How politically motivated crimes are rising in Germany

Paul Krantz
Paul Krantz - [email protected]
How politically motivated crimes are rising in Germany
According to police data, the number of politically motivated crimes reached a record high in Germany last year. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marijan Murat

Crimes with political motivations have risen in Germany according to police data, with cases of right-wing extremism making up the majority of crimes reported last year.


Germany’s Criminal Police Office (BKA) registered 60,028 politically motivated crimes in 2023, the highest number recorded since records of this statistic began in 2001.

That’s almost two percent more politically motivated crimes than were recorded the previous year. But of those, 3,561 cases involved violence, which is approximately 12 percent less compared to 2022.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) presented the statistics this week. "We are seeing a new high in crimes directed against our open and free society," she said according to Tagesschau. "We must show unequivocally that the rule of law does not accept this violence."

Majority of political crimes classified as right-wing extremism 

With a total of 28,945 crimes, right-wing extremist-motivated cases made up the largest portion of political crimes in 2023 – up 23 percent from the year before.

There were 714 people recorded as being injured by right-wing extremist violence.

The President of the BKA, Holger Münch has previously emphasised that right-wing extremism remains the greatest threat to free democratic basic order in Germany.  

Although significantly less were recorded, left-wing extremist attacks also increased last year to 7,777 reported incidents.

Religiously motivated crimes increased by the biggest percent

Crimes registered as religiously motivated increased by the biggest proportion, up 203 percent from the previous year according to the BKA figures – to a total of 1,458.

The number of cases related to a foreign ideology also rose.

Anti-Semitic crimes also reached a new high last year with 5,164 offences being recorded (148 of these being acts of violence).

Conflict in the Middle East has certainly had an effect on domestic crime as well, with 4,369 crimes recorded as being connected. That figure is 70 times higher than the previous year, with more than half of them recorded after Hamas’ attack on October 7th. Of those, 1,927 were considered anti-Semitic by the BKA.


Public servants and asylum-seekers face increasing risk

The number of crimes against politicians and political volunteers also increased by 29 percent last year.

In recent weeks, a worrisome spike in both right- and left-wing attacks on politicians has been observed across Germany.

READ ALSO: Why are German politicians facing increasing attacks?

In her comments, Interior Minister Faeser warned that “a climate of violence” is being brought, especially by right-wing fringe groups.

Also motivated by right-wing ideologies were an increase in the number of attacks on asylum-seekers and refugees. Last year saw a significant increase in these attacks including 321 violent acts and 179 crimes against asylum accommodations registered.

Crimes targeting the “state” fell last year by 28 percent compared with 2022.

READ ALSO: Why experts say Germany’s rising crime rate is misleading



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