"As citizens, we are very worried about our country. We are worried because right-wing extremists dominate the news, call out foreigners — and they mean us! We are shocked at the Hitler salute. It reminds us that this country has once failed to resist its [Nazism] beginnings, we are worried because we and our children can not move safely and freely anywhere — because of our appearance, our name or our faith," the open letter says.
In the opinion of the authors of the open letter, Seehofer does not take the threat posed by the radical anti-migrant movement in Germany seriously, and therefore can not protect the interests of all citizens of the country.
Among the signatories of the letter are the Schuelerpaten Deutschland charity, the New German Organization association, the Turkish community in Germany, the Central Council of Serbia in Germany and others.
The city of Chemnitz has seen a wave of mass anti-immigrant rallies and counterprotests in recent weeks, with thousands of people taking to the streets. The rallies were sparked by the murder of a German citizen on August 26, allegedly at the hands of two migrants from Iraq and Syria, who have since been arrested. Around 18 people have been injured and hundreds have been detained, according to media reports.
Germany has been one of the EU states which have accepted the largest number of people since Europe's migration crisis erupted in 2015. Berlin's open-door policy, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of people pouring into the country from the Middle East and North Africa, has prompted criticism from those claiming that the security situation in the country has worsened due to the influx of migrants.