Extremism: Violence against politicians – BKA chief deeply concerned

Extremism: Violence against politicians – BKA chief deeply concerned

Before the elections in the fall, crimes against politicians are on the rise. The reason behind this is dissatisfaction with state institutions, says the BKA chief. He has ideas on how to curb the trend.

The Federal Criminal Police Office is deeply concerned about the sharp rise in the number of crimes against public officials and elected representatives. In the past five years, the number has tripled to 5,400 crimes, said agency head Holger Münch to the “taz”. Fortunately, only a fraction of these are violent crimes. “But we see that dissatisfaction with state institutions encourages insults and threats, and also violence. And this is now increasing ahead of the upcoming elections.”

The European elections are on 9 June. And in September, new state parliaments will be elected in Saxony, Thuringia and Brandenburg.

Regarding the case of Dresden SPD European politician Matthias Ecke, who was beaten so badly while hanging up posters that he had to be hospitalized, Münch said that this was an extremely brutal act of violence that showed where political aggression can lead. “Such violence can escalate to attempted or completed murder – as we experienced in the Walter Lübcke case, for example. We are very alert and alarmed in order to avoid getting there.” The Hesse CDU politician was shot dead by a right-wing extremist in front of his home in 2019.

“We urgently need to think about it”

Münch complained that narratives and enemy images are spreading particularly on social media. “Every political actor who does not contribute to an objective discourse but instead creates scapegoats – keywords: the foreigner problem and remigration – contributes to this polarization.” The AfD has a special role in this because it has a broad presence on these platforms. “Such a presence can be used to calm or worry. And many of the AfD’s publications do not help to calm people down.”

Regarding the threat to democracy due to crimes against politicians, Münch said: “The numbers are at least an alarm signal. No one can say what the threshold is at which democracy will tip over.” Many are considering quitting because of the hostility, and party membership numbers have dropped rapidly over the last 30 years. “We urgently need to think about how we want to stand up for this state in Germany.”

Source: Stern

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