Video has emerged of visibly shaken refugees being shouted at by a mob chanting slogans as they arrive in the German town of Clausnitz, Saxony.
The protesters shout “we are the people” and “go home” at the bus of refugees.
Women and children can be seen in the bus, with one young boy appearing to weep as he looks out at the crowd.
Police in Saxony said on Facebook there had been 30 officers on the scene to keep the two groups apart.
“We were able to prevent it coming to physical confrontations or injuries,” they wrote, noting 13 possible infractions against the law on free assembly.
They added: “The terrible images and video reached us this morning via social media. As the police we have to remain neutral during our deployments.
“That is difficult for us in this situation. We are all people in blue uniforms, who feel just the same as you when we watch the video.”
As the video circulated on social media, many condemned the footage.
TV comedian Jan Böhmermann tweeted: “Clausnitz (Saxony) yesterday. The German mob greets those who escaped the jaws of death.”
Markus Ulbig, the interior minister of Saxony, condemned the blockade, saying: “I find it utterly disgraceful…’
Support for refugees in Germany has been fading following the New Year’s Eve attacks on women in Cologne, research has shown.