Neo-Nazis, Leftists Clash Violently in Germany’s Chemnitz in Wake of Stabbing Death Involving Migrants
Neo-Nazis and leftist protesters clashed in the east German city of Chemnitz on Monday night in the wake of a stabbing incident in a skirmish involving migrants over the weekend in which a German man now revealed to have been of Cuban descent has died.
Monday’s rally and counter-rally the city in Saxony came after on Sunday a spontaneous gathering of several hundred far-right demonstrators over the fatal stabbing, in which two more German men were also injured, caught the police in Chemnitz off guard.
Thousands of far-right demonstrators took to the streets in Chemnitz with demands that foreigners leave Germany, DW reports. They were organized by the far-right Pro Chemnitz group.
At the same time, a smaller group leftists from the Left Party staged a counter-rally calling on the “the Nazis” to get out of the city.
Initially, riot police managed to keep the two rallies apart divided by the giant communist era monument of German philosopher Karl Marx.
However, around 9 pm, demonstrators from both camps wearing black hooded tops, face covers, and dark glasses began throwing rocks and fireworks at each other, with six people getting injured as a result.
The far-right rally chanted “Merkel must go!” and “Close the borders!”, while the leftists responding with “Nazis out!” or “Refugees are welcome here!” Some far-right protesters could be seen giving the Nazi salute.
Eventually the demonstrations subsided, and the Chemnitz police said on Tuesday morning that “everything was quiet during the night”.
The victim in the stabbing incident that unleashed the tensions in the Saxony city is 35-year-old German man of Cuban descent, Daniel H., who died in hospital on Sunday of multiple stabbing wounds.
The two other men injured in the brawl are also reported to be of immigrant backgrounds. So are the two men arrested for the incident, a 22-year-old Iraqi and a 23-year-old Syrian.
The site of the stabbing on Chemnitz’s Brückenstrasse was turned into a small shrine to mourn the victim.
“I think it’s sad that in the media they’re just saying that a German has died, and that’s why all the neo-Nazis and hooligans are out, but the media should describe who died, and what skin color he had, because I don’t think they’d be doing all this if they knew,” one of the mourners Nancy Larssen, a young half-Cuban woman describing Daniel H. as her “best friend”, is quoted as saying.
According to his Facebook page, the 35-year-old Daniel H. also liked an anti-Nazi page on the platform.
The clashes in Chemnitz are further embarrassment for the police in the German state of Saxony, after earlier they detained a TV news crew in Dresden at the behest of a supporter of PEGIDA, a German anti-Islam movement, who turned out to be a police employee.
Chemnitz, a city of 250,000 people, is located in the Saxony province of the former East Germany, and is known, among other things, for the Chemnitz University of Technology.
From 1953 until 1990, Chemnitz was called “Karl-Marx-Stadt”, after philosopher Karl Marx who was revered by the former communist regimes of the Soviet Bloc in Eastern Europe.
(Banner image: Video grab from YouTube)