Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Xenophobia widespread among German youth

Share this article

Xenophobia widespread among German youth
A rally in Berlin for far-right youth centre in 2008. Photo: DPA
07:42 CET+01:00
A new study released this week shows xenophobic attitudes are widespread among German youth and many of the country's teenagers have far-right extremist and anti-Semitic leanings.

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said he was “shocked” by the findings of a survey on youth violence, even though the survey showed it to be on the decline.

Presented by Christian Pfeiffer from Lower Saxony's institute for criminology, the study found 14.4 percent – or roughly one in seven of the German 15-year-olds surveyed – held strongly xenophobic views. Nearly five percent of the boys and 2.6 percent of the girls even admitted to belonging to a far-right extremist group.

“This has to wake us up to the fact that a higher percentage of boys in west and east Germany have been pulled into the wake of the far-right,” Pfeiffer said at a press conference in Berlin on Tuesday.

Almost a third of German youth agreed with the statement: “There are too many foreigners in Germany.” And nearly 40 percent believed most foreigners were criminals.

More than five percent of those surveyed showed strongly anti-Semitic attitudes.

The study polled some 45,000 youths with an average age of 15 in 2007 and 2008 across Germany.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article


From our sponsors

Change the world with a master's degree from Sweden's Linköping University

Master's students at world-leading Linköping University (LiU) aren't there simply to study. They solve real-world problems alongside experts in fields that can create a better tomorrow. Do you have what it takes to join them?