The president of Germany said on Thursday that far-right attacks in the northeastern city of Rostock 30 years ago had caused shame for the country.
Politicians were also responsible for this “disgrace,” that saw rioters and right-wing extremists attack asylum seekers and immigrants, Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at a commemoration event in Rostock on the anniversary of the riots.
“What happened in Rostock is a disgrace to our country. Politicians bear a great deal of responsibility for this disgrace,” he stressed, also calling the xenophobic incidents a “disaster.”
Before those riots, a series of other far-right attacks had shaken Germany, said Steinmeier, underlining that though the violence in Rostock could have been prevented, authorities had instead abandoned the victims.
He called on the government and civil society to draw lessons from the riots, which were the “worst racist” attacks since the founding of the Federal Republic.
The threat of far-right terrorism has been taken too lightly for too long, the president went on to say.
On Aug. 22-26, 1992, rioters and right-wing extremists in Lichtenhagen stormed a central reception center for asylum seekers and accommodation for Vietnamese workers, setting some of them on fire.
Authorities were unable to get the situation under countrol, while out of hundreds of attackers, only three of them were sentenced.