Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Treatment of Minorities

Treatment of Minorities Map of the resettlement of foreigners in Germany.

Xenophobia is gradually becoming a part of everyday life in Germany. According to the results of a sociological survey conducted by Forsa research institute, published on January 1, 2015, almost a third of Germans throughout the country support the anti-immigrant organization PEGIDA. More than 60% of Germans experience xenophobic feelings towards migrants. According to Amnesty International, 94% of Germans in 2015 believed that refugees should be helped to escape the war in third countries. Nevertheless, it is interesting that the overall level of anti-immigrant sentiment in Germany, and indeed in Europe as a whole, has significantly decreased (in Germany, by more than 10%). This is largely due to the explanatory work of representatives of the authorities and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In all likelihood, the respondents' minds were divided into "migrants" and "Muslims", although among the refugees the majority are adherents of Islam. Moreover, there is a pattern that many of those who fear immigrants are at the same time ready to help them (and do).

Study conducted by TNS Research for the Spiegel magazine on December 10-11 showed that 34% of German citizens fear the increasing influence of Islam in the country and support the PEGIDA movement. The level of Islamophobia had grown from 24% in 2014 to 29% in 2015.

Anti-Semitism is also fairly common in Germany, including so-called “neo-anti-Semitism”, which masks behind “anti-Zionism”. The latter phenomenon is more common among the German youth. Surveys show that 23% of respondents share the classic anti-Semitic belief that Jews are controlling the world. 34% of respondents (40% of youth) compare Israeli politics towards Arabs to Nazi politics (30% in 2013). 28% said that Israeli policies made them more hostile towards Jewish people. 5% believe that Germany must support Arabs in the Israel-Palestine conflict, 15% say Germany must support Jews (9% among youth).

Anti-Semitic sentiments are common among German Muslims. On August 12, members of the Jewish community in Frankfurt were forced to leave the City Council for Religious Affairs after anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli remarks from their Muslim counterparts. Islamic Association stated that the Central Council of Jews in Germany exploits the problem of anti-Semitism in Europe to “distract from crimes committed by the Israeli government” . Young Muslims in Berlin have adopted sharp anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic views after the start of the Gaza conflict in July 2014.

However, in general, in 2015, in Germany, as in many other European countries, the overall level of anti-Semitism has declined (from 9% in 2014 to 5% in 2015).

Anti-Roma sentiments are also quite widespread in Germany. Moreover, the level of xenophobia of this type had increased from 34% in 2014 to 40% in 2015. Homophobic moods have also increased to 30% in 2015, which many associate with the influx of refugees from Islamic countries.

In April 2017, the results of a survey of the Bertelsmann Foundation were published. 54% of the respondents reported that Germany can no longer accept refugees (an increase of 14% compared to 2015). The most change in moods affected West Germany: 55% of the inhabitants of the western lands and 51% of the eastern (+ 7%) against the admission of new refugees (+ 17%). For the first time in West Germany, there were more opponents of receiving asylum seekers than in the east of the country.

The newspaper "Die Welt" wrote about "a change in mood." [1]] To be fair, it should be noted that the survey fixed attention to the admission of new refugees, which does not automatically mean a negative attitude towards those who are living already in Germany. Other answers in this survey indirectly confirm this. 72% of respondents believe that the diversity of cultures enriches the country, 25% were against. 70% - that minorities are not sufficiently represented in the civil service, for example, among the teaching staff and in the police. 65% of the inhabitants of the Western lands believe that, in their opinion, the local population and state institutions are loyal to refugees. In the east of the country, only 33% think so. In connection with the arrival of refugees, the majority of Germans are afraid of weakening the social state (78% / 84%), the education system (68% overall in the country), housing shortages (65%), and conflicts between aboriginals and migrants (72%). 88% believe that refugees should receive a work permit as soon as possible. No less popular among the respondents is the statement "The EU countries should show more solidarity with respect to the distribution of refugees and agree with their quota" (81%).

Change of moods for those migrants who could potentially come to Germany, was recorded and the December poll of the Allensbach Institute. 55% of the polled Germans opposed the invitation to Germany for members of refugee families. Only 23% agreed with the right of refugees to family reunification. [2]

Sociologists noted in 2017 a positive dynamics in the issue of recognition of the rights of homosexuals. In January, the survey data was published according to the order of the Federal Anti-Discrimination Office. 75.8% of the respondents were "fully", "partially" or "more likely" with the statement "Homosexual couples should have the same rights to adopt children as heterosexuals." 82.6% have no objection to marriage by two men or two women. The next, the March poll, showed no less high support for the legislative recognition of same-sex marriages and the right of same-sex couples to adopt children. Such an opinion was shared by supporters of all major political parties of the country, including the CDU, which opposed these acts of equality. Support for these legal innovations was absent only in the ranks of voters AdG. [3]

There is a lively debate about racism in German society. Most Germans see a connection between racism and a threat to democracy. In a survey in the fall of 2019, they recognized racism and chauvinism as dangerous to the country's democratic development and to peace in society. However, the fight against racism has certain limits in Germans' perceptions and focuses more on denying it at present. In the 2020 survey, for example. 72 percent of respondents spoke out against renaming businesses named after people who have been tainted by racist remarks or expressions. Many residents were also skeptical about renaming streets named after figures from the colonial past. Such initiatives by district, city authorities or NGOs are often torpedoed by conservative factions in local parliaments, usually citing the timeliness, high cost of the measure and lack of adequate funding.

In Bavaria in July 2020, there was a debate about the possible removal or relocation of the Columbus monument, which is surrounded by statues that are questionable from this point of view. Only a third of the region's residents supported the demolition of monuments related to colonialism, almost 53 percent were unequivocally against it. This is due to the peculiarities of the historical and political perception of this era in today's society. The German Empire owned a small number of colonies, and only for a short time. There was no mass use of slave labor. Colonialism has become a significant topic of political discussion only in recent years, and remains incomparably less painful than the Nazi period. Also Germans, amid the mental trauma of World War II, need some images of major figures of the past with whom they can associate their own history. Bismarck, Wagner, and all the German emperors up to the fall of the monarchy were no strangers to racism. A secondary role is played by the fear of disruption of the usual way of life caused, for example, by the renaming of a street.

In 2019-21, German society has begun to pay more attention to the threats posed by radical interpretations of Islam. This leads to a partial extrapolation to all carriers of religion, although public attitudes toward Muslims are highly ambivalent. A July 2019 Bertelsmann Foundation study shows that 50% of West Germans surveyed and 57% in East Germany see Islam as a "threat." Correspondingly, 16% and 30% would not want to live next door to Muslims. Islam was the only religion that did not lead to "cultural enrichment" in the eyes of those surveyed. Only 30% of Germans perceive the Muslim religion as such, while Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism have a positive balance of sympathies. The Foundation experts find the reasons for this phenomenon in the fact that many Germans see Islam not as a religion, but as a political ideology. Some "consolation" comes from the answers to another research question. Religious people are more committed to democracy than non-religious people. Of those respondents who indicated no religious preference or who wrote "atheist," 93 percent of Christians and 91 percent of Muslims in Germany favor a democratic form of government. On average 89% of respondents considered democracy as a good system of relations in society. At the same time, a survey a year earlier showed that approximately half of the public accepted Islam as part of German culture, while the other half refused to do so. The results of this survey suggest three conflicting lines. First, "east-west": there are significantly more opponents of Islam in the east of the country. Second, age: Germans over 60 fear the Muslim religion the most. Third, the dependence on party preferences: supporters of AdG and the FDP (the latter somewhat unexpectedly for liberals) do not want to recognize Islam as part of Germany, while voters of the SDHP and the Greens are the most friendly to it.

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