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In Germany, are there any cities or special regions in cities which are dangerous for non-white people to go to?

I mean, are there any cities or areas in cities in which predominantly white supremacists live and they are antagonistic to non-white people, and which are dangerous as a result?

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Willeke
    Jun 19 '20 at 16:43
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+50

I have been living as a white, non-obvious foreigner in Germany for more than 25 years. Nationalism used to be frowned upon until recently, at least the subject was rarely discussed openly, but there are strong, dormant xenophobic tendencies in large parts of the German society, even if noone speaks about it. In the last few years, the nationalist and racist political party AfD has experienced a huge increase in support and is in several municipalities in the eastern parts of Germany the largest political party by number of votes. Expressing racist and xenophobic hatred has definitively become more wide-spread and socially accepted just during the last few years.

I am personally not at all easily scared, but there are for sure areas which I would have avoided, if I had looked obviously 'different', at least some districts in Berlin and many rural areas in the eastern parts of Germany. There are also a few 'nazi villages' in eastern Germany, of which Jamel in Mecklenburg probably is the most famous.

There is of course a large step from having an opinion and to act out violence against foreigners. It is not self-evident that in certain areas of Germany, someone will wait for you behind every rock, looking forward for any chance to beat up a non-white. Racial motivation has been recorded in crime statistics since 1990 and since then, there have been about 200 racially motivated murders. In the recent years, there have been some 1000 to 2000 yearly cases of racially motivated violence across the country. With millions of foreigners living in Germany and many more millions visiting Germany every year, the chances that anything will happen to you are as you can see in general very small. There are however areas with much more violence than in other areas and you might want to avoid them.

Relaxed asked in a comment for statistics and I am aware than you should only believe the statistics you have faked yourself. It is also difficult to find freely available numbers, which are broken down in such a detail that they make any sense. I have for at least a few months, March, July and September 2019 found the number for 'right-wing politically motivated violent crimes' per state. I am fully aware that this number is not exact if we are looking for violence against foreignes in general, but it is the closest I can get. Since the density of the foreign population varies a lot from state to state, I have calculated the number of cases relative to the size of the foreign population per state.

If I set the average index for Germany to 100, we get the following number of cases per state (I have marked the states in former East-Germany with an E):

State                         Index (Germany=100)
-------------------------------------------------
Brandenburg                    1182 E
Mecklenburg-West Pomerania      577 E
Saxony                          555 E
Thuringia                       482 E
Saxony-Anhalt                   315 E
Saarland                        292
Berlin                          260 E (partially)
Rhineland-Palatinate            185
Bavaria                          77
Lower Saxony                     54
North Rhine-Westphalia           34
Baden-Württemberg                30
Hessia                           24
Bremen                            0
Hamburg                           0
Schleswig-Holstein                0

It is worth to notice that the number of cases per state is low and the statistic uncertainty therefore high. In the states of Bremen, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, there were no cases reported in these three months. Alone in these three 'no-cases' states, the absolute number of foreign residents (720000) is higher than in the five states, which are topping the list (660000).

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    This answer could mention that Germany in this regard is not worse than most other European countries.
    – Roland
    Jun 17 '20 at 7:45
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Willeke
    Jun 18 '20 at 17:20
  • When the comments are moved to a chatroom you have to go there to post more comments. All posted here will be removed. (And comments will be locked for a while to force this.)
    – Willeke
    Jun 19 '20 at 16:46
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No, anti-nationalist propaganda has been very strong in Germany ever since the end of WWII, so if anything, visibly nationalist people will have a hard time in many places.

Although places such as Marzahn in Berlin are notorious for the skinheads that used to operate there, these mostly did their thing in the background and the gangs have since largely disbanded.

As such, you'll be just fine across the country

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    @user366312 You're probably thinking of Marzahn. Heavily exaggerated though; there used to be some skinhead gangs around there, but over time, not least due to the migration wave of 2015, these have largely disbanded, and they never really were a concern to ordinary visitors either way.
    – Crazydre
    Jun 16 '20 at 18:57
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    I find the answer by Tor-Einar more balanced. There are supremacists, there are hate crimes, they are not very common but they do happen.
    – o.m.
    Jun 17 '20 at 4:26
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    @o.m. They do happen but they can (very unlikely) happen anywhere, probably not unlike where the OP is from.
    – gerrit
    Jun 17 '20 at 8:13
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    @gerrit the OP may be from somewhere where people with their skin colour are the majority, and so hate crime, whilst no less common where they are from, is unlikely to happen to them.
    – James_pic
    Jun 17 '20 at 10:29
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    @gerrit OP is asking about particular locations to avoid in Germany, not about the average likelihood of becoming victimized in Germany.
    – henning
    Jun 17 '20 at 12:15
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Germany has very few areas where no non-white people live. Which probably implies that there are no areas that are really dangerous. That said, there are certainly areas that can be more unpleasant than others. Very generally spoken, the East is more racist than the West, small towns and villages are worse than bigger cities, socialist concrete appartment quarters are worse than more affluent neighbourhoods.

There are also some individual factors that contribute to how dangerous or unpleasant a place is. E.g. East Asians probably have less problems than Black people or people who look like refugees (given that every East German small town has some Vietnamese inhabitants and businesses). A 1.95m athlete is going to have less problems than a 1.70m shy guy. You are more likely to run into trouble when using public transport at night than when always travelling in your own car.

But as pointed out by the other answers, the actual risk of getting hurt is really low. The risk of someone shouting abuse is (in some areas) considerably higher, but still not so high that it would spoil your trip. Except if you plan on spending your whole trip in especially troublesome and non-touristy places.

Contrary to what Tor-Einar said, my impression is that the situation has actually steadily improved in the last few decades. The situation is certainly much better than in the 1990s.

Source: Having travelled a lot through East Germany (esp. Saxony) with people that look East Asian. And havng travelled a bit through Saxony with people that are (and look like) Middle-Eastern refugees.

For some concrete examples with touristy places that have a rather bad reputation: Dresden is fine to unless you want to be really cautious. I have heard from a refugee who lived in Bautzen for a few months that it was quite unpleasant. Though nearby places like Görlitz supposedly were OK. If you do not mind a certain probability that some idiot might be shouting nonsense at you, even visiting Bautzen should not be a problem. But you might think twice if you are travelling with people that take things like that to heart.

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