Berlin (dpa), Sep 13, 2018-
Xenophobic protests in the German city of Chemnitz in recent weeks have damaged Germany’s global reputation, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in an interview published Thursday.
“In foreign countries people also recognize, however, that many upstanding citizens in Germany also had their say,” the lawmaker for Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) told dpa.
The protests in the eastern city of Chemnitz were prompted by the killing of a German citizen, allegedly at the hands of asylum seekers.
The government has claimed the protests included the violent pursuit of foreigners, with video footage apparently showing two Arab men being chased and attacked by people who appear to be locals.
Counterprotesters have also staged demonstrations in the city, including a concert that attracted 65,000 people.
Maas said it was enormously important that so many people had taken to the streets to take a stand against racism and xenophobia.
“That response has attracted just as much attention as the right-wing protests in Chemnitz,” he said.