A new government report reveals that violence against homes for asylum seekers, and the people that live in them, has increased. Many blame groups like PEGIDA for the dramatic rise in attacks.
The number of racially motivated assaults on refugee housing in Germany rose from 58 incidents in 2013 to 150 in 2014. This includes arson, the use of explosives or hate graffiti on buildings as well as violence against the people living inside.
The report made by the German government in response to an information request by the opposition Left Party was published Tuesday by Berlin daily Der Taggespiegel. The paper made a connection between the rise in extreme right violence and the anti-Islamization PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) movement.
Indeed, in the last quarter of 2014, which is also when the marches began, there were 67 such attacks - more than in 2012 and 2013 put together.
PEGIDA & Co. promoting xenophobia
Due to ongoing conflicts in the Middle East the number of refugees coming to Germany has risen dramatically. Migrant groups and researchers also point the finger at PEGIDA, the Neo-Nazi NPD party, and like-minded groups stirring up hatred and xenophobia.
"PEGIDA is an islamophobic, racist movement," said Tahir Della, one of the leaders of Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland, a nationwide non-profit for people of color in Germany.
In a state-by-state comparison of violent "right-wing politically motivated attacks" in November 2014, Berlin, a city-state of only 3.5 million people, came out on top with 13 incidents. Germany's most populous state, North-Rhine Westphalia, which has 17.5 million inhabitants and nearly 30 big cities, came in second with 10 attacks.
In an overwhelming majority of cases, no arrests have been made - and even fewer have resulted in convictions.
es/rg (AFP, dpa)