The crimes committed by far-right supporters reached a new record in Germany in 2020, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer reported Tuesday. The increase was almost 6% compared to 2019 - the highest level since 2001, when the police started to collect data of this type.
Altogether there were 23,064 cases, more than half of all politically motivated crimes registered in the country in 2019. Violent crimes of a political nature also increased: there were 3,365 cases, almost 60% more than in 2019. Data include 11 murders and 13 homicide attempts.
"These are alarming numbers," said Seehofer. “This is a trend that has been established in recent years. During the pandemic, we observed a new political polarization “. The extremist rise has already pushed security up the list of priorities for the slates that will contest Germany's national elections in September.
The country's intelligence fears that extremist activists will try to exploit public frustration with restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to incite violence against state institutions, Reuters reported.
Political murder crimes in Germany include the killing of nine people in a smoking bar by a racist sniper in the western city of Hanau. Another attack on a homosexual couple killed a person in the eastern city of Dresden.
Last Tuesday (27), German prosecutors arrested a 53-year-old man accused of sending hate letters to public figures since 2018 in Berlin. He used the acronym of a neo-Nazi faction that already took responsibility for the deaths of ten people between 2000 and 2007.
With deep marks after the Holocaust, Germany punishes anyone who promotes Nazi propaganda or incites hatred with up to five years in prison. The penalty extends to online comments. Still, conspiracy theories like QAnon, have been gaining ground in European countries.