Andreas Jurca, a candidate for the Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) party in Bavaria, has been brutally assaulted at a campaign event.
Jurca, a father of two young children, is the chair of the AfD in the city of Augsburg. He had organised a barbecue to thank his campaign staff for their work. On his way from the celebration, he and a colleague encountered a “large group of individuals from southern regions”, he reported.
“By individuals from southern regions, I don’t mean Spaniards or Italians.”
One of the group asked him: “Aren’t you Andreas Jurca from the posters?” As he appeared to offer to shake Jurca’s hand, simultaneously, an accomplice hit the German politician, while someone yelled “damn Nazi”.
Then “it went dark”, Jurca said.
The 35-year-old fell to the ground and the group started kicking him. Jurca suffered severe facial bruises and a broken ankle among other injuries. The politician also lost his glasses in the attack.
His colleague was also attacked, suffering minor injuries and his shirt was torn.
Jurca said he only realised that it “had to do with politics” after the attack. Due to shock, he initially told the police on the phone: “They beat us for no reason.”
But as he thought about it further, he said he realised, “There must be a connection if he asks for my name, confirms it again, and then the blow comes.”
“I wanted to get back to my children,” he added.
According to Jurca, his wife and mother convinced him to “stop by the hospital”. A CT scan revealed that a bone in his ankle was broken. Due to his head injuries, the doctors wanted to keep him in the hospital, “but I wanted to go home, wanted to be with my children again”, he said.
Jurca places the blame for the violence “on the incitement against us, that we [AfD] are demonised like this”.
When asked what he would say to those who might claim he deserved to be assaulted, he said: “That’s exactly why I’m in politics. These are the people who want to lead us back into tyranny.
“There is no political mandate for violence. If we live in a democracy, then we must be able to tolerate that others have different opinions.”
A new state parliament will be elected in Bavaria on October 8. According to polls, the AfD is in or around second place with the Greens and Free Voters.
The growing popularity of the right-wing AfD makes many in the German establishment nervous. Last week, Chancellor Olaf Scholz called the party “enemies of democracy” while the President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned the country’s citizens not to vote for AfD, describing it as a threat to democracy.
Perhaps tellingly, the far-left organisation Antifa published a list of home addresses of local politicians belonging to AfD in Hessen and declared it wanted to make their lives “a living hell”.
Ein Politiker wird brutal zusammengeschlagen – offenbar weil er der #AfD angehört.
Verantwortlich für diesen brutalen Überfall sind all jene, die die Mitglieder und… pic.twitter.com/AKXTz5ofBf
— Dr. Kristin Brinker (@Kristin_Brinker) August 13, 2023