Study: Foreign Background Children Responsible for Rise in German Youth Violence

BERLIN - APRIL 14: Schoolgirls write during a lesson at the privat TUEDESB (a Turkish-German education institute) primary school on April 14, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently suggested Germany should encourage more Turkish-language schools in Germany. His comments reignited the debate on Turkish integration …
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Violence among young people is on the rise across Germany and according to a study by the German Ministry of Family Affairs, foreign background children are behind the increase.

Schools in Germany, especially in the capital of Berlin, have seen a recent surge in violence among young students including targetted anti-Semitic attacks. Heinz-Peter Meidinger, President of the German Teachers’ Association, has blamed mass migration for the rise in violence and anti-Semitism, Neue Zürcher Zeitung reports.

The Ministry of Family Affairs study, which looked at police data in Bavaria, Berlin, and North Rhine-Westphalia, claimed that there had been a rise in school violence between 2015 and 2016 linking the escalation to mass migration.

Teachers in schools have also complained about religious bullying, particularly from Muslim students, against students from other backgrounds.

Teachers at the community school Bruchwiese in Saarbrücken wrote the Ministry of Education a letter last year complaining of the rise in violence, saying that students threatened teachers and each other with knives and pepper spray in the classroom. The school is also notable for having a student population in which 86 per cent of students come from migrant backgrounds.

In Berlin, anti-Semitic incidents have also risen in the city’s more diverse schools with 21 cases of hatred against Jews recorded in 2017. The figure could be much higher according to the Berlin Senate which said that many victims may not be reporting incidents.

Political scientist Stefan Luft claimed the anti-Semitic attitudes of the young children had been “imported” from their home countries. “The increased violent crime in recent years is largely due to refugee migrants,” he said.

“They sing the Song of Diversity there, but they do not see it has its dark side,” Luft added.

Some schools, like Schoeneberg Spreewald Elementary School in Berlin, has had to hire security guards to protect staff and students from violence. The school also has a 99 per cent migrant background student population.

According to Berlin police figures released last month, anti-Semitic incidents, in general, have doubled in the German capital between 2013 and 2017.

 Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


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