Germany arrests two in suspected neo-Nazi stabbing
Berlin: German police have arrested two suspects over the stabbing of a German police chief and are investigating several other people active in the neo-Nazi scene, prosecutors said on Monday.
Alois Mannichl, 52, police chief in the southern city of Passau, was seriously injured when he was stabbed in front of his home on Saturday. Police said the attacker made threats with language used by far-right supporters.
The stabbing of Mannichal, who had taken a firm stand against far-right supporters in recent years, shocked many in Germany.
“This is an escalation of violence to a level we haven’t seen in the right-wing extremist scene … in decades,” said Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann, adding Mannichl had been a target of far-right hostilities in past months.
Politicians from across the political spectrum condemned the attack, with some calling for tougher sanctions on neo-Nazi crime and others saying Germany should reconsider a ban on the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD).
Right-wing parties including the NPD, which Germany’s Office for the Pretotection of the Constitution describes as racist and anti-Semitic, have made gains in local elections, particularly in regions with high unemployment.
Germany’s top policeman said in August German neo-Nazis appeared to have made a tactical shift and were increasingly turning to violence.
Media said Mannichl’s attacker had rung his victim’s doorbell and told him: “Greetings from the national resistance, you left-wing police pig. You’re not going to trample on our comrades’ graves any more.”
He then rammed a knife into his body, reports said.
A few months ago, Mannichl had ordered the arrest of several neo-Nazis after individuals tried to place a flag with a swastika onto the coffin of a far-right activist at his funeral, media have reported.
Although Nazi symbols, such as swastikas, are banned in Germany, parties like the NPD can get public funding because they are legitimate political parties.
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