There is growing concern about the level of anti-refugee sentiment in Germany after a series of attacks over the weekend highlighted a worrying trend of increased violence towards asylum seekers, with reports of bashings, houses being set alight and even a car bomb explosion.
These instances of violence were topped off on Monday by a car bomb explosion that blew up the vehicle of prominent Left Party politician Michael Richter.
"I have organized the pro-asylum seeker events in the town," he said. "I'm right at the top of the hit list," Richter added, saying that he believed the far right were responsible for the attack.
Attacks on Asylum Seekers Have Tripled
The weekend's incidents have merely served as a timely reminder to what has been happening for the majority of 2015 in some parts of Germany.
During the first six months of the year, the German Interior Ministry recorded 173 incidents of right-wing criminal violence against asylum seeker accommodations — three times as many incidents as the same time last year.
Officials have stated that various far right groups and neo-Nazi supporters have been responsible for the race-related attacks, while groups such as Pegida and Germany's National Democratic Party (NPD) have also gained support through a strong anti-immigration message.
The increase in attacks on refugees and the rise in anti-immigration rhetoric has led many within the German media to ask whether the racist elements of the country's past are experiencing a revival of sorts, with newspaper Der Spiegel posing the question:
"Has the 'ugly Germany' returned?"