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More Attacks on Foreigners in Eastern Germany

DW staff (jdk)May 26, 2006

Foreigners were attacked in three eastern German cities in the last 24 hours. Police took 16 men into custody. Most of those arrested for their role in the attacks in Weimar, Wismar and Berlin, have neo-Nazi connections.

Foreigners in Germany should avoid skinheads at all costsImage: PA/dpa

On Thursday, suspected neo-Nazis attacked five people in the cities of Weimar, Wismar and Berlin. The worst attack occurred in Weimar, where three men from Mozambique and Cuba were beaten by a group of men from the far-right scene. One of the men, a 46-year old Mozambiquan, suffered serious injuries and had to be taken to the hospital. The Cuban man had his nose broken; the second Mozambiqan came away with wounds to his face.

The police apprehended eight men for the attack, two of whom suffered injuries while fleeing. Police in Weimar said that seven of the eight have criminal histories of related offenses.

In Wismar, an Indian trader at a flea market was injured. According to witnesses, the young men between the ages of 20 and 24 responsible for the attack shouted "Sieg Heil" to the salesman before then assailing him.

Five men are being held for the assault.

A 29-year old Turk in Berlin was beaten by a group of men. During that attack, in which three suspects were arrested, the men were reported to have yelled racist slogans.

Rightist extremism more acute in eastern Germany

Der Ratsvorsitzende der Evangelischen Kirche Deutschland, Bischof Wolfgang Huber Porträtfoto
Bishop Wolfgang Huber warns of "acute" neo-Nazism in eastImage: AP

Wolfgang Huber, the bishop of the Protestant church in Berlin-Brandenburg, said in an interview with daily Berlin Zeitung that neo-Nazism posed a "more acute" problem in eastern Germany. In that part of the country, xenophobia exists although there are hardly any foreigners, Huber said.

"Those few people of a different skin color who do go around in the East, are indeed in particular danger," the bishop told the newspaper.

Huber pointed out that the wave of emigration from eastern to western Germany that was taking place had left behind people who turned their backs on society in disappointment. Their chances of finding steady employment were extremely slim, he believes.