Banner „Flächenbrand für Deutschland" zur Illustration des Arbeitsfeld „Linksextremismus", Keyvisual Linksextremismus

What is left-wing extremism?

Left-wing extremists endeavour to overcome the existing state and social order by replacing democracy with a communist or anarchist system. To this end, they participate in social protests, trying to instrumentalise them for their purposes. Their forms of action range from open agitation to clandestine, partly serious acts of violence, with isolated autonomous groups also accepting individuals being injured.

In late 2015, a total of 7,700 individuals were considered to belong to the violence-oriented left-wing extremist spectrum, including 6,300 autonomists.

The number of offences and acts of violence with a left-wing extremist motivation amounted to 5,620 in 2015 (2014: 4,424). This number includes 1,608 acts of violence with a left-wing extremist motivation (2014: 995). The decisive factor for this enormous increase is the large number of acts of violence directed against the police or against security authorities (2015: 1,029; 2014: 623) as well as against right-wing extremist or supposedly right-wing extremists (2015: 833; 2014: 367). By contrast, the number of violent offences in the context of the "campaign against restructuring" amounting to 54 (2014: 60) continues to decrease.

Nearly all of the 1,608 acts of violence with a supposedly left-wing extremist background in 2015 were committed by autonomists. They use violence in the form of street militancy and clandestine actions (planned and committed in secret), in particular arson attacks and damage to property. Autonomists regard violence – also directed against individuals – as legitimate in order to achieve their political aims, justifying violence as an allegedly indispensable means to fight the "structural violence" of a system of "coercion, exploitation and oppression".

Print view

Emblem pro securitate

Anti-terrorist Hotline: +49(0)221/ 792-3366

Anti-terrorist Hotline: +49(0)221/ 792-3366

Publications

How can I identify extremists and members of foreign secret services within my environment? - Important information for refugees in Germany

How can I identify extremists and members of foreign secret services within my environment? - Important information for refugees in Germany

DOI: March 2018
Further information Download
2016 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

2016 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

DOI: July 2017
Further information Download
Our topics – Facts to know

Our topics – Facts to know

DOI: January 2017
Further information Download
Industry 4.0 – Challenges of a new technology

Industry 4.0 – Challenges of a new technology

DOI: January 2017
Further information Download
Social media – Risks posed by social networks

Social media – Risks posed by social networks

DOI: March 2016
Further information Download
Visitor management – Dealing with visitors and external personnel

Visitor management – Dealing with visitors and external personnel

DOI: March 2016
Further information Download