Violence develops as German politician stabbed in library

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By Creative Media News

  • Berlin senator assaulted in library; part of escalating attacks
  • Recent violence targets German politicians, campaign staff, sparking condemnation
  • Authorities investigate attacks; concern grows over democracy’s safety

A man stormed into a local library and assaulted a Berlin senator and former mayor of the German capital, marking the most recent in a string of attacks against German politicians.

As reported by the police, Franziska Giffey, a prominent member of Germany’s centre-left SPD, was struck on the head and neck with a sack “filled with hard contents” and subsequently required brief hospital treatment.

Recently, attacks against politicians and campaign staff have increased, particularly in eastern Germany.

The attacks were condemned as “horrendous and cowardly” by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who added that “violence has no place in a democratic discourse.”

A leading SPD candidate for the European elections next month was severely injured last Friday in Dresden while setting up posters.

Matthias Ecke, age 41, required hospitalization for surgery following an assault by four individuals. At least one of the four adolescents under investigation has been associated with the far right.

A moment earlier, a Greens campaign worker in the city was assaulted and booted.

On Tuesday evening, a female Greens politician in Dresden was subjected to an assault by two individuals while attempting to hang up posters.

While Yvonne Mosler was on location filming with a television crew, she was spat upon and assaulted.

The two suspects, a man and a woman, were allegedly part of a group that was saluting Hitler when the woman began putting up election posters, according to Dresden police.

Colleagues were astounded by the assault on Franziska Giffey, the Berlin senator entrusted with economics. Before being elected mayor of Berlin in 2021, Ms. Giffey served as minister for women and families in the final federal government led by Angela Merkel.

Later, Ms Giffey revealed on Instagram that she had visited the Neukolln district’s Alt-Rudow library in south-east Berlin because it was a unique location for her: “I would never have imagined the possibility that I could be attacked there.”

The former mayor of Berlin expressed her astonishment at the increasing frequency with which politically active individuals have become “fair game” for criticism: “These attacks are without justification.” A societal threshold has been breached, and it is incumbent upon us to vigorously oppose it.

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Police stated that a 74-year-old man they had previously known was detained on suspicion of “state security and hate crimes.” Prosecutors claimed the individual exhibited symptoms consistent with “a mental illness” and were conducting an evaluation to determine whether psychiatric care should be commenced.

Iris Spranger, a senator from Berlin’s centre-left, denounced the spate of assaults against “all campaign workers and politicians who are committed to a robust democracy.”

Tuesday saw a meeting of federal and state interior ministers to discuss potential responses to the attacks.

The conference of interior ministers is chaired by the minister of Brandenburg, Michael Stübgen, who informed reporters that criminal law no longer adequately protected legislators and activists.

He told local radio in Berlin, “Unfortunately, we have been witnessing this spiral for years, and this year, we are dealing with a violent spiral of physical attacks against male and female politicians, which I am extremely concerned about.”

On 9 June, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party will run for second place in the European Parliament elections. In September, the party aims to establish itself as the dominant political party in state elections across eastern Germany.

Nonetheless, it has been accused of espionage, and an aide to its leading candidate for the EU is in detention.

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