Germany: Right-wing extremism in the east connected to communist rule, study says
The high degree of right-wing extremism in the eastern states of Germany has many causes, and one of the most important is having lived there when those states formed the German Democratic Republic (GDR), also formerly known as East Germany. A study published by experts in the Central German city of Göttingen made those claims yesterday.
During 2015 and 2016, Germany recorded a dramatic growth in crimes motivated by right-wing politics, accompanying a significant increase in the number of refugees entering the country. Last year a record 23 555 such crimes were recorded.
A disproportionately high number of those crimes were committed by inhabitants of what was once East Germany, especially the states of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and Saxony. When asked why that is, experts from Göttingen did their best to find an answer, producing a 236-page study over the course of many months.
Especially for older right-wing radicals, an important role, according to the experts, is played by their socialization in the GDR, where they lived in a closed, rather homogeneous society and came into contact with immigrants very rarely. While students and workers from friendly socialist countries also traveled to the former East Germany, they lived thoroughly separated from GDR citizens, unlike those who visited what was called West Germany.
Moreover, foreign nationals were never allowed to stay for very long in the GDR. The fall of the East German regime, according to the study, brought changes some inhabitants had difficulty facing - holding their own on the free labor market, political participation, and not relying only on the state.
Many residents of the former East Germany, therefore, feel wronged to this day, as they have a sense of being second-class citizens compared to the former West Germans and to immigrants, whose "side" they believe everybody else is on. Such people, according to the study, frequently recall just what was good about their lives in the GDR and cling to that identity.
For the situation to change in future, the study says it is necessary to critically deal with the past as it pertains to the GDR and the 1989 revolution. Iris Gleicke, the federal government's Commissioner for Eastern German Affairs, says the biggest part of that responsibility lies with German politicians.
- German neo-Nazi in Army allegedly planned terrorist attack, fraudulently registered as refugee
- Germany reports record-high number of politically-motivated crimes for a second year in a row
- Germany: Online social networking sites to face high fines for illegal content
- Slovak Prosecutor says party head clearly used neo-Nazi symbolism so his followers would know his views
- German police officers who joined neo-Nazi groups online are being disciplined and dismissed in one state
- Assistant to Czech MP fined for calling for migrants to be shot, he may appeal
- Regional candidate for newest Czech party featured in music video by infamous establisher of neo-Nazi movement
- COMMENTARY: Even if the Czech Public Defender of Rights repeats the same lie about Roma a thousand times, that won't make it true
- Czech Television reports that elected politicians' names have been removed from official report on extremism for 2019
- Czech bus driver refuses to drive city bus with bigoted campaign ad, mayor negotiates its removal
- Czech Republic: 11th Romani student meeting BARUVAS is changing lives
- Analysis: European populists lose their charm to scandals, trials and unpaid debts
- Czech Police charge author of antigypsyist article about arson for that and other offenses
- Czech NGO ROMEA and vice-chair of Pirates file criminal report over online racist commentaries about arson in Bohumín
- VIDEO: European Roma Holocaust Memorial ceremony at Auschwitz was virtual this year, Slovak and Austrian Presidents spoke