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German Neo-Nazis Accused of Urinating on Children Amid Wave of Anti-Immigrant Sentiment

The incident is the latest in a string of racially motivated attacks in Germany in recent months, with many targeting the influx of refugees that have surged into Europe from conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa.

by Andrea Maurer
Aug 24 2015, 10:30pm

Rassemblement du mouvement anti-islam Pegida, le 24 août 2015 à Dresde en Allemagne. (Photo par Matthias Hiekel / EPA)

Still shocked by the anti-migrant riots that left dozens injured in the eastern German town of Heidenau over the weekend, Germans learned of another racist attack on a commuter train in Berlin on Saturday night. Around 9:45pm, police say two intoxicated right-wing extremists harassed and then urinated on a family who appeared to be Eastern European. According to the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, the men roared "Heil Hitler" and other Nazi slogans at the family, raising their right arms in Nazi salutes.

The woman and her two children were traveling on the city's ring line when the two men got on the train. Referring to the woman and children as a "pack of asylum seekers," the men reportedly told them, "we're the master race," adding "you're not Aryan." The younger man then exposed himself to the children before urinating on them.

Witnesses alerted police, and the men, aged 32 and 37, were arrested at the next station.

Related: PEGIDA Holds First Protest in Germany Since Leader's Hitler Selfie Went Viral

The incident is the latest in a string of racially motivated attacks in Germany in recent months, with many targeting the influx of refugees that have surged into Europe from conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa. In the first half of 2015 alone, about 150 arsons and other attacks were recorded on refugee shelters. There were 170 attacks in all of 2014.

"The Nazi shame of Heidenau" is how the German newspaper Bild described the anti-migrant riots over the weekend near Dresden. The clashes in Heidenau began late on Friday, as the police were bringing asylum seekers to the town's refugee shelter. About 200 right-wing activists, many of whom appeared to be intoxicated, had thrown fireworks and bottles at the police. Some shouted "Heil Hitler," Reuters reported.

On Sunday night, the police set up a perimeter around the Heidenau refugee center, checking ID Cards and frisking people approaching the building.

"We need such safety zones all over, because nobody can say where the next attack is going to happen," police trade union head Rainer Wendt told the German Rheinische Post newspaper.

The far-right extremists were "definitely from outside Heidenau," Heidenau's mayor Jürgen Opitz told the press. The extremists in the area were connected and the riots in Heidenau were an example of "Nazi tourism," according to the mayor.

Related: German Town Pranks Neo-Nazis By Turning Their March Into Charity Walkathon

German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the anti-migrant violence in Heidenau.

"It's repulsive how far-right extremists and neo-Nazis are spreading their hollow message, but it's equally shameful how citizens — even families with children — support this by marching along," she said on Monday.

Merkel had been criticized over the weekend by some for not coming out against the extremists sooner.

On Monday on Twitter in Germany, the hashtag #Merkelschweigt — which roughly translates as "Merkel stays silent" — was the most commonly used hashtag in the country, even after the chancellor condemned the attacks. 

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