German city declares 'Nazi emergency' as far-right violence and extremism increases

CORRECTS CITY TO DRESDEN -- Police officers secure a synagogue in Dresden, Germany, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. One or more gunmen fired several shots on Wednesday in the German city of Halle. Police say a person has been arrested after a shooting that left two people dead. (Robert Michael/dpa via AP)
Police officers secure a synagogue in Dresden, after two people were gunned down in Halle in a anti-Semitic attack (Picture: AP)

A German city has officially declared a "Nazi emergency" after seeing an increase in far-right extremism.

Councillors in Dresden said they passed the resolution to protect minorities against dangerous views and rising violence.

Officials became uneasy when far-right groups like PEGIDA and Alternative for Germany gained more support in the city, Deutsche Welle reported.

Die Partei councillor Max Aschenbach, whose party brought forward the resolution, said: "We have a Nazi problem in Dresden and have to do something about it."

He added in an interview with the BBC: "'Nazinotstand' means - similar to the climate emergency - that we have a serious problem. The open democratic society is threatened."

People carry a sign reading "PEGIDA that was your fourth year" during a rally of PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) in Dresden, Germany, Sunday, Oct.21, 2018. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
A PEGIDA rally in Dresden (Picture: AP)

The resolution won cross-party support, with members of the Greens, Left Party, Social Democrats and Free Democrats backing it.

The policy statement said: "Anti-democratic, anti-pluralist, misanthropic and right-wing extremist attitudes and actions, including violence in Dresden, are occurring with increasing frequency".


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But the centre-right Christian Democrats, which Chancellor Angela Merkel belongs to, voted against it.

Several far-right demonstrations were held in Chemnitz, located near Dresden, when a German man was stabbed following a fight with two immigrants who were seeking asylum.

Reports of a rise in crime committed by migrants have also stoked tensions in the region.