Chancellor Angela Merkel condemns violent far-right protests that degenerated into attacks against foreign-looking people, saying “hate in the streets” has no place in Germany.
After the fatal stabbing of a German man, 35, allegedly by a Syrian and an Iraqi, thousands of protesters marched in the eastern city of Chemnitz for two straight days, some chasing down people they believed were immigrants.
Police reported assaults by extremists against at least three foreigners on Sunday, while investigations were opened in 10 cases of the protesters performing the illegal Hitler salute.
At least 20 people were injured on Monday as pyrotechnics and other objects were hurled by both far-right demonstrators as well as anti-fascist counter-protesters in the city.
“What we have seen is something which has no place in a constitutional democracy,” Merkel tells journalists.
“We have video recordings of [people] hunting down others, of unruly assemblies, and hate in the streets, and that has nothing to do with our constitutional state.”
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer says federal police were ready to provide back-up for overwhelmed officers in Saxony state, where Chemnitz is located.
But there is little sign of the marches spreading further, with a right-wing demonstration in the state capital Dresden attracting just 50 people, according to regional newspaper Saechsische Zeitung.