Ms. Dohrmann, last Wednesday a Palestinian stabbed two people on a regional train near Hamburg.

In December, a 14-year-old girl died in Illerkirchberg from a knife attack by an Eritrean.

In 2019, a refugee pushed an eight-year-old boy in front of a train in Frankfurt.

In 2021, a Somali stabbed three women in Würzburg.

Where do you see the reasons for such acts?

Why did these people become murderers?

Ruediger Soldt

Political correspondent in Baden-Württemberg.

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These cases of brutal violence by refugees certainly cannot be lumped together.

But we can assume a common denominator: all of these men are likely to have had histories of personal violence, emotional neglect, deprivation, and social uprooting.

Men in particular react to this by using violence themselves, especially when substance use and drugs also promote disinhibition.

Women are more likely to show depressive symptoms or self-harm.

People who have not experienced interpersonal violence themselves, especially in their early years, will never become perpetrators.

What are the general consequences of early experiences of violence?

In addition to a high potential for aggression, there are also mental illnesses up to the very rare occurrence of psychosis.

This very serious mental disorder manifests itself, among other things, in a distorted perception of reality.

Those affected then find it difficult to think clearly, they feel persecuted or commanded by foreign powers.

Trying to escape perceived threat or humiliation can lead to the terrible acts.

A mentally healthy person usually does not commit murder from one day to the next.

In all cultures of the world, whether in Germany or Eritrea, about one percent of people suffer from a schizophrenic psychosis in the course of their lives.

In the case of refugees, however, this is often many times higher.

How can such murders be prevented?

We should determine at an early stage, ideally upon arrival, what psychological problems and symptoms the refugees are experiencing.

If appropriate treatment follows, this has a positive effect on the symptoms and the potential for aggression.

However, even when violent crimes have occurred, it is never too late to change tack so that offenders also receive appropriate recognition and treatment for their mental disorder.

Even those who are about to be deported or who cannot be deported for formal reasons must be treated for their own good and for ours.

You work with young male refugees in the "Fearless" project of the Baden-Württemberg State Foundation.

How does their mental health differ from that of the local population?

Is the proportion of mental disorders higher?

Many of the young male refugees we work with have experienced family or organized violence in their childhood.

On the run, the violence continues.

Two-thirds tell us they have resorted to violence to defend themselves.

It is often reactive violence.

Without them, some would not have survived, at least they would not have made it to Germany.

What mental disorders do you diagnose in the refugees?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is very common, as are depression, anxiety disorders and addictions.

Physical illnesses are also common in traumatized people.

We register a mental illness in about a third of the refugees.

The burden is even higher for unaccompanied minor refugees.

This is because stressful experiences have a particularly lasting effect on younger people.

The young person is still malleable and goes through important so-called sensitive phases.

Certain experiences such as violence have a particularly formative effect here.