Two women were targeted in an apparently xenophobic attack in Berlin by a man who spouted racist insults and tried to beat the women when he heard them speaking in Turkish, Germany’s state-run broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) Turkish reported on Tuesday.
The incident took place on Sunday evening at the Wittenau train station in the capital where the women were waiting for a train with a baby in a pram.
The drunk attacker reportedly shouted racial slurs at the two women as they were speaking Turkish with each other. According to a statement from the Federal Police, the 37-year-old attacker grabbed one of the women by her arm, shaking her and demanding she speak German.
Officers alleged the suspect then verbally threatened them and tried to beat them with a belt buckle. The women fled the scene by boarding a train, with the attacker being apprehended by people at the station, who then held him until the police arrived.
The attacker was briefly detained by police.
An investigation has reportedly been launched, with the man facing charges of harassment and attempted grievous bodily harm.
Analysts say there have been many xenophobic attacks in recent months in the capital, targeting people with foreign appearances, such as Muslim women with headscarves and Jews with kippahs, often driven by the influence of neo-Nazi propaganda and the Islamophobic far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
According to some recent studies, xenophobia is on the rise in Germany. Every day, at least three people have been subjected to racist or xenophobic acts of violence in Germany.
The Leipzig-based Competence Centre for Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy Research says Germans are becoming more hostile towards immigrants, people of the Muslim and Jewish faiths, as well as other minorities.
The study shows that more than 30 percent of the people living in eastern Germany unanimously agree with xenophobic views. The figure reportedly drops down to around 22 percent in western Germany.
Another study which was released early this year by the Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) has illustrated that new asylum seeker arrivals were ten times more likely to be attacked in former East Germany than they were in the former West.