Politically motivated violence from the right has decreased in Hesse over the past year.

The number of cases fell by almost a quarter compared to 2020 to 978. What sounds like surprisingly good news at first glance turns out to be very mixed results on closer inspection.

The decline in the number of cases in 2021 is primarily explained by the racist attack in Hanau in February 2020.

Ewald Hetrodt

Correspondent for the Rhein-Main-Zeitung in Wiesbaden.

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It triggered a large number of right-wing extremist posts on the Internet in which the bloody deed was celebrated.

The politically motivated violence from the right took on such proportions in 2020 that the decline in numbers in the past year was to be expected and does not mean the all-clear.

The hatred expressed online is mostly a matter of crimes such as insults, threats and incitement to hatred, explained Interior Minister Peter Beuth (CDU) on Wednesday when the crime statistics were presented.

The Union politician emphasized that the police will pursue the offenses vigorously if they are reported.

The murder of the police in Rhineland-Palatinate also triggered several thousand reactions online.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, a small part was also reported to the Hessian authorities and forwarded to colleagues in the western Palatinate for prosecution.

Forest squatters and lateral thinkers

The statistic contains yet another anomaly that is only a relief at a superficial glance.

Violence motivated by left-wing extremists also decreased significantly.

The number of cases fell by almost half to 359. This is related to the clearing work in the Dannenröder Forest in 2020.

They were needed to close the gap between the Autobahn 49 between Gießen and Kassel.

The number of acts of violence and damage to property increased so much that there was also a significant decline in this sector in the following year.

The fact that the extent of politically motivated crime increased by a tenth overall is due to a massive increase in crimes that cannot be assigned to any specific category.

They were also triggered by specific events.

The local elections in March last year and the federal elections in September caused a sharp increase in the number of cases.

The number of crimes against officials and elected officials rose by 60 percent.

This is usually psychological violence.

Finally, there were the politically motivated crimes related to the pandemic.

The statistics show 1,465 protest actions by “lateral thinkers” for the past year.

The number of politically motivated crimes related to Corona rose from 98 to 287 cases last year.

Demonstrations and unregistered "Monday walks" are increasingly being used by right-wing extremists and other radicals to draw public attention to anti-state attitudes, reported Felix Paschek, Vice President of the State Criminal Police Office.

According to Paschek, some demonstrators wore a Star of David with the inscription “unvaccinated”.

"They are nothing less than anti-Semites who consciously downplay the Holocaust and National Socialism."

More solidarity with emergency services

Beuth recalled that the forms of crime were changing with enormous dynamism and that the police were constantly facing new challenges.

Two-thirds of all crimes would be cleared up.

This is the highest rate since crime statistics were introduced.

At the same time, the number of attacks on police officers is constantly increasing.

Although folk festivals and other major events were also canceled in 2021, the extent of attacks on officials increased by 20 percent.

At the federal level, he advocates that the sentence be further increased, said Beuth.

In the country you will advertise with your own campaign for more solidarity with the emergency services.

The head of the police union, Jens Mohrherr, also complained that anger and hatred of the state were being lived out unrestrainedly on the internet.

After the murder of the police officers in Rhineland-Palatinate, you experience this “in an unprecedented form”.

Mohrherr called for "a strong and self-confident state that names these problems openly, debates them transparently and initiates targeted solutions".