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21 homeless killed in Germany in 2020: The government blames... right-wing extremism


According to an evaluation of the Federal Association for Homeless Aid (BAGW), these 21 people, 13 were killed by perpetrators who also did not own an apartment. According to the association, three homicides have been reported to have been homeless in the current year - all committed by non-homeless offenders.

Since 1989, the BAGW has documented a total of 586 fatal acts of violence against the homeless, including 323 cases by homeless criminals. In addition, according to BAGW, 22 homeless people have frozen to death in the current cold season since September 2020. The BAGW fears higher numbers of unreported cases in both statistics, since only cases flow into their documentation that are reported by local or nationwide media.

The managing director of the BAGW association, Werena Rosenke, according to an interview published by Welt: "The violence against the homeless by non-homeless offenders is often motivated by social Darwinism." According to Rosenke, this hatred is often paired with right-wing extremist attitudes and extremely dehumanizing acts. Rosenke fears that such acts of violence will not be investigated with the same resources as other acts of violence.

"Homeless people must not be second class victims," ​​she said. Heike Kleffner, managing director of the Association of Advice Centers for Those Affected by Right-Wing, Racist and Anti-Semitic Violence, meanwhile told the Welt that social discourses, in which benefit recipients are put at the center in a pejorative way, have an influence on the violence of potential perpetrators. "You reinforce the impression that you are the legitimate executor of the 'will of the people'."

The Berlin police have recorded more homeless victims of violence every year for many years. While there were 196 in 2015, the capital police already documented 478 victims last year, Welt reported.
Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

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