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CRIME

Study on xenophobic German youth was ‘distorted’

The authors of a confidential government study that found xenophobia widespread among German youth said the leaking of their data this week resulted in a distortion of facts.

The results were leaked before the study was finished, Christian Pfeiffer, director of the Institute for Criminology Research in Lower Saxony, told Friday’s edition of the regional daily paper Rheinischen Post. Researchers still had not completed 18,000 of the 50,000 interviews planned with students around Germany.

“They could still make a big difference in the results,” Pfeiffer said, calling the leaked results an “dubious distortion” of the facts.

The leaked survey showed almost a third of all German schoolchildren agreed “completely” with the statement that there are too many foreigners in Germany. Another third of those asked “mostly” agreed.

Almost a fifth of the 9th grade children included in the survey also had open prejudices against Islam, and one out of every 13 admitted to committing a hate crime like spraying a swastika on a wall or damaging the property of foreigners.

The report by a nationwide committee working to combat youth violence was prepared for Thursday’s conference of German state interior ministers and was leaked by the regional daily paper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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