German far-right MP Frank Magnitz badly hurt in Bremen attack

Pauline Gross
January 10, 2019

A local leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany was attacked and wounded by several people in the northwestern city of Bremen, an assault that drew condemnation yesterday from some of the party's fiercest opponents.

A far-right German lawmaker has been beaten unconscious by at least three masked assailants in an attack seen by police as "politically motivated". Two workers loading a vehicle nearby found him on the ground and called an ambulance. The 66-year-old has been hospitalized.

Armed with wooden sticks, the three men beat the politician repeatedly on the head and kicked him while he was already on the ground until a construction worker saw the assault and tried to intervene.

The AfD published a picture of Magnitz unconscious on a hospital bed, his face bleeding and swollen with a gash on his forehead.

The party added: 'Today is a dark day for democracy in Germany'.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert wrote on Twitter that the "brutal attack" was "to be condemned sharply". Hopefully police will quickly succeed in catching the perpetrators.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, of the center-left Social Democratic Party, tweeted: "Violence should never be a means for political disputes-totally regardless against whom or what the motives for it are".

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That was echoed by other politicians from established parties, including prominent Green party politician Cem Ozdemir, who said AfD must be countered by legal means, not violence.

"Those who fight hate with hate only allow hate to win in the end", said the politician of Turkish origin.

"It was clearly an attempt to murder Mr Magnitz", AfD co-leader Alexander Gauland told reporters in Berlin.

Magnitz, who is a member of the Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, regained consciousness after arriving at the hospital, but couldn't recall any details about the attack. It entered the national parliament in 2017 and is now the biggest opposition party there.

With their anti-immigration rhetoric and their challenge of post-World War II Germany's culture of atonement, the party's leaders and MPs have been overturning one taboo after another in the country's political arena.

An explosive device detonated in a bin and damaged an AfD office in Saxon, last week. AfD is also eyeing the May 2019 European Parliament elections.

Other reports by GizPress

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