Around 2,000 attacks were reported last year in Germany, targeting refugees and their dormitories. In response to a question by the Left Party, the German interior ministry reported that the criminal acts recorded ranged from insults, damage to property and physically assaulting people, according to a report by Deutsche Welle. The report also revealed that a significant part of the crimes were from the extreme right.
It stated that 1,775 of the reported crimes directly targeted refugees, and 1,736 of them were committed by far-right groups. In 173 cases, refugee dormitories were targeted. A total of 315 people were injured in those attacks.
Considering the racially motivated string of attacks on migrants, the country has been showing increasingly hostile attitudes toward 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-third of three Germans think foreigners come only to exploit the welfare state.
According to a survey published yesterday, migration was high on the list of popular concerns over the next two decades. In answer to a question about the biggest challenge facing Germany, 27 percent responded, "Migration, refugees and asylum," followed by "social justice" on 22 percent.
The survey also found that 86 percent worried that right-wing extremism and racist violence were on the rise as a result of migration. The poll was conducted at the end of last year by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, which is linked to the Social Democratic Party (SPD).
Chemnitz trial began amid fear of far-right violence
A Syrian man, who went on trial Monday, is accused of a knife killing that sparked racist street violence and far-right protests in the eastern German city of Chemnitz last year. The trial begun despite major evidence "gaps" and concern about the judges' conflicts of interest. Prosecutors charged the Syrian, together with an Iraqi man still at large but subject to an Interpol warrant, of stabbing 35-year-old German Daniel Hillig to death in a late-night street altercation last August.
News of the killing spread within hours on social media and led local far-right football hooligans, extremist martial arts fans and neo-Nazis to march through Chemnitz. In scenes that stunned the world, mobs randomly attacked people who looked like foreigners and, in follow-up mass rallies, fascist activists openly performed the illegal Adolf Hitler salute.
While the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), Pegida and Pro Chemnitz movements repeatedly marched in the city, a political fight raged in Berlin about whether the mob violence amounted to organized "hunts" of ethnic minorities.
The city of Chemnitz, about 20 kilometers from the Czech border, has long had an extremist subculture. In the 1990s the city was an early hideout for the National Socialist Underground (NSU), a militant neo-Nazi cell that was only uncovered in 2011 after it murdered 10 people.