• Germany's news in English
Extremist violence 'exploded' in record year for refugees
Left-wing violence at the Blockupy protest in Frankfurt in March 2015. Photo: DPA.

Extremist violence 'exploded' in record year for refugees

DPA/The Local · 23 May 2016, 17:57

Published: 23 May 2016 17:57 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 May 2016 17:57 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The crime statistics released by the Interior Ministry on Monday revealed that 39,000 politically motivated crimes were committed in 2015, a surge of almost 19 percent on the previous year.

A majority (23,000) of these crimes had a far-right motive behind them. That figure in itself is an astonishing 34.9 percent higher than in 2014.

Meanwhile 9,600 of the crimes were attributed to the far-left scene, a rise of more than 18 percent on the previous year.

Figures for political violence have been recorded separately from other crimes since 2001, and the 2015 stats are a new record high.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière described the figures as “practically exploding”, saying that extremist violence posed a threat to German society.

Most of the recorded crimes involve the spreading of propaganda or inciting hatred. But violent crime also hit a record high.

Police recorded 4,400 violent political crimes in 2015, an increase of 30 percent.

Of these crimes, 20 have involved investigations of attempted murder, with several of the targets being police officers and refugees.

The crime figures also showed that attacks on refugee homes had increased by a factor of five. In 2014 there were 199 recorded cases, but in 2015 this jumped to 1,031.

Included in this category of crimes were the spraying of swastikas and other neo-Nazi symbols on refugee centre walls, as well as arson attacks.

According to the Interior Ministry, most of those convicted of these crimes were men between the ages of 18 and 30, living near the refugee centres and who had never been found guilty of a crime before.

“It is a sign of the polarization taking place in communities,” said de Maizière, adding that investigations are made all the more difficult when perpetrators have no previous criminal history.

The number of solved cases of attacks on refugee homes lay at 26 percent in 2015, the figures show - a number de Maizière admitted was “too low”.

Story continues below…

Hate crimes - those directed against specific social groups, such as Muslims, Jews, or homosexuals - also soared by 77 percent in comparison with 2014.

The Interior Minister said there was a brutalization taking place in German society and condemned the “gutter talk” taking place on the internet.

He also cast doubt on the idea that the criminality would die down as fewer refugees enter the country.

In the first three months of 2016, 350 attacks on refugee homes were recorded, he said, three times the number for that period in 2015.

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

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
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
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd