Ministry of Education: More right-wing extremist incidents at schools in Brandenburg

The number of right-wing extremist incidents at schools in Brandenburg increased significantly in the 2022/2023 school year.

Ministry of Education: More right-wing extremist incidents at schools in Brandenburg

The number of right-wing extremist incidents at schools in Brandenburg increased significantly in the 2022/2023 school year.

The four state school boards reported 70 such statements or incidents by early June, while 30 were counted throughout the 2021-2022 school year, the Department of Education said. The "Welt am Sonntag" previously reported. The Society of the Lausitz Economic Region was concerned about the development.

According to the list, which is also available to the German Press Agency, by June the Cottbus school authority reported the most right-wing extremist cases, at 27, and there were 3 in the entire 2021/2022 school year. The ministry pointed out that the 2021/2022 school year 2022 was still under the sign of the Corona crisis.

In Brandenburg, 15 anti-Semitic and 14 xenophobic and 4 other extremist statements and incidents were also counted in the 2021/2022 school year. In the 2022/2023 school year, the school authorities reported 6 anti-Semitic, 15 xenophobic and also 4 other extremist statements and incidents.

According to the Ministry of Education, the number of cases in which banned, unconstitutional symbols were used and incitement to hatred rose to 91 in 2022 after 55 in the Corona year 2021 in Thuringia's schools but not school life.

Hostilities after fire letter

In April, teachers Max Teske and Laura Nickel from Burg im Spreewald in Brandenburg published daily right-wing extremist incidents at their school in a fire letter. After that, they were increasingly exposed to hostilities. The state protection investigates in the case of stickers. Both teachers announced on Wednesday that they wanted to change schools. Since the letter became known, reports of such incidents in schools have increased.

The teacher Teske criticized the school authorities. "No one stood in front of us and said quite frankly that they would support us and do everything possible to ensure that right-wing extremism has no place in schools," he told the "Märkische Allgemeine" (Saturday) with a view to the school board in Cottbus and the Ministry of Education. "Instead, there was a lot of lip service. But that's not enough." Minister of Education Steffen Freiberg (SPD) had rejected criticism and stated that the school authority had taken action immediately after the anonymous fire letter in the school.

Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP) believes that a consistent approach is necessary. "The events at the Brandenburg school are an alarm signal," she told the "Welt am Sonntag". Freedom, democracy, tolerance and plurality must be defended by all if necessary. Brandenburg's head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Jörg Müller, told the newspaper that developments in Burg should be viewed with great concern. However, he assumes that this is not a Brandenburg specialty.

Extremism also poses a threat to economic development

Right-wing extremism is one of the greatest threats to the economic development of the up-and-coming region, according to the Lusatia Economic Region Development Corporation. "We are no longer able to fill the vacancies," said Managing Director Heiko Jahn of the German Press Agency. "It is in our interest that we appear cosmopolitan in order to have an economic future." Jahn warned: "Without skilled workers from abroad, we won't be able to maintain our standard of living."

Right-wing incidents don't just happen in schools. In May, the police reported alleged racist hostilities against students from Berlin at a holiday resort in Heidesee (Dahme-Spreewald district). In June, unknown perpetrators threw an incendiary device on a rainbow flag - a sign of diversity - that was hanging on the belfry of a church in Spremberg (Spree-Neisse district).

A new state parliament will be elected in Brandenburg next year. The AfD is strong in southern Brandenburg. The state party has been classified as a suspected right-wing extremist by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution since 2020, and the AfD youth organization Junge Alternative has been classified as a right-wing extremist effort since last Wednesday.

Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) had also warned that right-wing extremism and racism could pose a threat to economic development. The "Alliance for Brandenburg", which promotes a welcoming culture for immigrants, renewed its appeal against right-wing extremism on Friday.