Drastic increase in far-right crimes in Germany

By Elisabeth Zimmermann
9 May 2016

The official report from Germany’s Federal Police Agency (BKA) for the first quarter of 2016 confirms a drastic increase in far-right motivated attacks on asylum seekers, refugees and their supporters.

According to the report, in the first three months of the year, there were 347 such attacks on asylum accommodation, including three attempted homicides, 37 arson attacks and 23 bodily injuries. Of the 347 attacks on refugee shelters, the BKA regards 319 as acts of right-wing violence.

In its report, the BKA warns for the first time that as well as physical attacks on refugees, “In addition to injury, homicides must be reckoned with in individual cases.” The BKA lists other potential targets of right-wing violence as refugee volunteers, politicians and journalists.

In addition to the attacks on refugee homes, the report lists a further 73 violent right-wing crimes against refugees. There were also 386 right-wing offences (propaganda offences, criminal damage and incitement) against refugees, 88 against politicians and 33 against volunteers, including two personal injuries.

The BKA report also warns about terrorist and criminal groups in the far-right spectrum. As evidence for this, it cites the build-up of offences in certain regions, the availability of explosives as well as the number of those the security authorities deem to be potential offenders on the far right.

Overall, the number of crimes with a right-wing extremist background rose from 10,541 (2014) to 13,846 (2015). This represents an increase of more than 30 percent.

Throughout 2015, there were 1,031 officially registered attacks on asylum seeker accommodation. Adding in the attacks that have occurred over the first three months of this year to the rest of 2015, there has been an increase of 25 percent.

In particular, there were many right-wing attacks on refugees and their accommodation in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. There were 92 since the beginning of this year, and 214 last year.

These high numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. As the WSWS has reported in previous articles on this subject, the official statistics only record crimes that are classified as being motivated by right-wing extremist sentiments. Countless attacks on refugee shelters or on political opponents are not registered because the police authorities conceal the extreme-right motivation.

In addition, only a fraction of these crimes are investigated and even fewer offenders are prosecuted and convicted. Investigations of the far-right terrorist group National Socialist Underground (NSU) have revealed that extreme-right offenders who work as undercover informants for the intelligence services or police have often had their crimes covered. The boundaries between the obstruction of justice and the immediate financial and logistical support of such right-wing groups are very fluid. The police and intelligence services are closely linked to the right-wing extremist scene via this network of undercover informants and agents.

The rise of extreme-right and xenophobic violence is a direct result of the brutal refugee policy of the German government, which aims only at sealing off borders and deterrence. This is supported by all the state governments and established parties in Germany.

The government has repeatedly tightened up the asylum laws in the past few months. With the support of the Green Party, the Bundesrat (second chamber of parliament) has declared all the Balkan states to be safe countries of origin, resulting in the deportation of thousands of people who have lived in Germany for many years. A hideous competition between the various state administrations can be witnessed as to who can be the “most effective” and most ruthless when it comes to deportations.

As a result of the European Union’s dirty deal with Turkey, which the German government largely negotiated, and the closure of the Balkan route, only a few refugees now manage to travel to Germany, where their treatment and accommodation breaches fundamental democratic rights. Hundreds of thousands of people are denied decent housing and proper treatment. This is meant to discourage others from coming to Germany, and at the same time is grist to the mill of the far-right parties and fanatics.

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