Germany saw 169 attacks by neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists in the first three months of this year, official figures showed Wednesday.
Incidents of far-right violence surged 40% this January, February, and March compared to the same period last year, according to police records.
The Interior Ministry released the figures in response to a parliamentary question by the opposition Left Party.
German authorities recorded 3,605 politically motivated crimes by right-wing extremists between this January and March, up from 3,467 cases in the same period last year.
These included spreading racist propaganda, insults on social media, threats, arson, and physical assaults.
According to police records, neo-Nazis and right-wing extremists carried out 169 violent attacks in the first three months of the year, up from 123 cases last January-March.
Authorities in the capital Berlin reported 26 incidents of far-right violence so far this year, followed by 13 attacks in the neighboring state of Brandenburg, and 12 in the southeastern state of Bavaria.
At least 92 individuals were injured in these attacks, according to police records.
The radicalization among right-wing extremists, and surge in violent attacks in recent months, have raised serious concerns among authorities.
“The far-right is the biggest threat to our democracy and the biggest extremist threat to people in our country,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said last week.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition government announced a new “action plan” in March to combat racism and pledged stronger measures to counter the growing threat posed by far-right groups.
In recent years the country has witnessed growing racism and xenophobia fueled by the propaganda of far-right, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim groups, including the main opposition party Alternative for Germany, or AfD.
Far-right terror in Germany has claimed the lives of at least 218 innocent people since 1989, according to the Amadeu Antonio Foundation.
Human rights groups have long criticized authorities for underestimating the threat and not seriously investigating crimes committed by neo-Nazis./aa