Calls to engage against right-wing extremism, racism and anti-Semitism

by Thorsten Koch

The number of politically motivated crimes has increased in Germany in 2019, according to the Federal Ministry of the Interior’s annual report. Compared to 2018, the security authorities recorded a statistical increase of 14 percent to over 41,000 cases. According to Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU), this is cause for concern.

The offenses include insult, assault, arson and murder. Over half of the cases are attributed to the right-wing scene. Anti-Semitic crimes also increased by 13 percent in 2019 compared to 2018. By contrast, there was a 27 percent decrease in religiously and Islamist-motivated crimes, which may be related to the decline of the IS terrorist militia.

For increased engagement against anti-Semitism

The German Judges Association (DRB) has campaigned for increased engagement against anti-Semitism. “The planned law against hatred and right-wing extremism is the right answer to the rule of law in view of the increasing number of anti-Jewish crimes and right-wing extremist agitation,” said DRB federal director Sven Rebehn. Rebehn welcomed the fact that anti-Semitic motives should be included in law enforcement against online hate. German prosecutors “follow the general line of not terminating criminal proceedings against conditions if there were anti-Semitic motives”. According to crime statistics, 93 percent of anti-Semitic crimes bore right-wing motives in 2019.

The Federal Government’s Integration Commissioner, Annette Widmann-Mauz (CDU), has meanwhile complained of growing racism and anti-Semitism. According to the victim advice centers, this worrysome trend has been observed since the beginning of the corona pandemic. The attacks were “against Jews and against people who are seen as Asians”. The federal government will present a package of measures against right-wing extremism and racism before winter.

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