Neo-Nazi crimes soar in Germany

Neo-Nazi crimes in Germany soared last year by 16 per cent, according to new government figures.

Telegraph, UK/April 22, 2009

The number of far-Right attacks rose to 20,422, with violent crimes up 5.6 per cent at 1,113 cases, including two killings.

Far-Right crimes accounted for two thirds of all "politically motivated" crimes last year, which reached 31,801 -- an increase of 11.4 percent and the highest level since 2001.

Wolfgang Schauble, the German interior minister, said the rise in politically motivated crime was disturbing. He swore that the Berlin government would counter it with a variety of "measures against extremism, racism and intolerance".

Mr Schauble said that the current grim economic conditions faced by Germany were "chillingly similar" to the desperate days of the 1920s and 30s which propelled the Nazis to power on the back of popular despair at mainstream politicians. These conditions, he feared, were luring more and more young people into the far-Right scene.

"They are attracting young people to a greater extent than the conventional far-Right scene has been able to so far," said Mr Schauble.

The two deaths were in eastern Germany. A 55-year-old homeless man was murdered by two men, while a 20-year-old art student who was kicked to death after a row about politics in a nightclub.

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