Stefan Jagsch, a German neo-Nazi leader, has Syrian refugees to thank for saving his life following a car crash into a tree last week.
Jagsch, a 29-year-old member of the anti-immigrant National Democratic Party (NPD) and the party’s top candidate for an election in the Hesse region, was seriously injured after he swerved off the road and hit a tree in the German town of Büdingen. Witnesses said that two Syrian refugees who passed the accident rushed to his help, pulling him from the wreckage and administering first aid. The refugees left the scene by the time local police officers arrived. Jagsch suffered two broken legs and a cut to the face.
Jagsch previously slammed refugees on his Facebook page, stating, “the boat is full,” “stop the asylum flood,” and “integration is genocide,” according to The Independent.
Germany accepted more than one million refugees and asylum-seeking applications in 2015, more than any other country. Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that turning away people fleeing violence like the civil war in Syria is inhumane. But her comments have also incited much nationalist anger over the refugee crisis in Europe, with a vast majority of Germans opposed to her policies, the Los Angeles Times previously reported.
Though Syrian refugees are bearing the brunt of the hatred directed by anti-immigrant forces, they have also helped protect people in the past. On New Years Eve, a number of women were sexually harassed by men in Cologne, Germany, but some Syrian refugees formed a circle around an American woman after her hat was stolen and someone tried to kiss her face and neck.
Closer to home, when a Ku Klux Klan rally in California turned violent last month, Brian Levin, a Jewish man, pushed a Klan leader away “as the violence continued and a protester was stabbed,” the Los Angeles Times reported. When Levin asked him “How do you feel that a Jewish guy just saved your life?”, the Klan leader responded with gratitude.