Violence Against Politicians Escalates in Germany, State Minister Hospitalized After Attack

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.08 - 2024 12:16 PM CET

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A German state minister was struck on the head amid growing concerns over attacks on politicians.

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In Berlin, a disturbing incident unfolded in a library when Franziska Giffey, a senator and former mayor, was attacked from behind with a bag containing a hard object.

This attack is part of a concerning trend of violence targeting German politicians.

Giffey, a prominent figure in Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democratic Party, sustained minor injuries and was briefly hospitalized, as reported by Reuters.

The assault on Giffey coincided with an emergency meeting by state ministers addressing the need for enhanced police protection for politicians. This follows a series of both verbal and physical assaults that have rattled the nation.

On the same day, in Dresden, two individuals were detained after a confrontation involving a Green party member who was harassed while setting up campaign posters.

Escalating Tensions and Political Violence

These recent events point to a worrying escalation in political violence in Germany, where attacks on politicians have increased.

Matthias Ecke, another Social Democrat, was severely beaten in a similar scenario, necessitating surgical intervention.

This attack, like others, has been widely condemned both nationally and throughout the European Union.

In response to the violence, Giffey took to social media to voice her disapproval of the growing hostility towards political figures, criticizing the emerging "fair game culture" that seemingly justifies such assaults on those actively engaged in politics.

Government and Political Reactions

The alarming rise in attacks coincides with an uptick in far-right activities, notably from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which has seen increased support in recent state elections.

This resurgence is thought to be a contributing factor to the heightened aggression towards politicians.

Michael Kretschmer, the premier of Saxony, expressed concern that such actions harken back to "the darkest era of German history," alluding to the times of Nazi dominance.

Alice Weidel, co-leader of AfD, countered these accusations, condemning the politicization of these violent acts and highlighting that AfD members themselves are often victims of attacks.

Amid these tensions, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser condemned the recent violence and disclosed plans to consult with the justice minister on strengthening laws against such attacks. This statement was made during the aforementioned meeting of state ministers.

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