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May 16, 2022



German media report that attacks on immigrants last year in Chemnitz were planned by the radical right

6.9.2019 6:54
On 27 August 2018, adherents of the ultra-right demonstrated in Chemnitz, Germany. (PHOTO:  Czech News Agency)
On 27 August 2018, adherents of the ultra-right demonstrated in Chemnitz, Germany. (PHOTO: Czech News Agency)

The attacks on immigrants that took place last summer in Chemnitz, Saxony were planned by right-wing radicals, as can be seen from their online communications with each other at the time, in which they wrote about engaging in a "hunt". News of this evidence was reported last month with reference to information from police by German broadcasters NDR and WDR and the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Passionate political debates arose in Germany over whether last year's violent response to the murder of a 35-year-old man in that town near the Czech border should be considered exactly such a chasing down of immigrants by vigilantes. The tempestuous weeks of unrest in the town of roughly 250 000 were launched in response to the murder of Daniel Hillig, for which a young citizen of Syria was recently sentenced to 9.5 years in prison.

Another suspect in the case, a young citizen of Iraq, is still at large. After the murder, numerous demonstrations marched through Chemnitz that were attended by right-wing radicals in large numbers.

Some of them assaulted immigrants, journalists and police officers, while others gave the Nazi salute. Some demonstrators also attacked a Jewish restaurant during the unrest.

Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democratic Union - CDU) condemned the attacks on foreign nationals as a "hunt", and her use of that term was discussed for several weeks. Many politicians in Germany rejected that designation, arguing that there had just been "a few" assaults and alleging that they had not been of an organized nature.

The online chat communications among the right-wing extremists at that time, however, indicate that assumption was incorrect. According to classified intelligence from police in Saxony, those communications contained many dialogues using formulations in which the attacks against the migrants were agreed to.

The radicals themselves used the term "hunt" in their communications and bragged about what they had already achieved in that regard. For example, one of those in the chats using the name Christian K. wrote during the morning of 28 August 2018 that he was doing well, but the immigrant whom he "got" was not.

Police discovered the online chats while investigating eight members of the extremist right-wing group "Revolution Chemnitz" whom they suspect of preparing to commit deadly attacks in the German city. The group allegedly wanted to blame the attacks on left-wing radicals in the belief that the country would then get into a situation similar to a civil war.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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