Baden-Württemberg: Left-wing violence against "warmongers": Strobl warns

The war in Ukraine could encourage left-wing extremists to resort to new violence.

Baden-Württemberg: Left-wing violence against "warmongers": Strobl warns

The war in Ukraine could encourage left-wing extremists to resort to new violence. The security authorities are already reporting a shift in focus within the scene - and the first crimes in the service of "anti-militarism".

Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) - Government parties, the Bundeswehr and armaments companies are increasingly being targeted by violent left-wing extremists in the course of the Ukraine war. It can be assumed that "everyone who is seen as a warmonger by the left-wing scene is also at risk of becoming a victim of an attack," Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) told the German Press Agency in Stuttgart. "These include in particular the governing parties, the Bundeswehr and companies related to the armaments industry." Developments will be carefully monitored.

Strobl said that with the beginning of the Russian war of aggression, "anti-militarism" was increasingly playing a role again in the local left-wing extremist scene alongside "anti-fascism". In this context, some crimes have already been committed in Baden-Württemberg - so far mainly paint attacks. "If the situation in Ukraine and the effects on Germany worsen, we have to expect that this scene will become more radical."

At the end of April, according to the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the facade of the Stuttgart SPD office was smeared with red paint. This was intended to "mark the party as a warmonger," according to a letter on the internet platform de.indymedia.org used by left-wing extremists. Through the act, "the blood of the workers of the world, which will undoubtedly flow through their weapons, was symbolically brought to the facade". At the end of the article there is a call to become anti-militarist, to disrupt the "war industry", to block arms exports and to fight in a revolutionary way for a different system.

Just one day later, the words "War Profiteers" were added to the windows of a Deutsche Bank branch in Waiblingen. In May, a Bundeswehr information stand in a Stuttgart shopping center was damaged with paint. At the beginning of April, "de.indymedia.org" also posted "Attack the armaments industry!" Addresses published by companies.

"Anti-militarism" gains importance in the scene as an ideological motif. According to the Ministry of the Interior, however, the radicalization in the field of "anti-fascism", especially in parts of the violence-oriented scene in the greater Stuttgart area, has not stabilized recently.

Left-wing extremist attacks increased significantly overall in the south-west in 2021. The secret service recorded 659 corresponding crimes in the country last year, in 2020 there were 455 - a sharp increase of almost 45 percent. That's what it says in the new intelligence report that Interior Minister Strobl presented in Stuttgart on Thursday. Violence in the area rose from 59 to 62 cases last year. The left-wing extremist scene in Baden-Württemberg is currently associated with 2790 people, including 860 violent.

However, the Ministry of the Interior assumes that the sharp increase in criminal offenses is related to last year's elections - and is therefore only a temporary phenomenon. This is also confirmed by new figures on left-wing extremist crime that are available to the dpa. According to this, left-wing extremist crimes in the first quarter of 2022 fell significantly compared to the same period last year - the number of cases almost halved from 191 to 97. "The significant decline in left-wing crimes must be assessed against the background of the significant increase in these crimes in the context of the elections last year," the ministry said. On the other hand, the number of violent crimes was 10 (2021: 4) cases in the first three months above the previous year's level.

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