German conservative politician Michael Kretschmer is demanding an apology to all East Germans over a deeply flawed study on Right-wing extremism that claimed East Germans were particularly likely to be Far Right and cost taxpayers over 100,000 euros.The study, which was released two months ago, has come under heavy criticism from all sides after it was revealed that the methodology of the study was heavily biased and deeply flawed. The study was introduced into public debate by the commissioner of the federal government for the East German countries, Iris Gleicke of the Social Democrats (SPD), who has also now distanced herself from the study, Die Welt reports.
The study was slammed for the fact that the 40 individuals the authors interviewed for the study were either Left-wing politicians, Left-wing activists or Left-wing academics. The authors also chose to interview members of the public in the towns of Freital and Heidenau in Saxony as well as Erfurt in Thuringia, because all the towns had made recent headlines over anti-immigrant incidents.
The researchers used the information to claim that East Germans, in general, were far more likely have Right-wing extremist attitudes.
Michael Kretschmer, the General Secretary in Saxony for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said the study had caused “great damage” to the reputation of the East German states.
“Mrs Gleicke has to apologize to the East Germans for this study,” Kretschmer said, adding that anyone could see the study was “not honest.”
Gleicke herself has also denounced the study, sending a letter to the authors at the Göttingen Institute for Democratic Research saying that she disassociated herself “in all forms” from it. She added that the institute had “compromised its credibility” with the methodology used.
Right-wing extremism is still a problem in Germany, but often it is focused on far more than Left-wing extremism by politicians and the German media. In Berlin, the Left-wing government refused to address the threat of Left-extremism and played down Islamic extremism only weeks before the Berlin Christmas Market attack, saying that Right-wing extremism was the biggest threat.
After the massive G20 violence committed by thousands of Far Left extremists, the attitudes of many have begun to change. The latest reports show that over 700 police were injured in the riots, including seven who had to be hospitalised due to the severity of their injuries.
Ulf Poschardt, editor in chief of Die Welt, wrote about the Left-extremists involved in the rioting, saying: “Their black costume reveals that their aesthetic is inspired by Mussolini’s blackshirts. They act like fascists. They stir up fear and uncertainty.”