Germany saw more politically motivated crimes in 2021

Germany’s top security official says the number of politically motivated crimes reported in the country increased by 23% last year compared to the year before

BERLIN — The number of reported politically motivated crimes in Germany rose 23% last year compared to the previous year, Germany’s top security official said Tuesday.

The increase included a sharp increase in crimes that could not be attributed to the traditional categories of crimes motivated by right-wing or left-wing ideology, said Secretary of the Interior Nancy Faeser.

In total, Germany committed 55,048 politically motivated crimes last year, the most since public authorities started tracking the data in 2001, the minister said.

“We must protect our democracy with all our strength,” Faeser said. “Politically motivated crime is an indicator of the intensity of social conflict.”

The number of politically motivated crimes included 3,889 violent crimes, 16% more than in 2020. Faeser said 41% of the victims of politically motivated violence were attacked by right-wing extremists, a force they consider “the biggest extremist threat to people in our country. “

Anti-Semitic crimes rose 29% from the previous year, reaching 3,027, the minister said. Crimes against Jews are mostly committed by far-right extremists, but also Islamist-influenced and left-wing extremists, she added.

“It is a disgrace to our country how much anti-Semitic agitation and contempt for humanity continues to spread today,” Faeser said. “We are aware of our responsibility to fight anti-Semitism with all our might and to protect Jews.”

The number of crimes attributed to the far-left fell by about 8% to 10,113 crimes.

Holger Muench, the chairman of the Federal Criminal Police Office, said the total number of politically motivated crimes in Germany has doubled in the past 10 years.

The trend reflects “a polarization and radicalization tendencies in parts of the population, which pose significant challenges to social coexistence, the rule of law and democracy,” he said.

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