According to police, the 35-year-old man was walking through Hermannplatz in the Neukölln district of Berlin at about 2.50pm on Friday, when women and children who appeared to be part of a family group started to berate and insult him using homophobic statements. Their comments reportedly also related to the fact that he was wearing a cross around his neck.
The man told police that the men from the group then started to beat and kick him, snapping one of his fingers.
An unknown passerby was able to take the man away from the group into safety at a nearby pub to call for help, police report. By the time officers arrived, the woman who had helped the man had left, as had the group.
The injured man was then taken to hospital for treatment.
Berlin is famed for its LGBT scene and major gay pride festival, Christopher Street Day. Still, a report last year showed that about half of the homophobic crimes reported nationwide between January and September 2016 happened in Berlin.
Across Germany, the number of hate crimes recorded by the Interior Ministry that were targeted against a victim's sexual orientation shot up by 42 percent, from 222 in 2015 to 316 last year.
Police classify homophobic acts as hate crimes “against sexual orientation”, but German law does not explicitly mention sexual orientation or gender identity. Critics say that this therefore can make it harder for police to recognize such crimes, and for victims to feel comfortable reporting them.