An online political poll at a German university has revealed broad support for right wing ideas among students.
The poll conducted at the University of Cologne has shocked the general student committee who expected that like most universities there would be a much more pro-left wing outcome. Katharina Letzelter who sit on the board of the committee went so far as to say the results were “frightening.”
Der Spiegel‘s youth magazine Bento.de reports that 1660 or so students answered 25 questions on the subject of identifying problems within the university. The project is under a broader scope of tackling racism on campus. The group found the results “problematic” when many students confirmed that they felt nationalistic or negative toward the mass migration that has been occurring since last year.
Letzelter said so many people claimed to have right wing ideas in the survey that she could not list individual cases.
One question on the survey asked respondents for their opinion of Muslims and whether or not their integration into German society was good or even possible. Around ten percent of the students said they would like to see people with Muslim values simply leave the country and some said that the values of Germany were slowly being eroded by international cosmopolitan values that likely made them feel their identity as Germans was being chipped away.
Sexual orientation was also mentioned in the survey and since it listed homosexuality as the first choice it led many participants to question why that was the first answer. Many going so far as saying the question prioritized homosexuality.
It was emphasized that the survey was not representative of the total body of students. The group also claimed the responses were not a reaction to the Cologne sex attacks, even though the questions were posted online only a few weeks afterwards in mid-January.
Professor Wassilis Kassis who is a scholar of “anti-Muslim prejudice” at the University of Osnabrück told media: “Just because you find (prejudice) at the university, it does not mean that it originated there. Students carry misanthropic values into the university, whose origins lie elsewhere – for example in the family home. But the university can affect these values.”
He also cautioned those on the left who would make fun of ordinary Germans who fear migrant violence, “My 77-year-old neighbour has just bought a whistle to protect themselves from ‘the Moroccans.’ One can laugh at their fears. I do not. To call these people stupid, is comparable to a Doctor’s misdiagnosis.”
Students in Germany and Austria are warming more to right wing ideas with movements like the Identitarians who are comprised largely of university students. Recent data also suggests the right wing Alternative for Germany party boasts the second youngest average age of its membership in the country at 47.