German Chancellor Angela Merkel has accused right-wing politicians who promote xenophobic rhetoric of inciting hatred and violence on German soil.
"Too often, the lines of freedom of speech are very deliberately being tested, and taboos are carelessly being breached and used as a political instrument," Merkel said on Tuesday.
According to her, the problem of "right-wing extremism" in Germany remains unresolved, while political parties promoting xenophobic ideas contribute to their persistence.
"It's playing with fire. Because whoever sows violence with words, risks reaping violence," she added, referring, among others, to the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
Merkel's statement came just hours after Beatrix von Storch, German MP from the AfD, wrote that the father of a Palestinian-German politician suffering from severe health problems would have had "serious financial problems" if Germany followed Austria's example and limited welfare to people not speaking German fluently, sparking public criticism over her tweet. The post was later deleted, after it became known that the elderly man had died.
The rise of right-wing and anti-Islam sentiments in Germany has been triggered by the migration crisis that partly came as a result of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's open door policy in 2015. The right-wing turn has become especially evident after a series of knife attacks committed by migrants on German soil.
The Solingen arson attack was one of the most serious violent attacks motivated by xenophobic sentiments in modern Germany. In 1993, a group of far-right radicals set fire to the house of a large Turkish family in the German city of Solingen. The attack claimed lives of three girls and two women; other family members were severely injured.