While right-wing extremist violence in Germany looks set to break all records this year, a new study now reports a clear east-west divide in xenophobia. More than 60 percent of citizens in the five new states are xenophobic, compared with 46 percent in the West, according to this year's survey of the long-term study "German Conditions". Overall, slightly less than half of German citizens (48.5 percent) had xenophobic feelings, experts from the University of Bielefeld explained. Put simply: In the east and south of the republic it is not easy not to be German.
Respondents in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania were most xenophobic (64 percent). In Thuringia, the figure is 61.1 percent. Saxony-Anhalt (60.1), Saxony (59.4) and Brandenburg (58.2) are in the other places.
Bavaria and Saarland close to the East In the West, Saarland (54.2) is in the lead. This is followed by Bavaria (51.4), Lower Saxony (48.7), Hesse (48.4) and Rhineland-Palatinate (47.4). Baden-Wurttemberg (45.4), North Rhine-Westphalia (43.7) and Bremen (42.5) are behind. The lowest level of xenophobia was found in Schleswig-Holstein (41.3), Hamburg (37.6) and Berlin (36.9). The hostile attitude toward foreigners is only one of the consequences of growing social disintegration, says study director Wilhelm Heitmeyer, explaining the results. In addition, fear of the future and the feeling of having no political influence have increased in the past five years.