.
03:24 November 17, 2012 by soros
LeStrauss: Dont you have donut shops in Germany? If you want the police, call the nearest donut shop....
17:25 November 30, 2012 by AJS
@soros, Police in Germany don't hang out at the donut shop, but rather the Donor (kabap) shops.
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