Far-right crime in Germany jumped to post-war high in 2020

BERLIN — The number of crimes committed by right-wing extremists in post-war Germany jumped to its highest level ever recorded in 2020, according to official figures released today.

Police recorded 23,604 crimes of a far-right nature last year, a jump of over five percent on the previous year, and the highest figure since records began in 2001.

“Right-wing extremism remains the biggest threat to our country,” says Interior Minister Horst Seehofer as he presents the figures at a press conference.

He adds that right-wing violence had left a “trail of blood” through Germany in recent years, citing deadly far-right crimes such as the murder of pro-refugee politician Walter Luebcke in 2019 and the 2020 racist attack in Hanau which killed nine people.

The 2020 figure just exceeds the previous high of 23,555, recorded at the height of the refugee crisis in 2016, while the total number of politically motivated crimes also reached a new all-time high of 44,692.

Noting that there had also been a sharp rise in the numbers of left-wing extremist and Islamist crimes, Seehofer says the figures show a “brutalization of our society.”

“They are unsettling, above all because they show that the trend of recent years is continuing,” he says.

The number of politically motivated crimes was a “yardstick for the mood in society,” and especially so in a year in which “the pandemic has caused further polarization, he adds.

German police have recorded “politically motivated crimes” since 2001. Those categorized as right-wing extremist range from giving a forbidden Nazi salute to murderous attacks.

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