reports by German newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag emerged on Saturday of a gang of neo-Nazis who allegedly staged an attack last month on a local Jewish restaurant in the wake of violent right-wing protests taking place in Chemnitz.
According to the report, a group of approximately a dozen masked individuals threw bottles and stones and then stormed the Schalom restaurant on August 27, causing damage to the building’s facade and shattering a window.
While vandalizing the kosher eatery the neo-Nazis allegedly shouted “Get out of Germany you Jewish pig.” The owner of Schalom, Uwe Dziuballa, was injured during the attack, Die Welt added.
German authorities are investigating the incident.
A spokesperson for the Interior Ministry said the incident “suggests at present a politically motivated crime with an antisemitic background.”
Far-right groups clashed with police and chased people they deemed to be migrants in Chemnitz following an August 26 incident when police said a Syrian and an Iraqi had been detained as suspects in the killing of a 35-year-old German man.
Far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) leader Alexander Gauland, after the killing of the German man, had urged a “peaceful revolution” against Merkel’s liberal immigration policy and said this required banishing politicians and members of the media who support the “Merkel system.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel accused AfD of using violent protests over a fatal stabbing blamed on migrants to stir up ethnic tension.
Asked about the role of the AfD in the events in Chemnitz, Merkel told the RTL broadcaster: “The AfD is stirring up the mood and this has to be said clearly. I view some of their remarks very critically.”
The protests in Chemnitz have set off a debate about whether politicians are being too complacent in the face of rising xenophobia in a country where many had thought the lessons of Germany’s Nazi history had been learned.
The protests, during which some members of an 800-strong crowd performed the illegal Hitler salute, laid bare the divisions in Germany over Merkel’s decision in 2015 to take in around one million, mostly Muslim asylum-seekers.