http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5012182.stm Only a fortnight before the World Cup starts, racism has shot to the centre of public debate in Germany. While anti-racism campaigners have warned black and Asian fans against visiting parts of Berlin and the former communist east Germany, politicians have leapt to reassure non-white visitors they will be safe. Concerns have been heightened in recent weeks by a series of apparently racist attacks. A German left-wing politician of Turkish origin was left with serious head injuries after attackers shouting "dirty foreigner" mugged him in Berlin, police said. And last month an Ethiopian-born man was beaten into a coma in a suspected racist attack in Potsdam, the capital of Brandenburg state - a part of the former east Germany which surrounds Berlin. With many thousands of fans expected in Berlin for matches including the World Cup final, anti-racism campaigners say they fear black and Asian fans may stray into areas which are not safe. 'Risk to life' One such warning came from Uwe-Karsten Heye, a former government spokesman who now heads an anti-racism lobby, Gesicht Zeigen. Map showing Brandenburg and Saxony states in Germany "There are small and mid-sized towns in Brandenburg and elsewhere I would advise anyone with a different skin colour not to go," he said. "They may not leave with their lives." The Africa Council (Afrika-Rat), a group which represents Africans in Germany, has also said it will publish a brochure listing "no-go areas" which non-white visitors to the Berlin area should avoid. The latest report from Germany's domestic intelligence agency is certainly not encouraging. It shows a 27% increase in violence committed by far-right extremists in 2005 compared with the previous year.