Politically-motivated crimes surge 23 percent in Germany

Politically-motivated crimes surge 23 percent in Germany

Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office has registered a sharp increase in politically-motivated crimes, according to new statistics released on Tuesday. With mayors and other political leaders regularly coming under attack, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser described right-wing extremism as the “greatest danger for people in the country.” 

More than 55.000 political crimes recorded in Germany in 2021

Police in Germany registered a total of 55.048 offences in 2021 that were motivated by right-wing extremism, left-wing extremism or other ideological grounds. As the Federal Criminal Police Office announced in Berlin on Tuesday, this equates to an increase of 23 percent compared to 2020, the highest level since annual statistics were introduced in 2001. 

The authorities blamed the sharp increase primarily on crimes that cannot be clearly assigned to either the left-wing or right-wing way of thinking. The number of these “grey area” crimes rose from around 8.500 in 2020 to more than 21.000 in 2021. Police said that many crimes in 2021 were committed in relation to the coronavirus pandemic and the elections.

60-percent rise in attacks on elected officials

Overall, the number of physical injuries caused in politically-motivated crimes rose by 6 percent in the last year to 1.900 incidents overall - almost half of them caused by right-wing perpetrators - while four people died as a result of right-wing violence. There was also a strong right-wing current running through reported incidents of hate crime, with the motives for the majority of attacks described as xenophobic, anti-Semitic or racist. 

Attacks on people who work for the state also became more common, with authorities reporting a total of 2.500 incidents involving elected officials like mayors or members of parliament - a 60-percent increase compared to 2020. According to the BKA, most incidents involved either bodily harm or intimidation. 

Recommitting herself to her previous promise to focus on tackling right-wing extremism in this term of office, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said that right-wing extremists continued to pose a great threat, adding that 40 percent of all politically-motivated acts of violence in 2021 were committed by right-wing extremists. She described right-wing extremism as the greatest threat to democracy and the greatest danger to the people of Germany.



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

Read more



Leave a comment

AaronFitzgerald2 06:40 | 12 May 2022

What right wing extremism?