A German far-right group has launched a vigilante street patrol in a Bavarian town where four Afghan and Iranian asylum seekers allegedly attacked passers-by last weekend, local authorities said yesterday.
The mayor of Amberg, Michael Cerny, said he was "shocked" after the extremist NPD party posted photos online of four people wearing red protective vests to create "safe spaces," including outside a refugee center. "I can understand the insecurity seen in some of the reactions of some Ambergers, but the hatred and the threats of violence from all over the country go way too far," Cerny told the local daily Mittelbayerische Zeitung, as reported by Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The case reflects rising levels of tension between Germans and the large population of migrants and refugees that the country has taken in in recent years. In the latest in a string of racially motivated attacks, a man ploughed his car into pedestrians in western Germany, targeting foreigners and injuring eight with immigrant backgrounds. Considering the latest racially motivated string of attacks, the country has been showing increasingly hostile attitudes towards immigrants, the Muslim community and other minorities such as the Roma, according to a new study published last November. According to a report by the Leipzig-based Competence Center for Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy Research, more than one-out-of-three Germans think foreigners come only to exploit the welfare state.
In August, massive far-right rallies rocked the city of Chemnitz, in eastern Germany where skinheads hounded migrants and performed the illegal Hitler salute. After the violence in Chemnitz, German police detained six men suspected of forming a far-right militant organization that assaulted foreigners in the eastern city of Chemnitz and also planned attacks on politicians. The men are alleged to have formed a group calling itself "Revolution Chemnitz." The arrests once again cast an uncomfortable spotlight on growing far-right terrorism in Chemnitz, which is a stronghold of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).