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Neo-nazism, Nationalism on Display As Germans Celebrate World Cup Win

July 11, 1990
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Celebrations following the West German victory in the World Cup soccer matches turned into deadly rioting this week, with strong neo-Nazi, ultra-nationalist and xenophobic overtones in both East and West Germany.

Police said at least four persons were killed accidentally or as a result of mob violence, and numerous injuries were reported, especially among non-Germans who were assaulted by roving bands of youths.

In Hamburg, West Germany, 54 policemen were hurt trying to prevent a clash between neo-Nazis who staged a victory march and leftists who opposed them.

There were also severe riots in East Berlin, where gangs of skinheads and other right-wing youths attacked passers-by and damaged property.

Police used water cannonS to disperse them.

Eyewitnesses reported that foreigners were assaulted by youthful extremists in Alexanderplatz, the center of East Berlin.

“They simply chased non-Germans, particularly people with dark skin,” a woman told reporters, adding that “it was really frightening.”

A veteran German journalist reported that “since the end of the war, I never saw so many national flags in this country. The low-key style we have adopted in the past 40 years has all but disappeared,” he commented.

Some analysts, however, saw the World Cup victory as a welcome opportunity for East Germans to celebrate the impending unification of Germany.

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