October 17, 2006

Neo-nazis in Germany: Right-wing Violence on the Rise

Spiegel Online reports that this year has seen 20 percent more attacks by right-wing extremists than the same period last year -- and more of those incidents were violent. Political pressure is growing to address right-wing extremism as a dangerous trend rather than isolated incidents.

Rampant unemployment and socio-economic dislocation is commonly blamed for the NPD's success, but there is growing pressure not to dismiss the right-wing political advances as isolated flukes or protest votes. Charlotte Knobloch, leader of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, on Tuesday accused the country's politicians of having "a weak position" on how to address the problem.

Incidents of right-wing extremism are met with shock in Germany, but that has not made them easier to contain. Just last week, a 16-year-old boy was forced to wear an anti- Semitic sign at school, and there have been multiple incidents this year where dark- skinned soccer players have been tauntedwith racial slurs in the stadium.