April 26, 2021

Sharp increase in antisemitic crime last year in Thuringia

Despite the general decrease in the number of politically motivated crimes, antisemitic crimes increased sharply in Thuringia in 2020. 116 antisemitic crimes were recorded, compared to 93 a year earlier, as Interior Minister Georg Maier (SPD) announced on Monday when the current statistics on politically motivated crime were presented. This gives an increase of around 25 percent. This is a "very worrying development" that must be taken seriously.

Maier was happy that a new law with increased penalties for hate crime on the Internet could come into force. "The tightening of laws and state repression, however, will not adequately protect Jews if we do not all take action against antisemitism," emphasized the minister. Society is called upon, especially in times of the pandemic, to speak out against conspiracy theories "and the unbearable abuse of the Star of David by opponents of vaccinations". "Any equation of the Corona measures with the Nazi regime is an unacceptable trivialization of the Holocaust."

Maier reiterated that the greatest threat to democracy comes from the right. While the number of politically motivated crimes fell significantly to 2095 cases in the past year and thus by around 16 percent, it remained almost constant for right-wing politically motivated crimes. According to the statistics, there were 1,312 right-wing crimes - 11 more than in 2019. 

Maier expected that the number of politically motivated crimes will generally rise again in the super election year 2021. Often more property damage is registered in election years - for example on election posters. Bundestag elections are held on September 26th, and the state parliaments are elected in several federal states. This is also planned in Thuringia, but parliament has yet to dissolve.