Ever since the refugee crisis in 2015 and the German government’s decision to accommodate asylum seekers and take in more than a million refugees, far-right sentiments in Germany have increasingly been shown in public – often in the form of violent attacks on refugees and their homes.
The number of attacks on refugee camps in Germany has seen a fall within the past year. Nevertheless, right wing extremists continue to assault homes and accommodations of asylum seekers in the country. The statistics are shocking.
Information provided by the German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (Bundeskriminalamt BKA) shows that in 2017 there were 275 offences nationwide against asylum accommodations. Far-right motivated offenders were responsible for 262 of these incidents. And the possibility of political motivations behind 13 of these attacks cannot be ruled out with certainty. Current data shows a record of 42 violent offences, 85 cases of damage to property and 84 instances of propaganda campaigning in 2017. Furthermore, there were 17 fire raisings, 2 explosions and 2 criminal offences against the German law on firearms in connection to violent attacks against refugees and asylum seekers.
In comparison to prior years, the number of attacks in 2017 is significantly lower. In 2016 the BKA registered 995 criminal offences against refugee and asylum accommodations, out of these 169 were violent attacks. Right wing motivated offenders carried out most of these offences, namely 929. And in 66 cases political motivations are assumed to have fueled these attacks. There were 74 fire raisings, 4 explosions and 10 criminal offences against the German law on explosives.
With 1031 criminal offences against refugee homes and accommodations, out of these 923 cases of far-right motivated, 2015 was the year with the highest number of attacks on refugees and asylum seekers. In 108 cases, political motivations behind the attacks cannot be ruled out with certainty. There were 177 violent attacks: 94 fire raisings, 8 explosions and further 8 violations of the German law on explosives.
Although after 2015 there was a drop in the number of attacks on refugee and asylum seekers homes and accommodations, criminal offences continue to take place in Germany, often related to political motivations and fueled by far-right sentiments.
By Julia Jana Lemcke (University of Westminster)