During a memorial ceremony held to honor the 25th anniversary of the Solingen arson attack, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke about the dishonor and inhumane behavior invoked by everyone who still retained xenophobic mentalities. The Solingen arson attack of 1993 is regarded as one of the most severe cases of xenophobic violence in modern Germany; the attack was staged by a team of far-right neo-Nazis, who set fire to a house of a large Turkish family residing in Solingen, North Rhine-Westphalia, which resulted in the immediate death of 5 women, and caused severe injuries to 14 other family members.
In remembrance of this horrific crime, in her speech at Düsseldorf, Chancellor Merkel gave a public speech condemning all xenophobic acts committed in the country as exceeding from their right of free-speech to downright provocation of violence. Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the unexpected rise of far-right extremism in modern Germany and stated that even today, the guaranteed freedom of speech was exploited by many who spoke about in support of any xenophobic matters. All taboos were steadily getting breached and propagated as political instruments. The Chancellor finally castigated all xenophobic banters to acts of playing with fire, because ‘whoever sowed violence, risked reaping violence.’
Chancellor Merkel’s words have been analyzed to be directly aimed at the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party mainly, which rose to immense public support during last year’s elections when the voters were divided upon their opinions of a huge influx of refugees into the country. The AfD itself has been accused of racism and xenophobia by German lawmakers, and Turkish citizens have even threatened to charge AfD member Andre Poggenburg of calling the Turks ‘camel drivers’.