Last weekend police arrested an 18-year-old on suspicion of knifing the German man – a known far-right sympathizer – during a confrontation between two groups of youth on Friday. The 18-year-old remains in police custody.
Prosecutors believe the fight was personal, not political. Someone from the victim’s group of friends was said to have made a pass at a girl in the suspect’s group in an internet chat room.
But police and anti-fascist organizations fear Stolberg could develop into a staging area for Germany’s far right, which is using the knifing as a rallying point.
Nationally known neo-Nazi Christian Worch has called about 500 protestors to Stolberg under the motto “no violence against Germans.” Two counter-demonstrations are also planned. The far-right NPD party is expected to hold another rally in two weeks.
Six policemen were hurt after a protester sprayed tear gas last Saturday in a spontaneous demonstration by 160 far-right sympathizers.
Police said the number of far-right crimes in the Aachen area, in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, rose to about 300 offenses last year. Most were propaganda-related.