German neo-Nazi scene is growing

Statistics show 50% crime rise since 2004

Berlin — German neo-Nazi crimes are growing significantly according to new statistics released by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) in response to a Linkspartei/PDS party inquiry.

The BKA registered some 8,000 Nazi-related criminal acts from January to the end of August this year — 20 percent more than during the same period in 2005, and 50 percent more than in 2004. The BKA provided the numbers in response to questions put to the interior ministry by the Linkspartei/PDS party.

The statistics suggest that the neo-Nazi scene is also becoming more violent.

From this January to August, 452 attacks occurred against individuals, 325 of whom were seriously hurt. This compares to 302 seriously injured victims in 2005.

The sum could be higher, however, since not all cases are reported or the police find out about attacks after the fact.

This summer’s neo-Nazi attacks break down as such: 67 in August, 40 in July, and 67 in June. The slight dip in July might be attributed to the World Cup games’ staging.

Response to the figures has been heated.

Social Democrat (SPD) and Linkspartei spokespeople called for a “democracy conference,” similar to last July’s integration conference chaired by Chancellor Angela Merkel, to create a strategy between the parties, churches, unions, clubs, and sport groups to counter neo-Nazism’s spread.

Petra Pau of the Linkspartei called for “an independent group to monitor right-wing extremism.”

Christian Democrat (CDU) and Green politicians, however, are against Pau’s proposal.

Wolfgang Bosbach of the CDU called for tough sentences, protection for people trying to leave the neo-Nazi scene (who are often attacked and tormented by other Nazis when they attempt to do so), and stronger education efforts.

Claudia Roth of the Green Party wants monies to be made available for social programs against rightist groups.

Charlotte Knobloch, who heads the Central Council of Jews in Germany, criticized politicians for downplaying the seriousness of what is happening in the nation.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday October 27, 2006.
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