Chemnitz, Germany: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “Vigilante justice will not be tolerated after far right unrest over a murder in the eastern city of Chemnitz”.
On Sunday, unlike the other weekend Chemnitz people were in a festive mood but a sudden incident changed the entire weekend vibe, which took place at a city festival.
It was 6.45pm (IST) on Sunday, a German man was brutally stabbed by two migrates. Within a few moments, scuffles broke out around Chemnitzer Stadtfest, and vibe of festive was totally converted into a gloomy evening.
India Aware spoke to an onlooker, Anutam Mazumder, a student of Chemnitz University who said, “A-35-year-old German man was brutally stabbed by some refugees in broad daylight. The incident occurred at 3:15pm local time on Sunday when the German man tried to stop an alleged sexual assault on a German woman by refugees of Syrian and Iraqi descent. Around 10 men of different origins attacked the victim and two other German men with knives in Stadtfest.”
And soon chaos loomed large in the East German city of Chemnitz as more than a thousand Neo Nazi protesters gathered at the iconic Karl Marx Monument to demonstrate their protest against brutal stabbing of a 35 year old German carpenter.
Police for security reasons immediately called off the festival, but that could not prevent the violent outbreaks of attacks on foreigners by an angry German mob, which included right wing factions of Germany.
Sources also informed that several attacks on foreigners were carried out throughout Sunday, which includes alleged assaults on an Afghan, a Syrian and a Bulgarian. A group of around 200 right wing German men and women marched through the city centre on Sunday with cries of “Wir sind das Volk” (we are the people). A rallying cry popular among right wing people in Germany since the historic Monday demonstrations in Leipzig 1989, which eventually led to the fall of GDR and the Berlin wall in 1990.
The police, as reported have arrested a Syrian man and an Iraqi man on suspicion of murder. Police are also investigating alleged assaults on an Afghan, a Syrian and a Bulgarian during the unrest.
Social Media updates surfaced, making the third largest city in the German state of Saxony a focal point for political unrest. German far right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) called for a mass demonstration on Monday at the Karl Marx Monument, a meeting square in the city centre.
The East German city called for manhunt in the terrifying posts leading to refugees and foreigners vacating the city overnight. The situation escalated especially on Monday when the demonstrations led by AfD began, leading to left parties calling for a counter demonstration.
The overwhelming number of right wing protesters gathered on Monday, reportedly about 1500 in number baffled Saxony police.
About 200 policemen were deployed to control the right wing protesters, but were showered with empty glass bottles and stones heavily, reported our source. The infamously forbidden Nazi salute was also hurled at police from the mob.
In fact, reinforcements had to be called for from nearby cities of Leipzig and Dresden quickly to deal with the raging mob. The situation reached a new height in the evening when left wing protesters gathered opposing the Neo Nazi demonstrations.
Counter demonstrations by the left wing groups led to clashes among demonstrating parties at the heart of city centre. Police had to bring in water cannons to prevent further escalation of violence.
Several incidents of violence and hatred were reported throughout the day. The demonstrations came to an end at about 11:30pm local time on Monday, nevertheless, the city remains a hotbed for political unrest in the coming weeks.
Chemnitz mayor Barbara Ludwig who is politically affiliated to SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany) has condemned the xenophobic riots; speaking in line with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor urged for prudence from both sides of the political spectrum.
She emphasized that Germany will not fall prey to mob justice. She said, “Self-styled trial on streets have no place in a civil society.” Chancellor Merkel’s views also reflect the same concerns.
“Such riotous assemblies, the hunting down of people who appear to be from different backgrounds or the attempt to spread hate in the streets, these have no place in our country,” Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said on Monday.
Markus Frohnmaier, MP from far-right political party AfD even opined, “Today it is the citizen’s duty to stop the lethal knife migration”.
Showing concern for the Germen citizen he added, “The influx of migrants in recent years, their father, son or brother could be targeted next.”
Sources further said that, anti-refugee and anti-Merkel sentiments are building up fast, and AfD, which got entry into the German parliament for the first time in their history in 2017 elections, will en-cash on this incident heavily to percolate anti-immigration law to be enforced in Germany.
But the fact remains, that situation in the East German city is inexplicably tense after the events on Monday. Also, it is still unclear what course of action the neo Nazi groups will take along with AFD next.