BERLIN — The variety of right-wing extremist crimes dedicated in Germany elevated sharply in 2020 to a two-decade excessive, the inside ministry mentioned on Tuesday.
Such crimes “accounted for 23,064 felony offenses [in 2020]. That’s greater than half … of all politically motivated crimes,” Inside Minister Horst Seehofer mentioned whereas presenting the newest crime statistics at a press convention in Berlin.
“That’s the highest stage since data started in 2001,” Seehofer added, noting a “significantly severe” improve of 18.8 % in violent hate crimes — together with 11 murders and 13 tried murders — to a complete of three,365 offenses.
The press convention got here hours after authorities in Germany revealed they’d detained an individual believed to be behind a sequence of threatening letters despatched to people energetic inside the media and politics. The letters have been signed “NSU 2.0” in reference to the Nationwide Socialist Underground, a infamous Nazi terrorist group that killed at the very least 10 folks within the 2000s.
Seehofer on Tuesday additionally referred to the religiously motivated homicide of a gay man in Dresden, a racist terrorist assault in Hanau that left 11 folks lifeless in February final yr and the 2019 assassination of Walter Lübcke, a politician who had voiced assist for refugees.
“After the homicide of Walter Lübcke and the assault on the synagogue in Halle, Hanau was the third right-wing terrorist assault in only a few months,” the minister mentioned, including that it confirmed “right-wing extremism is the best menace to safety in our nation.”
Seehofer highlighted a rise of 15.7 % in anti-Semitic crimes, which he mentioned was “not solely worrying but additionally deeply shameful towards the background of our historical past.”
The opposition far-right social gathering Different for Germany has lengthy argued that the principle supply of anti-Semitism in Germany is communities of immigrants from majority Arab nations, however Seehofer dismissed such a place as not supported by the info.
“Nearly the entire anti-Semitic crimes have been motivated by right-wing extremism. That is generally disputed, but it surely’s clear,” he mentioned.
In response to the statistics, Josef Schuster, chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, mentioned: “The most recent figures on violent acts and different crimes by extremists, in addition to on anti-Semitic crimes, are completely alarming and an indictment of Germany.”
“Though Germany was much less laborious hit by the pandemic and responded with much less extreme restrictions than different European nations, the pandemic seems to have led to a brand new type of extremism,” Schuster added, referring to a worrying new alliance between extremists and lockdown critics within the nation.
Seehofer additionally acknowledged that shut ties between pandemic deniers and right-wing extremists have been one other downside unveiled by the newest crime statistics.
“It’s problematic for the safety authorities that new coalitions are forming between unusual protesters and adherents of conspiracy ideologies, anti-vaxxers … and extremists,” he mentioned, including that round 3,500 crimes had been attributed to such teams in 2020, amongst them 500 violent acts.
Seehofer additionally denounced 260 reported crimes towards journalists, 112 of them dedicated within the context of anti-lockdown demonstrations and nearly half of them involving violence.
“I condemn these acts within the strongest attainable phrases,” he mentioned.