Germany is seeing a rise in xenophobia and islamophobia, a new study by the University of Leipzig revealed. The study also highlighted the tensions surrounding the recent influx of refugees.
In Saxony, there have been reports of refugees being harassed on the bus. Residents applaud when refugee hostels go up in flames, and every Monday, xenophobes gather in the middle of Dresden.
In the following interview, Dresden’s Lord Mayor Dirk Hilbert explains to Deutsche Welle’s Thomas Spahn what he thinks about xenophobia in Germany and what should be done to address them.
Mr Hilbert reveals that he is married to a Korean woman and the situation they are faced with is very difficult for him. “This is very painful for us,” he says.
Asked what attracts people to PEGIDA and why does hatred come from in the Eastern Germany States where immigrants make up may be an average of 2% of the population, he says: “I wouldn’t describe it as hatred, first of all fear plays a role in urban societies and if you are not used to being around foreigners you may be afraid of them.”
He adds: “In Dresden, there were maybe 4% of immigrants before the wave of refugees came. If all of a sudden a large number of immigrants arrive and the local residents aren’t used to being around foreigners, that can cause fear and we have to address that.”
WATCH THE INTERVIEW ON WHAT DRESDEN’S LORD MAYOR THINKS OF XENOPHOBIA IN GERMANY
Why Islamophobia is on the rise in Germany – study