A senior member of Germany's largest police union admitted that many of the country's officers sympathize with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and other right-wing parties. Speaking to the Rheinische Post newspaper, Joerg Radek, deputy head of the German Police Federation (GdP) police union, said the German government had never adequately explained its decision to open Germany's borders to migrants in 2015 to members of the police. "As a result, something changed for many officers and that manifested itself in support for right-wing or nationalist parties," Radek said.
The union official added that the last three governments of Chancellor Angela Merkel had not set the well-being of the country's police as a priority and that poor staffing and a lack of resources had resulted in the alienation of members of the force.
A number of neo-Nazi groups have been broken up over the past years in Germany. German authorities are increasingly concerned over growing right-wing terrorism in the country. The Interior Ministry said the lists were found in various police investigations and operations against far-right groups in the last seven years. Lately, the assassination-style murder of a pro-migrant German politician by a far-right extremist has raised fears of growing neo-Nazi terrorism in the country.
Security officials attached to the Interior Ministry are tracking the growing risk of violence from far-right extremists, who number approximately 24,000 in Germany, fully half of whom are thought to be potentially violent, according to a parliamentary statement made public last month.