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Right-Wing Extremism

Study: Right-wing extremism on the rise in Germany

A study released by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation says that 9 percent of Germans harbor extreme right-wing views. The proportion of East Germans with extreme right-wing beliefs continues to rise.

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation released the findings of its study, "The Changing Society: Right-wing Views in Germany 2012," on Monday in Berlin. Compared to the foundations' past studies, which it has published once every two years since 2006, the number of Germans identifying with right-wing world views has grown.

Right-wing Extremism on the Rise in Germany

The report indicates that 9 percent of Germans have adopted extreme right-wing beliefs, up from 8.2 percent two years ago.

While extreme right-wing beliefs in former West Germany have retreated slightly (7.3 percent in 2010 compared to 7.6 percent in 2012), they have grown in the former East German states. In 2010, 10.5 percent of those surveyed in former East Germany displayed extreme right-wing beliefs, but this year, that figure rose to 15.8 percent.

This continues a trend dating back to the foundation's first study in 2006.

Findings of non-extreme views

The study showed that even among Germans not considered at the extreme end of the right-wing spectrum, many still had right-wing tendencies. Hatred of foreigners is the most commonly held right-wing tendency among all Germans, with the study reporting that 25.1 percent adopt this attitude in some way.

Anti-Semitism is manifest in around one out of every eleven Germans, according to the study.

In this year's study, "secondary anti-Semitism" was analyzed for the first time in addition to "traditional" anti-Semitism. For example, just under 32 percent of those surveyed said they agreed with the sentence: "Jewish people use the memory of the Holocaust to their own advantage."

Sixty percent of those questioned said they were critical of Islam.

One of the new trends highlighted by the study was that in the former East Germany, people surveyed in the 14 to 30 age group showed a stronger preference for a right-wing dictator, chauvinism, social Darwinism, and a softer stance toward national socialism than those from the over-60 age group.

For the survey, 2,415 German citizens (with and without a migrant background), along with 95 people with a migrant background of other nationalities, were given a face-to-face questionnaire.

mz/kms (AFP, dpa, dapd)

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