Peak in right-wing demonstrations and rallies
For the year 2015, the Center for Right-Wing Extremism at Miteinander e.V. has recorded a peak in racist and neo-Nazi demonstrations. At least 184 such marches took place in Saxony-Anhalt in 2015. In 2014, there were only 10, representing an increase of 1,884 percent. The number of rallies rose just as sharply in 2015, from 7 to 104. "We observe that on the subject of refugees, the boundaries between organized neo-Nazis and racist-motivated demonstrators have fallen," Torsten Hahnel, an employee of the Arbeitsstelle Rechtsextremismus said in Magdeburg on Tuesday. "The social polarization in the debate about flight and asylum is used by neo-Nazis as a legitimization platform, and at the same time driven forward."
Especially via social media, neo-Nazis and other right-wing actors from Saxony-Anhalt spread rumors and lies about refugees with the aim of mobilizing racist prejudices. In closed and open Internet forums, their hate postings reach high click numbers and also repeatedly trigger a real action dynamic. In Magdeburg, for example, neo-Nazi hooligans had prepared via Facebook for a hunt for Syrian asylum seekers*. "Social media have become a central means of agitation for the right-wing scene," added David Begrich, who works at the Center for Right-Wing Extremism.
For the first time, the Center for Right-Wing Extremism conducted a separate additional count for activities directed against the housing of refugees. These activities ranged from propaganda crimes to arson attacks. Here Miteinander e.V. registered 332 events. Only a portion of these took place in traditional formats of political activity such as rallies and meetings.
The development of racist mobilizations noted for 2015 continues this year.