The mayor of a small town in eastern Germany has resigned, he told local media Wednesday, after a neo-Nazi demonstration against immigration erupted outside his home – and after local authorities failed to stop it.
German media has been captivated by the resignation of Markus Nierth, 46, who was the mayor of Tröglitz until this week. Concerns are already rising over a swell in neo-Nazi activity in Berlin and elsewhere, and anti-Semitism has become more common despite an influx of Israelis to the German capital.
Nierth told ARD that he wanted to protect his family; he is a father of seven.
The conflict stems over his decision to host foreign refugees in a public building in the city center, according to the New York Times, despite seven neo-Nazi demonstrations against the move over the past year.
Nierth said that he was first targeted on social media, and then became nervous after plans to march past his home were announced.
“Should I have expected that my children, who have already had to put up with a lot lately, have to look out of their windows and see armed police and hear the hate-filled and racist chants?” he said.
The announcement follows a recent exposé by the Israeli ambassador to Germany, Ya’akov Hadas, who revealed the deluge of anti-Semitic letters the embassy receives on a regular basis to Channel 10 earlier this month.
A German court also gave free license for anti-Semites to attack Jews this month, after it ruled that the perpetrators of an attack on a synagogue are guilty of “anti-Zionism” and not “anti-Semitism,” and thus do not qualify as being tried for a hate crime.