• Germany's news in English
Violent hate crime doubled in 2015 in Berlin: report
A demonstration against racism and violence in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

Violent hate crime doubled in 2015 in Berlin: report

Emma Anderson · 9 Mar 2016, 12:33

Published: 09 Mar 2016 12:33 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Hate crime monitoring groups ReachOut and Berliner Register reported on Tuesday 320 incidents of assault in 2015, up from 179 in 2014. Twenty-five of the attacks last year were connected to anti-Semitism, compared to 18 the year before.

Most attacks (175) were connected to racism while 43 were against LGBT people.

Another 412 people were followed, threatened or hurt - of whom 42 were children. ReachOut said they were particularly alarmed by cases involving children, such as when a man uttered racial slurs to a mother holding a one-year-old baby and then pushed them, the baby falling from its mother's arms into its stroller.

Another case that made headlines across the country last year was when two neo-Nazis urinated on children riding Berlin public transport, hurling racist insults at them and their mother. 

"It is especially appalling and brutal when racially motivated attacks are made against children," said Sabine Seyb from ReachOut in a statement.

The report found a total of 1,820 hate incidents, including extreme right-wing, racist, homophobic as well as anti-Semitic motivations. The incidents ranged from violent attacks to “propaganda” such as stickers, graffiti and posters.

Propaganda made up the largest portion of the 1,820 incidents, at 683 reports.

“In this way, individual neighbourhoods can show the types of actions by neo-Nazis and everyday forms of discrimination that are not necessarily reflected in official statistics,” the report states.

Reports of anti-Semitism increase by one-third

The groups also reported 401 anti-Semitic incidents in 2015 - 34 percent higher than the number of incidents known in 2014 and more than twice the number of anti-Semitic crimes reported by Berlin police in 2014 (193).

Part of the reason for the higher number of reported incidents is that the group that collected the data, the city-sponsored Anti-semitism Research and Information Point (RIAS), only launched at the beginning of 2015 and thus did not collect reports during the year before.

RIAS allows residents to report any anti-Semitic incident, from verbal insults to written propaganda to violent attacks.

“The sharp increase in reports since the public announcement of the new reporting options simply shows that we are on the right course to discover the extent of anti-Semitism every day in our city,” said RIAS coordinator Benjamin Steinitz in a statement. “Although the number of 401 incidents is alarmingly high, we still assume that there are a large number of unreported cases.”

SEE ALSO: German Jewish groups fear rising anti-Semitism

Story continues below…

Most of the anti-Semitic incidents recorded by RIAS were threats, insults or vulgar statements which accounted for 210 incidents, followed by property damage (72) and propaganda (68).

"Many Jewish people feel increasingly insecure in light of the growing attacks and anti-Semitic hostility on the street, in school yards and sports fields," said Deidre Berger, director of the Berlin American Jewish Committee, in a statement. 

Berger said she has observed the development of anti-Semitism in Germany for 30 years.

"More and more Jewish people report to us that they rarely or never identify themselves in public any more as being Jewish."

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Emma Anderson (emma.anderson@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Eurowings braces as cabin crew union proclaims strike
Photo: DPA

A union representing cabin crew for Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings announced that strikes could take place at any time over the next two weeks, starting on Monday.

Mysterious German U-boat wreckage found off Scotland
Photo: ScottishPower

First World War U-boat "attacked by sea monster” thought to be found off Scottish coast.

Supermarket Edeka warns of exploding apple juice bottles
Photo: DPA

"Risk of injury" from "Gut und Günstig" sparkling apple juice bottles has forced Germany's largest supermarket to recall the product.

By wheelchair from Syria to Germany: teen's story of hope
Nujeen Mustafa. Photo: HarperCollins-William Collins Publicity/Private

She tackled the gruelling 2,000-kilometre migrant trail in a wheelchair, translating along the way for other refugees using English she learned from a US soap opera. Now this teen is living in Germany and hoping to inspire others with a newly published memoir.

Berlin Zoo to have a pair of pandas by next summer
A recently born panda pair at Vienna Zoo. Photo: DPA

The giant bamboo-eating bears will move into a brand new 5,000 square-metre enclosure in the capital's Zoologischer Garten.

Two new spider species discovered in Munich
Zoropsis spinimana. Photo: rankingranqueen / Wikimedia Commons

It's news every arachnophobe in Munich is no doubt thrilled to hear: two types of spider new to the region have been discovered in the Bavarian capital - and one of them bites!

After woman's body found in barrel, husband may walk free
Franziska S., who went missing 24 years ago. Photo: Hanover police.

A woman disappeared in Hanover 24 years ago, but no one reported her missing. Although her husband has now confessed to her murder, he still may not step foot in jail.

Two injured after army tank falls 50 metres in Alps
A Bundeswehr Puma tank. File photo: DPA

A Bundeswehr (German army) soldier has been severely injured after the tank he was riding in crashed 50 metres down an embankment after going off course in bad weather.

Teen girl stands trial for 'Isis' police stabbing in Hanover
Police guard the courthouse in Celle. Photo: DPA

A teenage girl stands trial from Thursday in Germany for stabbing a police officer, an assault allegedly "ordered" by Isis but which was not claimed by the jihadist group.

Merkel threatens Putin with more sanctions on Berlin visit
Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel created a united front with French President Francois Hollande in Berlin on Thursday to denounce Russia’s “war crimes” in Syria.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd