The number of far-right crimes has increased. The vice president of the Bundestag, Petra Pau (Die Linke), sees a “devastating measure.”

A telephone booth after an arson attack.

Anti-Semitic right-wing arson attack on the book box at the Gleis 17 memorial in Berlin-Grunewald in August 2023 Photo: Florian Boillot

The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) recorded an all-time high in politically motivated crimes last year. In particular, far-right crimes increased: 7 percent, up to 23,493 crimes. The next annual statistics will be presented in May by Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD). But current figures already indicate that there will be another sharp increase.

According to the Faeser Ministry's responses to investigations in the Bundestag, which the Left Group of the Bundestag consults quarterly, 28,945 crimes were provisionally registered last year in the area of ​​”politically motivated right-wing crime.” This is a significant increase compared to the previous year, and experience has shown that late reporting leads to even more crime. There are also signs of an increase in far-right violence: 1,270 crimes are currently recorded, including four attempted murders. Last year there were 1,170 acts of violence.

Bundestag Vice President Petra Pau (Die Linke), who asked the questions, speaks of a “devastating spread of right-wing crimes.” “In times when discriminatory positions are becoming increasingly normalized and right-wing rhetoric is omnipresent, perpetrators may feel legitimized in their actions,” Ella Pau told the taz. The recent democracy protests offer hope, but are unlikely to be without political consequences. “The escalation of the situation is unbearable and dangerous for those affected,” said Pau.

According to the responses from the Ministry of the Interior, the numbers skyrocketed, especially in the last quarter of 2023. Consequently, 7,170 far-right crimes occurred there: in the previous quarter there were 5,113 and in the last quarter of the previous year 3,381 crimes.

The increase could have something to do with reactions in this country to the Hamas massacre in Israel in October 2023 and the subsequent Israeli military operation in Gaza. According to the Ministry of the Interior, 2,782 anti-Semitic crimes were recorded in the fourth quarter alone. This already exceeds the figure for the entire previous year, when the BKA recorded 2,641 anti-Semitic crimes.

Furthermore, the far-right scene became much more active on the streets again, repeatedly leading to crimes. In the last quarter of 2023, 71 far-right marches or rallies were recorded throughout the country, which also represents an increase. In the previous three quarters there were a total of 128.

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