A year of crises has come to an end. War and climate protests, pandemics and price increases were also reasons for many to go beyond pure protest.

Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) – The crisis year 2022 has increased the number of politically motivated crime in Baden-Württemberg. The tense atmosphere caused by the Ukraine war and the climate crisis, inflation and the pandemic – according to the Interior Ministry, crimes with a political background remained at a high level last year. In the first three quarters of the year, the number increased slightly compared to the same period last year to 3587 cases (2021: 3530). The Assembly Act was often violated, for example through unannounced protests against the requirements of the corona pandemic.

“Hateful thoughts become words and words become deeds,” warned Interior Minister Thomas Strobl, who intends to present the final figures for the year in the coming months. Hostility, exclusion and insults were just as much a part of this as threatening situations such as damage to property, acts of violence or even terrorist attacks. “Politically motivated acts affect individuals, but they target us all,” said the CDU politician. “They are directed against those who think differently, who look different and who believe differently.” However, it starts with looking the other way, with not listening and with playing it down, he warned.

In particular, the corona pandemic and the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine motivated the perpetrators, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior told the German Press Agency. The ongoing social challenges are something of a stress test for the middle of society. Populist or even extremist actors tried to politically exploit the insecurities and existential worries in favor of their own goals.

So far, politically motivated crimes have mainly been divided into crimes committed from the left or right, but this pattern is becoming increasingly blurred: “Especially in the context of the corona pandemic, the spread of conspiracy ideologies, some of which are relatively new, plays a central role,” explained the Ministry of the Interior. “The offer of supposedly simple solutions and clear friend-foe images is particularly popular in times of ongoing social challenges.” More than half of the politically motivated crimes can no longer be assigned to a specific side.

The number of crimes committed in connection with a foreign ideology had also risen significantly. The reasons are, on the one hand, Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and, on the other hand, the conflict between Turkey and the Kurds. According to the ministry, these are mainly property damage, insults, threats and the public use of the “Z symbol”, which makes headlines in connection with the Ukraine war.

However, the Interior Ministry emphasized that the greatest danger does not come from this side: “Of course, the greatest danger remains lone perpetrators of jihadist extremism and violent right-wing extremism,” said a spokesman.