Germany’s far left Interior Minister, Nancy Faeser (SPD), has once again announced that she wants to take action against right-wing extremism “with renewed severity.” However, her claims that right-wing extremists are the biggest threat in the country are now facing criticism from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), marking the first major pushback on this controversial topic from one of Germany’s mainstream parties.
Faeser, who wrote for Antifa magazine shortly before taking office despite the publication receiving funds from an organization listed as a state security threat, has always described the “danger from the right” as the greatest one facing “liberal democracy.” However, the data from her own interior ministry contradicts her, which shows that most acts of violence in Germany are committed by left-wing extremists.
While the Alternative for Germany (AfD) has been the sole party criticizing Faeser’s rhetoric and characterization of the public data on extremism, first parliamentary secretary of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Thorsten Frei, has now joined in, saying Faeser underestimates the threats emanating from left-wing extremists and Islamists.
“It is high time Minister Faeser takes off her ideological glasses and faces the challenges across the board,” Frei told Der Spiegel.
The Union politician added: “As right as it is to step up the fight against right-wing extremism, it is just as wrong not to take just as seriously the threats from left-wing extremism, fanatical Islamism, and anti-state efforts that fall outside of the previous patterns.”
He also referred to the official figures from Faeser’s own interior ministry: “In any case, the statistics from the ministry speak a clear language.”
In its current report, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution counted 34,700 left-wing and 33,900 right-wing extremists. Most acts of violence last year were committed by left-wing extremists (987), followed by right-wing extremists (945), extremist foreigners (116), and religiously motivated criminals (49).