Beatings, Racial Slurs: Germany’s Surge in Racism Reports

BERLIN (Reuters) -
The damaged door of a synagogue is seen in Halle, Germany, October 10, 2019, after two people were killed in a shooting. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)

Germany’s anti-discrimination agency saw a sharp rise in the number of reports of racism it received in 2019, and the agency’s head urged authorities to fix the institutional failings hindering the fight against it.

According to the agency’s annual report, published on Tuesday, the number of complaints of racism the agency’s advice line received rose 10% to 1,176. Germany has also been witness to neo-Nazi violence, such as a gun attack on a shul this past Yom Kippur, in which two passers-by died.

A schoolchild wrote: “A child insulted my brother at school because he has a dark skin color. Then he hit him. The teacher watched it all but did nothing.”

Bernhard Franke, the agency’s head, told a news conference that police were “not as free of discrimination as some of us would like to believe. … We have seen 200 cases of racial profiling, of people who have been stopped by police purely because of their appearance,” Franke said.

Only half of Germany’s federal states had created their own anti-discrimination agencies – an institutional shortcoming that hindered the fight against racism, he said.