Nearly one-fifth of Germans think Jews want to 'take advantage' of the Holocaust

A new study of 2,000 people shows extreme right-wing views on the rise


COTTBUS, GERMANY - JULY 13: Supporters waviong flags during the inaugural AfD election rally in Brandenburg state elections on July 13, 2019 in Cottbus, Germany. Both Brandenburg and the neighboring state of Saxony will hold state elections on September 1. The AfD has a viable chance of emerging as the strongest party in both elections. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

Extremist right-wing views are on the rise in Germany, according to a new study examining German political views.

In the study, published earlier this week 16.5 per cent of those questioned accused Jewish people of wanting to “take advantage” of the country’s Nazi past.  

The study, commissioned by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a political organisation associated with the Social Democratic party, surveyed 2,000 Germans at the beginning of this year asking them a wide range of questions about their views on society.

According to the foundation, the study’s purpose is to “provide information about the spread, development and background of right-wing extremist, misanthropic and anti-democratic attitudes in Germany.”

Undertaken by researchers at the University of Bielefeld, the long-term study is updated approximately every two years, offering a unique insight into the progression of German political views.  

According to the results of the research, 8 per cent of the population hold "clearly right-wing extremist views", a major leap from the 2 per cent who expressed these views in previous studies.

Nearly 6 per cent of those surveyed held social Darwinist views, agreeing with the statement "There is valuable and unworthy life.” Over 16 per cent claim Germany’s national superiority, demanding a stronger nationalist sentiment and “a policy whose primary goal should be to give Germany the power and prestige it deserves.” Between 2014 and 2021, that number rose from 9-13 per cent.  

In June, the far-right group Alternative for Germany (AfD) won a local election in an eastern region of the country, and the group has encouraged the repudiation of Germany’s shame around its Nazi history, vowing to stimulate a renewed sense of national pride.  

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