Andreas Hollstein, a conservative mayor in the town of Altena in the North Rhine-Westphalia has been stabbed in an apparently politically motivated attack. The attack took place inside a kebab shop and resulted in Mr Hollstein requiring hospital treatment. The town in the North Rhine-Westphalia region is well-known for having accepted over its quota of migrants since Angela Merkel initiated an open door policy in regards to migration in 2015. According to the BBC NRW premier, Armin Laschet says "The security authorities believe that there was a political motive" to the attack on Andreas Hollstein, who is a member of Angela Merkel's CDU party.

A policy which has divided Germany

This is not the first attack on a public official in Germany in recent years. In 2015 the Mayor Of Cologne Henriette Reker was seriously injured when she was stabbed by a man that was protesting open door immigration policy. Henriette Reker survived the attack and was elected as the mayor of Cologne while she was recovering in intensive care. Angela Merkel's controversial policy of allowing over 1 million migrants to enter the country in the space of approximately one year has inflamed tensions across Germany and has divided opinion in the nation.

There have been many high profile incidents of migrants being involved in some shocking crimes which have heightened concerns of regular Germans and has allowed the far-right to grow in response to some of these anti-migration sentiments.

During the 2015/2016 New Years Eve celebrations in the German town of Cologne, dozens of men went on the rampage attacking women, sexually assaulting them and robbing them. Dozens of rapes were believed to be carried out by the group which consisted of recent migrant arrivals and men of "Arab or North African appearance." There were also similar attacks which took place across Germany that night in towns such as Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Dortmund.

It was believed that over 2,000 men took part in the crime wave and up to 1,200 women were sexually assaulted on the evening alone.

Germany has also seen rises in Islamist related crime since the beginning of the 2015 crisis, an attack on the Berlin Christmas Market in December 2016 was committed by failed Tunisian asylum seeker Anis Amri, leading to the deaths of 12 people and injuring over 56 more people.

In 2016, refugee's, migrants and illegal immigrants committed 174,438 crimes inside Germany. Since the crisis began, there has also been a noticeable rise in far-right crime. There has been a 14% rise in crimes committed which had a far-right motivation behind it and in 2016 there were 995 attacks on refugee shelters across the country, although this is a drop from the year before when there was a total of 1,031 attacks of refugee centres.

Angela Merkel's open door migrant policy has been described as a disaster by many political pundits, and other politicians in Europe, most notably the Central and Eastern European countries have been reluctant to comply with the EU's quota's when it comes to accepting refugees.

The policy of Angela Merkel has caused friction in large parts of German society and in the recent September elections, the anti-immigration party Afd saw large gains in the vote share. It is clear that the decision made by Angela Merkel in 2015 will shape the nation of Germany for years to come.