D.he number of extremist acts of violence almost doubled in Hesse last year. It rose from 41 in 2019 to 79. This was announced by Hesse’s Interior Minister Peter Beuth (CDU) and the President of the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Robert Schäfer, at the presentation of the Constitutional Protection Report 2020 in Wiesbaden on Tuesday. According to Beuth, the greatest danger continues to come from right-wing extremists. In 2020, 42 right-wing extremist acts of violence were committed in Hesse (2019: 31); according to Beuth, one of the acts is the Hanau murders; In February 2020, a right-wing extremist murdered nine people with a migration background in Hanau.
According to Beuth, the number of left-wing extremist acts of violence rose significantly to 34 cases in 2020 (2019: 5). According to the Interior Minister, the enormous increase is mainly due to the sometimes violent protests against the expansion of Autobahn 49 in the Dannenröder Forest.
Beuth and Schäfer warned that right-wing extremists were using the corona pandemic for their goals and staged as partners in the fight against the measures. At the “lateral thinkers” demonstrations, protesters marched side by side with well-known right-wing extremists who were trying to “attack our constitutional order,” said Beuth.
Part of the protest movement is not about compulsory masks or the like, but about “despising” democracy, said Schäfer. “Conspiracy narratives” had an “unprecedented career” in the pandemic, “out of the niche, into the public eye”. According to the President of the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution, this acts as a “accelerator of radicalization”.