Neo-Nazi crime in Germanyat highest level since 2000

27th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

27 April 2005, BERLIN - Neo-Nazi crime in Germany has soared to its highest level since 2000, the chief of Germany's police trade union warned on Wednesday.

27 April 2005

BERLIN - Neo-Nazi crime in Germany has soared to its highest level since 2000, the chief of Germany's police trade union warned on Wednesday.

Konrad Freiberg said there were over 12,000 right-wing extremist crimes reported in Germany last year - the highest level in the past four years.

Berlin's Tagesspiegel newspaper gave the figure for last year as 12,051. Official data is due in the coming weeks.

This would be the second highest level of neo-Nazi crime since Germany began reporting nationwide figures in 1992. The worst year for far-right crime was 2000 when 15,951 cases were reported.

In comparison, there were 10,795 neo-Nazi crimes in 2003 and 10,054 in 2001, said a spokesman for the police union.

"The state must give higher priority to fighting right-wing extremism. The drastic increase of right-wing extremist crime is alarming," said Freiberg in a statement.

Rightist crime and neo-Nazi attacks rose especially in former communist East Germany after the 1990 German reunification but were initially reduced under a crackdown which included creation of rapid response police forces.

There has been alarm over recent growth of far-right parties including election victories last year for the anti-foreigner National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) in Saxony state and the German People's Union (DVU) in Brandenburg state.

Police in Berlin this week banned the NPD from marching past the Brandenburg Gate and the soon-to-be opened Holocaust memorial in the city centre on 8 May - the 60th anniversary of Nazi Germany's capitulation. Instead, the NPD is being kept several blocks away from these monuments.

Earlier this year the NPD helped organise the biggest rightist protest in Germany since the 1950s. Over 5,000 extremists marched through Dresden on 13 February on the 60th anniversary of the World War Two British-American firebombing of the city which killed up to 35,000 people.

DPA

Subject: German news

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