Neo-Nazi violence up in eastern Germany: report

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Neo-Nazi violence is on the rise in eastern Germany even though overall national figures are down, Die Welt newspaper reported quoting an official report due out Friday.

While acts of neo-Nazi violence dropped by 14.5 percent nationwide in 2010 compared to the previous year, they were up 4.8 percent in the five eastern states which used to form former communist East Germany, the paper said quoting a yearly report by the Office for the Defence of the Constitution.

Out of a total of 706 violent acts by extremist right-wingers, 306 -- or 40 percent -- were carried out in the economically depressed former East Germany which is home to just 15 percent of the country's population.

The eastern state most affected by violence in 2010 was Saxony-Anhalt where a neo-Nazi party this year narrowly failed to win the five percent of the vote needed to enter the local parliament.

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution, a domestic intelligence service, said the number of extreme right-wingers had fallen by 1,600 to some 25,000 nationwide.

But those judged potentially violent rose by 600 to 5,600, it added.

Much of the violence was associated with anti-Semitic acts, but so-called "nationalist anarchists", numbering about 1,000, have organised to take on "left-wing anarchists" in street violence.

Both "nationalist" and "left" anarchists dress similarly in black clothes and sport balaclavas to avoid police identification.

© 2011 AFP

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