Antisemitism and Xenophobia in Germany after Unification

By Hermann Kurthen; Werner Bergmann et al. | Go to book overview

November 25: The trial of the Lübeck synagogue arson attack of March 25 begins in the provincial high court and the court of appeals in Schleswig ( Schleswig-Holstein). The public prosecutor accuses four juvenile defendants from lower-class backgrounds and without political affiliation of arson and five counts of attempted murder on the people who lived on the upper floors of the attacked synagogue. Three of the defendants confess. On April 13, the young men are convicted of arson. The murder charge is dropped because the attackers claim they believed the synagogue was not occupied. Stephan Westphal (age 25) is sentenced to four and a half years in youth detention; Nico Trapiel (20) and Boris Holland-Moritz (20) are each sentenced to three years and nine months in youth detention. Dirk Brusberg (22), who refused to confess and claimed he was not involved in the attack, receives two and a half years in youth detention as an accessory. He appeals the decision but the Federal Supreme Court in Karlsruhe ( Baden-Württemberg) upholds the legality of all sentences on October 12, 1995.

December 1: Tightened requirements of criminal law are enacted regarding such matters as public incitement and the use of symbols of unconstitutional organizations.

In 1994, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution registers 7,952 violations of law with a proven or suspected extreme right-wing background and 1,489 violent acts. Although in 1994 no homicides were registered, the characteristics of perpetrators have not changed much in comparison with previous years. Young men still represent the majority of attackers: less than 2% are female and 78% are aged 14 to 20. Only 3% of all persons investigated are older than 30. The report also confirms the existence of 82 right-wing extremist organizations with an estimated 56,600 members.

In 1990-1994, the numbers of applications of asylum seekers and the percentages of applications approved are as follows: in 1990, 193,063 applications, 4.4% approved; in 1991, 256,112 applications, 6.9% approved; in 1992, 438,191 applications, 4.3% approved; in 1993, 322,599 applications, 3.5% approved; and in 1994, 127,210 applications, 7.3% approved. The asylum law was reformed on July 1, 1993.


NOTE

This chronology has been prepared and compiled by Rainer Erb, supported by Angelika Königseder and Alexander Piccolruaz at the Center for Research on Antisemitism, Technical University of Berlin. It was translated from German by Hermann Kurthen. The compilation is based on the center's archives. The following documents were used: annual reports of the federal and state offices for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutzämter), police statistics, and reports in regional and nationally circulated newspapers, such as the Frankfurter Rundschau, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and Taz Berlin.

-285-

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Antisemitism and Xenophobia in Germany after Unification
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Contributors xi
  • I 3
  • Note 17
  • I - Facts and Findings About Antisemitism and Xenophobia in United Germany 19
  • 2 21
  • Notes 35
  • 3 39
  • Appendix 63
  • Notes 83
  • 4 88
  • Notes 105
  • 5 110
  • Appendix: Question Texts and Scale Construction 130
  • Notes 139
  • II - Movements, Groups, and Organizations Propagating Antisemitism and Xenophobia in United Germany 141
  • 6 143
  • Note 158
  • 7 159
  • Appendix: Statistics on Right-Wing Extremist Groups and Periodicals 171
  • Notes 172
  • 8 174
  • Notes 189
  • 9 190
  • Notes 206
  • III - American, Jewish, and German Perceptions of and Reactions to Antisemitism and Xenophobia 209
  • 10 211
  • Notes 220
  • 11 224
  • Notes 238
  • 12 242
  • Notes 256
  • 13 257
  • Appendix - Selected Chronology of Antisemitic and Extreme Right-Wing Events in Germany During and After Unification, 1989-1994 263
  • Note 285
  • References 287
  • Index 311
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