Far-right violence against refugee camps boom in Germany despite migrant influx slowdown

Syrian refugees arrive at the camp for refugees and migrants in Friedland, Germany. © Kai Pfaffenbach
German Criminal Police report 665 criminal offences against refugee centers since the start of 2016, with the majority committed by far-right activists. A German rights group says the numbers are worsening, despite the influx of refugees abating.

Asylum centers in Germany have been the target of 665 criminal offences of various types since the start of this year, the Criminal Police Office (BKA) said. In its official Twitter post the body stated that of that number “613 are clearly far-right inspired.”

That number included dozens of arson cases, Der Spiegel reports, citing BKA. It adds that four attempted “bomb attacks” were also investigated.

Police also looked into dozens of “politically-motivated” attacks among the criminal offences against refugees, Tagesspiegel reports.

“Regarding 52 offences we cannot exclude a political motivation,” the outlet quotes the law enforcers.

In late June, BKA chief Holger Munch said that Germany is witnessing “an alarming level of far-right violence” against refugees, adding that over a third of attackers were “not registered by police.”


This as the number of migrants reported by the Germany’s migration office is in decline. While in January this year the body reported over 90,000 newcomers, that number fell significantly to 16,335 in June.

German anti-fascist rights group Die Antonio-Amadeu-Stiftung  an even grimmer picture of violence towards migrants and their whereabouts. It says the country had witnessed 756 “attacks on asylum seekers and their camps” since January 1. The groups also counted 153 cases where refugees were injured after being subjected to “physical assaults.”

One of the attacks on a planned refugee compound that caught attention in Germany occurred in the small of town of Bautzen in February this year. A huge fire ripped through the planned migrant facility, as some of the locals cheered and tried to prevent firefighters from extinguishing the flames.

Numerous fires also devastated planned or functioning asylum camps in Norway and Sweden in 2015, with arson almost every time cited as the cause by the respective investigators.

The tense mood towards migrants in Germany has increased after three fatal attacks just last month. In two of the cases the assailants pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS/ISIL). German investigators however did not specify whether the assaults were directed by the group or whether the perpetrators were lone wolves.