BERLIN — Right-wing protests in Germany these days are an unusual spectacle: The police sometimes seem more like uniformed extras than able keepers of public order.
This summer, scenes played out that were nearly unimaginable a few years before. In the eastern Saxon city of Chemnitz, thousands of people joined a right-wing protest spurred by suspicions that an Iraqi and a Syrian had killed a German man. Several protesters gave the illegal “Heil Hitler” salute and chanted, “We are fans, Adolf Hitler hooligans,” while outnumbered police officers looked on. Packs chased people of questionable skin color through the streets with little hindrance by the authorities.