BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned xenophobic attacks and the use of Nazi slogans in a robust speech to parliament on Wednesday after the most violent far-right demonstrations in decades exposed deep divisions in the country.
In an unusually rowdy session in the Bundestag (lower house) later, far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) deputies stormed out of the chamber after a Social Democrat accused them of being "unsavory" right-wing radicals.
Protests by right-wing militants in the eastern city of Chemnitz two weeks ago after the fatal stabbing of a German blamed on two migrants have reignited a fierce debate about Merkel's 2015 decision to let in more than a million refugees.
"There is no excuse or reason for hunting people down, using violence and Nazi slogans, showing hostility to people who look different, who have a Jewish restaurant, for attacks on police officers," Merkel told the Bundestag.
"We will not allow whole groups in our society to be quietly excluded," she said, adding that Jews, Muslims, Christians and atheists all belong in German society, and stressing that human dignity was paramount.