A community group told local media that a group of neo-Nazis had assaulted refugees on the morning of New Year’s Day, while last weekend a group of around 100 masked neo-Nazis marched in an illegal demonstration through the city centre.
Brandenburg’s state interior minister Karl-Heinz Schroeter told German broadcaster RBB on Friday that the ban on new refugees would be in effect “for the next few months”.
The city will also take further safety measures including increased video surveillance of a central downtown square, a larger presence of both uniformed and plainclothes police officers, as well as adding 10 new social worker positions throughout local schools.
A Cottbus police spokesperson told The Telegraph that officers were being deployed on daily foot patrols of the city from late afternoon to evening “for as long as it serves its purpose… at least over the next two weeks”.
Cottbus is not the first German city to impose a refugee ban.
Last year the towns of Salzgitter, Delmenhorst and Wilhelmshaven in the northern state of Lower Saxony implemented a prohibition.
Local governments said at the time they lacked the capacity and resources to properly integrate more new arrivals.