Thursday

1st Dec 2022

Xenophobia on the rise in Germany, study finds

  • Far-right protesters in Chemnitz, a city in eastern Germany that has been a flashpoint for tensions this year (Photo: Tim Mönsh)

Germans are becoming more hostile towards immigrants, people of the Muslim and Jewish faiths, and other minorities like the Roma, according to a new study.

A report out this week by the Leipzig-based Competence Centre for Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy Research found that more than one-out-of-three Germans think foreigners come only to exploit the welfare state.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Oliver Decker, who headed the study and survey, told Deutsche Welle that "more than 30 percent of the people living in eastern Germany unanimously agree with xenophobic views."

The figure drops down to around 22 percent in western Germany, he noted.

The study appears to dovetail with a spate of far-right events held in Germany last year.

According to a government dataset compiled by Der Spiegel magazine, Germany was host to some 289 far-right events in 2017, the most since 2005.

In August, far-right demonstrators and residents in the German town of Chemnitz marched in anger, some waving Nazi salutes, after immigrants were named as suspects in the stabbing death of a 35-year-old German-Cuban carpenter.

Other high profile acts of violence against immigrants and religious minorities in Germany stand in stark contrast to the country's open-door policy for hosting and helping refugees in 2015.

The Leipzig authoritarianism study appears to point towards a change of heart.

Some 44 percent of Germans surveyed for the research now want a ban on Muslim immigration, compared to 36.5 percent in 2014.

It also found that more than one-in-two Germans said Muslims make them feel like strangers, compared to 43 percent four years ago.

Elmar Brahler, who co-authored the Leipzig study, said right-wing extremists are turning towards parties like Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Anti-semitism is also in the rise in eastern Germany, increasing from 4.1 percent in 2016 to 5.2 percent in 2018.

"Up to one-third of respondents agree at least in part with anti-semitic statements," said Decker.

Roma and Sinti minorities are not spared, either.

Some 60 percent in the study believe they are prone to crime, a five percent increase since 2014.

Chemnitz neo-Nazis pose questions for Germany

UN human rights commissioner urged EU leaders to condemn violence that recalled the 1930s, but the local situation in former East Germany does not apply to the whole country.

Opinion

EU should take action on Pegida racism

Germany’s “anti-Islamisation” Pegida movement is a worrying phenomenon, which is quickly taking on a European dimension.

Merkel loyalist AKK wins CDU leadership battle

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, seen as championing similar policies to Angela Merkel, has won the CDU party leadership contest and is thus the frontrunner to become chancellor once Merkel leaves. But a split party will mean challenges.

Frontex leadership candidates grilled by MEPs

Terezija Gras from Croatia, Dutchman Hans Leijtens, and Frontex's current interim executive director Aija Kalnaja, are all competing for a job left vacant by the resignation of Fabrice Leggeri.

Sweden says 'no' to EU asylum relocation pledges

Sweden won't make any pledges to relocate asylum seekers under a French-inspired EU plan because there is no legal basis, says Sweden's ambassador to the EU. But Sweden's new right-wing government is also tightening migration rules.

Sweden says 'no' to EU asylum relocation pledges

Sweden won't make any pledges to relocate asylum seekers under a French-inspired EU plan because there is no legal basis, says Sweden's ambassador to the EU. But Sweden's new right-wing government is also tightening migration rules.

News in Brief

  1. 'Pro-Kremlin group' in EU Parliament cyberattack
  2. Ukraine will decide on any peace talks, Borrell says
  3. Germany blocks sale of chip factory to Chinese subsidiary
  4. Strikes and protests over cost-of-living grip Greece, Belgium
  5. Liberal MEPs want Musk quizzed in parliament
  6. Bulgarian policeman shot dead at Turkish border
  7. 89 people allowed to disembark in Italy, aid group says
  8. UN chief tells world: Cooperate on climate or perish

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. EU Commission proposes suspending billions to Hungary
  2. EU: Russian assets to be returned in case of peace treaty
  3. Frontex leadership candidates grilled by MEPs
  4. Portugal was poised to scrap 'Golden Visas' - why didn't it?
  5. Why the EU asbestos directive revision ... needs revising
  6. Nato renews membership vow to Ukraine
  7. Catalan spyware victims demand justice
  8. Is the overwhelming critique of Qatar hypocritical?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us