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Germany reports spike in far-right crime for 2019

Germany's Prime Minister visits a memorial for victims of far-right terror [Getty]

Date of publication: 27 May, 2020

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Crimes committed by members of the far-right scene in Germany have grown 9.4 percent since last year, accounting for more than half of the country's politically-motivated crimes.
Germany saw a spike in far-right crimes including anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks last year, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Wednesday, describing the trend as a "great concern".

Authorities registered more than 41,000 politically motivated crimes in 2019, ranging from hate speech to bodily harm, arson and murder - a rise of 14.2 percent on 2018 and the second-sharpest jump since records began in 2001.

Crimes committed by members of the far-right scene grew 9.4 percent, and accounted for more than half of all politically-motivated crimes.

Although such crimes represent a small fraction of overall lawbreaking in Germany, the figures have a "striking significance ... for the stability of our democracy", Seehofer said, adding that the rise was "of great concern".

Comment: Germany faces up to the dark spectre of far-right terror

Some 93.4 percent of anti-Semitic and 90.1 percent of Islamophobic crimes had a far-right motivation, Seehofer said.

Germany has been rocked by a string of extreme-right attacks over the past 12 months.

A gunman with apparent far-right beliefs killed nine people at a shisha bar and a cafe in the city of Hanau in February, while two people were killed in an attack targeting a synagogue in Halle in October.

In June, pro-immigration politician Walter Luebcke was found shot dead at his home in the state of Hesse, and a far-right sympathiser arrested soon afterwards was last month charged with his murder.

Seehofer proclaimed in March that right-wing extremism and right-wing terrorism were "the biggest danger for democracy in Germany", promising a beefed up security response.

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