Frank Magnitz, chairman of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in Bremen is fighting for his life in hospital due to a heavy head injury sustained after he was attacked by three unknown assailants on the evening of January 7th.
The AfD statement claimed that the attack was a “politically-motivated attempted assassination,” and posting a graphic image of the injured member of German parliament.
Armed with wooden sticks, the three men beat the politician repeatedly on the head and kicked him while he was already on the ground. At that point a construction worker saw the assault and tried to intervene. According to the statement, the attack took place immediately after Frank Magnitz left the New Year’s reception near Bremen’s Goethe platz.
AfD spokesperson Jörg Meuthen also commented on the attack on Twitter:
“This is Frank #Magnitz, MEP of. #AfD He was beaten half-dead by several attackers in Bremen earlier.
At the moment I am so devastated that I find myself unable to comment further on this. I will speak out tomorrow on this cowardly and repugnant attack.”
Authorities are on the hunt for the attackers and have not yet determined the motives behind the attack. However, the AfD, a far-right party has gained popularity in Germany, similar to such movements in other EU countries in recent years. It has come under heavy criticism and attacks over its anti-immigration and other conservative policies.
On January 4th, three people were detained over an explosion that damaged the office of the far-right AfD in the German city of Döbeln.
Anti-terror investigators are looking at the incident as an escalation following other anti-AfD vandalism.
“The attack against the AfD office in Döbeln is extraordinary given that the explosion meant accepting that people could be harmed,” the state police said.
Police said there had been a series of attacks against AfD offices in the eastern state of Saxony in recent weeks, but added that most of them were limited to vandalism.
Saxony’s Interior Minister Roland Wöller said the state would not tolerate such attacks and pledged a severe response.
“We are dealing with a completely new level of violence against politicians,” he said.
Martin Dulig, Saxony’s deputy prime minister and a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), condemned the attack on Twitter and said that such attacks actually help AfD.
Für den Anschlag auf das AfD-Büro in Döbeln gibt es keine Legitimation. Gewalt gehört nicht zu den Mitteln der Demokratie. Die AfD muss politisch bekämpft werden und nicht mit Sprengkörpern. Dieser Anschlag hilft der AfD und schadet der Demokratie.
— Martin Dulig (@MartinDulig) January 4, 2019
“There’s no justification for the attack on the AfD office in Döbeln,” he wrote. “Violence is not a means of democracy. The AfD must be fought politically and not with explosives. This attack helps the AfD and hurts democracy.”