04:37 GMT +317 October 2018
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    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas

    German FM Calls to Resist Right-Wing Sentiment Following Chemnitz Events

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    Week-long mass anti-migration protests erupted in Chemnitz on August 26 after a 35-year-old German was stabbed to death in a street brawl and two alleged perpetrators from Iraq and Syria were arrested on a suspicion of murder.

    According to the DPA news agency, the rallies in Chemnitz gathered a total of 11,000 protesters, demanding immediate deportation of all undocumented migrants from Germany. Local media suggested the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has won solid support in the state and reportedly poised to become at least Saxony's second biggest political force in the next regional elections.

    On Sunday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas urged Germans to "get off their sofas and open their mouths" against spreading xenophobia, Bild reported. "All of us have to show the world that we democrats are the majority and the racists are the minority," Heiko Maas told the Bild newspaper.

    "When it comes to xenophobia, right-wing extremism and racism, Germany is watched especially critically — rightfully. When the Nazi greeting is again shown today in our streets, it's a shame for our country. We must resist the ultra-right. We should not behave as if nothing is happening. We must show up against neo-Nazis and anti-Semites," Heiko Maas was quoted as saying by Bild.

    Starting 2015, Germany took in several million refugees as part of what German Chancellor Angela Merkel called an "open-door policy" amid the European migration crisis.

    WATCH: Seventh Day of Protests In Germany’s Chemnitz Over Stabbing Attack

    Ever since, multiple reports have attributed responsibility for gruesome murders and rape cases to migrants and asylum-seekers living in Germany, provoking a vigorous public outcry over Merkel's controversial migration policy and igniting a surge of right-wing and radical sentiment.

    Meanwhile, right-wing parties are surging in elections throughout much of Europe in response to a unprecedented influx of undocumented migrants, mainly from the Middle East and North Africa.

    Related:

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    WATCH: Seventh Day of Protests In Germany’s Chemnitz Over Stabbing Attack
    Chemnitz Enters Seventh Day of Anti-Migration Rallies Over Fatal Stabbing Attack
    Chemnitz Holds ‘March of Silence’ to Remember German Slain by Alleged Migrants
    Chemnitz on Alert in Response to Govt Stance Over Anti-Immigrant Protests
    Tags:
    sentiment, right-wing, crisis, migration, xenophobia, Alternative for Germany (AfD), Heiko Maas, Chemnitz, Germany, EU
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