Germany is facing a concerning rise in both violent crime and far-right extremism. This increase in criminal activity has been linked to feelings of alienation, poverty, lack of education, and a growing sense of insecurity among many people in the country.
To truly combat these issues, an understanding of their root causes is absolutely essential. Government policies must be tailored to address the underlying factors that give rise to crime and extremism, as well as provide citizens with necessary resources for economic security and social mobility. It is only through targeted solutions that Germany can hope to bring about meaningful change.
Annika Brockschmidt, a journalist for Religion Dispatches, recently wrote about the complicated influence of far-right ideologies that was highlighted by an eight-person mass shooting in Hamburg, Germany on March 9. This tragedy not only took the lives of six people but also serves as a reminder of how far-right ideas can lead to devastating outcomes.
Philipp F., 29, was revealed to be the culprit behind the shooting at a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall. He had previously been a member of the religion prior to this incident.
Philipp F.’s manifesto, which glorified Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Putin, serves as a recent reminder of the power far-right ideologies have in inducing radicalization and resulting in violence.
The Hamburg mass shooter was found to have a misogynistic attitude and believed in hierarchical patriarchy. This is, unfortunately, a characteristic shared by many other far-right extremists.
“The Hamburg shooter, like many adherents of far-right beliefs, derives the legitimacy for his contempt for women from God,” Brockschmidt wrote.
A careful evaluation of the manifesto revealed his strong belief that men are superior to women, a view that is rooted in right-wing Christian theology which is shared by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“Many of his other claims are also in accordance with a number of broader right-wing Christian beliefs: he condemns abortion as murder, rails against sex work, and is explicitly anti-LGBTQ.”
“While a lot of his manifesto reads like the unique ramblings of a distressed mind, there is another trait the Hamburg shooter shares with other far-right mass shooters: antisemitism. In his manifesto he spreads the classic Christian antisemitic myth that Jews were guilty of the murder of God—also known as deicide,” Brockschmidt added.
“He then moves on to claim that this was intentional on the part of Jesus as his brutal execution was necessary to save humanity. Another deeply antisemitic conspiracy myth he spreads (which I will not reproduce in detail here) portrays Russia as an instrument of God and Ukraine as the subject of God’s punishment.”