Berlin (AP) - Amadeu Antonio Kiowa was circled.

They hit him with baseball bats.

Kicked his head.

Until the Angolan lost consciousness - and two weeks later died of organ failure.

More precisely on December 6, 1990.

Kiowa was one of the first victims of right-wing violence in reunified Germany.

"That something like this might happen is still conceivable today," says Anetta Kahane 30 years later.

She is the chairman of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, which has been campaigning against racism and anti-Semitism on behalf of those killed since 1998.

The foundation has been collecting facts and figures on right-wing violence for years.

This shows: The number of deaths has fallen sharply compared to the 1990s, exceptions are events such as the attacks in Hanau and Munich.

And while the foundation recorded 3,767 attacks on asylum seekers and their accommodation in 2016, the figure was 1,664 in 2019.


In the first three quarters of 2020, the number was 1062, as can be seen from a response by the federal government to a small request from the left-wing parliamentary group.

However, these numbers are usually corrected upwards afterwards, as an employee explains in the foundation's documentation.

The numbers are one thing.

But what about the nature of right-wing extremist violence in the Federal Republic - 30 years after around 50 young neo-Nazis wanted to "applaud" black people in a pogrom-like parade in Eberswalde, Brandenburg, and met Amadeu Antonio? 

"The great mass of right-wing extremist and racist acts of violence still take place on a similar threshold," says extremism researcher Gideon Botsch from the University of Potsdam.

There are repeatedly situations to be observed in which violence is used from within groups.

While a homogeneous group of organized neo-Nazis struck Amadeu Antonio, today there are also perpetrators, "who, in their radicalization, run under any police radar."


Kahane says: “Today we have other spheres in which violence is used: threatening backdrops, silencing people, strategies to seize space.

Something has changed, but it hasn't gotten any better. "

In particular, the mixture of violent neo-Nazis and extreme right in the old federal states is dangerous.

In addition, the trivializing of right-wing extremist attitudes is widespread, especially in East Germany: “The entire Federal Republic has allowed that there are zones in East Germany where some people no longer dare to go.

That's a shame!"

The topic is not a purely East German phenomenon, says Kahane.

But with the death of Amadeu Antonio, the riots in Rostock-Lichtenhagen or the death of Alberto Adriano in Dessau in 2000, the East kept making headlines.

Even with the current demonstrations against the Corona measures, the view is often to the east.

This also results in a new threat situation: The Amadeu Antonio Foundation observes growing anti-Semitism in the milieu of Corona deniers: "In my opinion, something is brewing that is about to turn into an anti-Semitic mood - a direct one that gets by without further detours" says Kahane.


But how can you counteract this?

From Kahane's point of view, a lot is happening, especially in civil society.

“There are now a lot more people who would intervene,” she says, and also refers to counter-demonstrations in Thuringia and Saxony.

Botsch also points out that civil society, especially in the East, is contributing to a strong monitoring of right-wing violence.

And the “Black Lives Matter” movement has also brought the issue of racism more to the fore and sensitized many people, says Kahane: “This is new.

It wasn't like that 5 years ago, and certainly not 20 or 30 years ago. "

The most important concrete lever, however, is local politics: "It's important that you talk to local politicians, that you sometimes lead a conflict."

That this is possible is shown by Eberswalde - the city in which Amadeu Antonio was slain, for which five neo-Nazis were ultimately sentenced to probation and imprisonment of two to four years for dangerous bodily harm resulting in death: “It is possible to cause climate change in a city . "

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 201125-99-452962 / 3