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German city of Dresden declares official ‘Nazi emergency’

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German city of Dresden declares official ‘Nazi emergency’
Image: Hendrik Schmidt/DPA
14:30 CET+01:00
The eastern German city of Dresden has declared it is facing an official ‘Nazi emergency’, amid rising violence and far-right sentiment.

The Dresden City Council on Wednesday evening voted in favour of the motion, saying that the city needed more support from state and federal sources to take on far-right sentiment. 

Dresden is the headquarters of Pegida, a far-right organisation which believes it is fighting against the Islamification of Germany and the west. Since being founded in 2014, Pegida chapters have sprung up across the globe. 

Max Aschenbach, a Dresden councillor and member of satirical party Die Partei (The Party), said that it was imperative that local and federal authorities recognised the scale of the problem. 

“We have a Nazi problem in Dresden,” Aschenbach said. 

The motion - which passed by a 39-29 majority - was supported by Die Linke, the Greens, the Social Democrats and the Free Democrats. The Christian Democrats and the Alternative for Germany were opposed. 

The CDU criticised the motion for being “purely symbolic”, while members of the Free Voters - an unaffiliated organisation - was also critical, saying that the use of the word ‘emergency’ had parallels with the use of emergency powers to strip back basic democratic rights. 

Extremist and radical violence has increased in Dresden in recent years, with 60 far-right motivated attacks taking place in 2018, up from 52 the previous year. 

 

 
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