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Family of Solingen attack victims calls for stronger unity against racism

BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 28: In this handout photo provided by the Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier talks to Mevlude Genc (R), who lost two daughters, two granddaughters and a niece during the Solingen arson attack of 1993 on May 28, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. A commemoration ceremony will be held on May 29, marking the 25th anniversary of the 1993 attack, when a house belonging to a Turkish family was firebombed by four young German men belonging to the far-right, with neo-Nazi ties, killing five members of the family. (Photo by Guido Bergmann/Bundesregierung via Getty Images)
In this handout photo provided by the Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier talks to Mevlude Genc (R), who lost two daughters, two granddaughters and a niece during the Solingen arson attack of 1993 on May 28, 2018 in Berlin, Germany [Guido Bergmann/Bundesregierung via Getty Images]

The family of the 1993 Solingen arson attack victims has called for stronger unity against racism and right-wing extremism in Germany, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Kamil Genc, who lost his two daughters and two sisters in the racist attack, called on people to join the commemoration events on Sunday, in the western city of Solingen.

"If more people come here, we would be able to demonstrate our unity in a stronger way," he told Anadolu Agency.

The house of the Turkish immigrant family was set ablaze on 29 May, 1993, by four far-right extremists, who were later arrested and sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison.

Genc said, although many pledges have been made in the past years to combat racism, the far-right remains a serious problem in the country.

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"I very much hope that, one day, we'll get rid of racism. But, as long as Nazi groups continue to exist even within the State, I don't think that this will easily come to an end," he said.

Mevlude Genc, who lost her two daughters, two grandchildren, and a niece in the attack, said that their pain will never go away.

She underlined the importance of solidarity between the Turkish and German communities, in order to prevent similar racist attacks in future.

"Let's put an end to describing people as native Germans and foreigners. We are part of this country," she stressed.

"Let's support each other, embrace each other, share each other's pain," she added.

At least 218 innocent people have been killed in Germany by neo-Nazi violence since 1989, according to the Amadeu Antonio Foundation.

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The country has witnessed growing racism in recent years, fuelled by far-right parties, which have exploited fears over the refugee crisis and terrorism.

Right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis carried out 1,042 violent attacks last year, targeting immigrants, refugees or political opponents, according to the German Interior Ministry. At least 590 people were injured in those attacks.

German state authorities have long been under criticism for underestimating the far-right threat, and not seriously investigating crimes committed by right-wing extremists.

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