Accommodation center for asylum seekers in the "Allianzhaus" in the city center of Mainz, Germany | Photo: Andreas Arnold/dpa/picture-alliance
Accommodation center for asylum seekers in the "Allianzhaus" in the city center of Mainz, Germany | Photo: Andreas Arnold/dpa/picture-alliance

Property damage, propaganda, assault: at least one attack on a refugee reception center takes place in Germany per week. That's according to figures released by the German government. However, the number of attacks has been declining steadily since 2015.

The preliminary figures were published on August 31 by the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (NOZ) newspaper citing a response by the federal government to a parliamentary inquiry submitted by the the Left Party (Die Linke).

According to NOZ, authorities registered 34 incidents in the first half of this year. While the number is lower than last year's 45 incidents, the government said, it showed that the mostly right-wing extremist perpetrators were increasingly ready to commit violence.

The answer by the government said that most deeds had a right-wing extremist background and concerned property damage, daub, propaganda, assault and violence crimes. A few cases reportedly involved arson and grievous bodily harm.

Downward trend

Since 2015's so-called refugee crisis, however, the number of incidents has been on a downward trajectory, the NOZ reported. Back then, 1,047 assaults against refugee homes were registered; sometimes, three incidents happened on a single day. In contrast, last year saw only 84 such criminal offenses, fewer than before the 'refugee crisis'.

The reasons for the decline are likely fewer asylum seekers coming to Germany and fewer living in refugee homes.

According to the government answer, asylum seekers face insults and assaults more often outside the facilities than indoors. Here too, though, the number is decreasing: Last year saw twice as many outdoor attacks (879) as in the first six months of this year (461). However, the assaults were getting ever more violent.

What's more, there were 56 Neonazi marches in the first half of this year in all of Germany, only slightly fewer than during the same period last year (60) -- despite coronavirus-related meeting restrictions. The number of right-wing rock concerts and right-wing music events, on the other hand, halved this year compared to 2020 (from 61 to 28).

With KNA

 

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