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Siemens Urges Staff in Eastern Germany to Stand Up to Xenophobia

  • Letter sent by managers at Siemens locations in Saxony state
  • Initiative follows clashes with far-right groups in Chemnitz
Riot police watch right-wing demonstrators in Chemnitz on Aug. 27. 

Riot police watch right-wing demonstrators in Chemnitz on Aug. 27. 

Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Europe’s largest engineering company is urging its employees in eastern Germany to take a stand against “xenophobia and public breach of law” after days of violent clashes in the state of Saxony that industry groups fear may scare off investors.

Siemens AG managers wrote to the firm’s 4,300 employees in Saxony asking them to speak out against right-wing extremism. The initiative follows clashes between far-right groups and opposing camps in the city of Chemnitz, which started after two people were arrested as suspects in the killing of a 35-year-old German man on Aug. 26. The protests turned violent after local media reported that the two suspects are of immigrant origin.