Baden-Württemberg: Hate crime in the southwest continues to increase

Just ugly words? No, hatred and agitation threaten democracy.

Baden-Württemberg: Hate crime in the southwest continues to increase

Just ugly words? No, hatred and agitation threaten democracy. The problem is on everyone's lips - not a day on which politicians do not warn about it and decide on new measures to counteract it. And yet the number of cases continues to rise.

Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) - They mostly rage on the net, the trolls and the agitators, and they are becoming more and more active: the number of hate crimes and anti-Jewish crimes in Baden-Württemberg continues to rise. The Ministry of the Interior recorded an increase in the number of hate crime cases from 123 to 144 in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period last year, as the German Press Agency learned. Most of the time it is about hate speech, depictions of violence and insults - but three violent crimes are also included. Most cases are assigned to the right-wing political spectrum. 36 cases were committed online. A trend for the year 2022 as a whole cannot yet be derived from the number of cases, the ministry said.

"Hateful words too often turn into cruel deeds," emphasizes Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU). That is why the state government is standing united against the "corrosive poison" of hatred and hate speech. Under the title "Click. Click. Hate - The Internet - (K)ein Raum für Hatespeech", Strobl invites you to a specialist day in Stuttgart on Tuesday (2:00 p.m.). Experts from science, business, politics and the police discuss the right way to fight hate and hate speech.

Hate crimes directed against Jews have recently increased in Baden-Württemberg. Last year, anti-Semitic crimes in the southwest rose from 228 (2020) to 337 cases - an increase of almost 50 percent. In the first quarter of 2022, 59 anti-Semitic crimes were recorded - also more than in the first quarter of 2021 (55). Authorities also recorded one violent crime. In addition, in the first quarter, two so-called antiziganist-motivated crimes, directed against Sinti or Roma, for example, were registered - one insult and one incitement to hatred. According to the Ministry of the Interior, this type of crime is consistently low in the southwest.

According to a uniform federal definition, hate crimes are politically motivated crimes based on prejudice. These relate, for example, to skin color, external appearance or sexual orientation. The aim of such crimes is to humiliate the victims and exclude them from social participation. According to the Interior Ministry, anti-Semitic crimes are a subset of hate crimes.

Strobl repeatedly emphasizes that statistically recorded hate crime is only the tip of the iceberg. In November, the country therefore set up a cabinet committee against hate and hate speech. In addition to representatives from the state, interior, culture, social affairs and justice ministries, experts from religious communities and civil society are to support the committee depending on the topic. A task force linked to the State Criminal Police Office should also identify relevant threats in the area of ​​hatred and hate speech. A new social media campaign aims to raise people's awareness in the summer of 2022.

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