The German government has admitted that 467 neo-Nazis are at large throughout the country despite active warrants for their arrest.
The government acknowledged the figures in a response to a parliamentary request for information by the opposition Left Party. Of the 467 neo-Nazis, 32 are thought to have fled Germany to hide out abroad. An additional seven perpetrators of right-wing crimes in Germany are wanted by security authorities from other countries
According to the response, the number of neo-Nazis wanted by German police has nearly doubled in the past four years. The government cited the massive influx of refugees as one reason for the spike. Right-wing attacks against asylum centers, it said, have increased significantly since 2015.
Criminologist Christian Pfeiffer confirmed that trend. “For a long time we saw an increase in right-wing crime, so it’s normal that there are still many outstanding arrest warrants from back then,” he told DW. “I do believe that number will go down again, because the right-wing extremist scene has quieted down some for now.”
Left Party lawmaker Ulla Jelpke criticized law enforcement for failing to reduce overall numbers.
“The security authorities need to think of something to capture these fugitive Nazis more quickly,” she told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.
More than a quarter of the right-wing extremists are considered prone to violence, with just over 100 wanted for committing a violent crime.