In the early hours of Sunday morning, a violent attack during a street festival in Chemnitz, Germany left a German man dead. Daniel H., a 35-year-old man with a seven year old child, was stabbed to death and two others, said to be immigrants, were also stabbed. Two suspects, a native Syrian and a native Iraqi, are being held by local police.
Daniel H. was a Cuban immigrant to Germany, naturalized as a citizen. He was also, according to his friends, left in his politics. His death and the injuries to the two immigrants who were attacked with him have nonetheless become rallying cries for the German big-government nationalist “right”.
Later Sunday, roughly 100 people gathered for a peaceful demonstration in support of David H. and against immigrant violence. After a while, the protesters dispersed.
On Sunday night, another demonstration gathered, this time gathering 800 people. Rumors flew on nationalist web platforms that the attacks had been triggered over a sexual assault that Daniel H. had tried to stop. The rumors have no basis in fact, from the police reports, but tempers had already flared. During the nighttime gathering, some people in the vicinity who were not white were attacked. The police are investigating the assaults of three residents and ten cases of Nazi salutes (illegal in Germany).
The troubles escalated on Monday, with clashes between thousands of anti-immigrant and neo-Nazi protesters and a demonstration comprised of approximately 1000 anti-Nazi marchers. There were six reported injuries due to fireworks shot by the neo-Nazis. The anti-Nazi protesters responded by throwing heavy objects at their opposition. More objects were then thrown, on both sides. Despite being overwhelmed by the numbers, police were able to quell the violence using water cannons.
The Saxony premier has condemned the “fake news” that fueled the violent riots:
Kretschmer said the subsequent anger “was based on xenophobic comments, false information and conspiracy theories … it was based on fake news.”DW.com
Angela Merkel also issued a statement strongly condemning the violence, stating, “Such riotous assemblies, the hunting down of people who appear to be from different backgrounds or the attempt to spread hate in the streets, these have no place in our country,”