Clausnitz: Do German Police Turn A Blind Eye to The Far Right?


Smashed window in Leipzig, Germany after hundreds of neo-nazis attacked the alternative district on January 11, 2016.

The police operation against refugees in Clausnitz on February 18th raised many questions about the role of the police. Videos showed that the police did not clear an unauthorized protest by a racist mob in the German village, but instead used violence against frightened refugee children.


A car blocking the bus with refugees in Clausnitz, Germany on ebruary 18.

On February 18th a car blocked a bus with refugees which was on its way to a new refugee center in Clausnitz. Later, a racist mob blocked the bus as it was standing in front of the refugee shelter and at least 3 cars blocked the facility.

On Saturday the police held a press conference, stating that they advanced the presser because of “a shitstorm” on social media. Many people in Germany were upset after they saw the videos from Clausnitz and also criticized the police, but local police president Uwe Reissmann defended the police operation. “There’s nothing [bad]to say against this operation,” he said.

Reissmann added: “So as not to escalate the situation even further and risk injuries and property damage, it was necessary to get the asylum seekers into the home as quickly as possible. In order to do that simple direct force was necessary in the case of three of the new arrivals.”

Much to the outrage of many, Reissmann also said that “one or two passengers on the bus” would also face investigation for allegedly inciting violence (the 15-year-old is alleged to have stuck his middle finger up at the crowd). During the press conference, Reissmann also said that there were not enough police to clear the racist mob in front of the bus. There were only 30 policemen in Clausnitz on Thursday, which raises the question of why no reinforcements came to the village.

Some German media published very critical reports about the police operation in Clausnitz, and after the police press conference the police were criticized further. On Tuesday, a group of Social Democratic lawyers called for Reissmann to be suspended.

Video 1 from Clausnitz (February 18, 2016):

Video 2 from Clausnitz (February 18, 2016):  

This is not the first time that a police operation in Germany has raised questions. As a mob of neo-nazis attacked the leftwing project “Praxis” in Dresden on February 19, 2011 the police were present but did not interfere. A video shows the attack by hundreds of neo-nazis, and that police officers only regulating traffic. At minute 05:12 another police van can be seen. This police van also does not seem to interfere. During the neo-nazi attack, police forces were attacking antifascists with a water canon in another district of Dresden.

Video: Neo-Nazis attacked Praxis in Dresden at February 19, 2011. The police did not interfere:

dortmundmai2014In May 2014, a group of about 20 nazis attacked an election party at city hall in Dortmund after local elections. Although the police could have known that neo-nazis would come to city hall that night, the police seemed surprised. Local neo-nazi leader Siegfried Borchardt (nickname “SS Sigi”) posted a pic of himself on social media with the text “With one blow into city hall”. After the attack, the Dortmund police investigated several people who defended city hall against the nazi attack, among them where local politicians.

The attack in Dortmund and the police’s attitude also shows that these incidents are a typical problem in East German states. Dortmund is one of the main cities in the Ruhr region in West-Germany. This region is located in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

At January 11, 2016 a mob of hundreds of nazis started a riot in Leipzig’s alternative Connewitz district. They destroyed many shops and attacked several people. According to local residents, the police came after the neo-nazis finished their attack.  One local resident said the police turn a blind eye when it comes to neo-nazi violence. The police blocked many streets to prevent antifascist activists from defending the Connewitz district, but at least the police detained more than 200 neo-nazis that night.

Video of the Neo-Nazi mob attacking in Leipzig, Connewitz on January 11, 2016:

There are several more examples of questionable police operations when it comes to far right violence in Germany, and often police investigations after arson attacks against refugees and refugees shelters end without results. People in Germany seem to have no other choice than to protect themselves against nazi violence.

Activists collect information about the daily nazi attacks, and publish updates under the Twitter hashtag #Kaltland.

Horrific German Nazi Attacks Spur #Kaltland Hashtag on Twitter


About Author

Born near the city of Amsterdam I started filming, taking photos and writing for autonomous and other magazines in the 1980's in Amsterdam. Nowadays I write for Revolution News and several blogs in Germany. Sometimes I live in Germany, sometimes on Tenerife, Canary Islands.