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Germany: Far-right rallies more than triple in early 2023

August 16, 2023

Germany saw a three-fold increase in far-right marches in the first six months of the year. The end of coronavirus regulations is believed to be partly responsible for the surge.

Police stand watch at a far-right rally in Munich, Bavaria
The number of far-right and neo-Nazi rallies increased in the first half of 2023Image: Sachelle Babbar/ZUMAPRESS/picture alliance

Rallies by far-right extremist groups in Germany increased significantly in 2023 in comparison to the previous year, according to information from the Interior Ministry released on Wednesday.

Officials counted 110 marches by neo-Nazi or other far-right groups between January and June this year, up from 35 over the same period in 2022.

The information was given as an answer to a request from Left party lawmaker Petra Pau.

"It is the responsibility of all of us to stop the extremely hostile sentiment against refugees reaching the same levels as in the 90s and 2015," Pau said, referring to previous periods of intense far-right activities.

Neo-Nazis leading marches

Many of the far-right rallies have been directed against refugee housing or immigration policies in general.

Among the organizers of these demonstrations was the small party Free Saxony, labeled as having proven extreme right-wing aspirations by Saxony's State Office for the Protection of the Constitution (LfV).

The Third Way party, considered a neo-Nazi group by the LfV, was also one of the organizers of the slate of far-right rallies.

The end of coronavirus regulations that banned large protests is believed to be partly responsible for the large increase in protests.

At the same time, the number of far-right concerts saw a slight decrease with only 71 reported in comparison to the 89 that took place over the same period last year.

Far-right parties on the rise across Europe

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ab/sms (AFP, EPD)