Left-wing protest against AfD. EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHER NEUNDORF


AfD politician hospitalised after alleged attack in pub


An Alternative for Germany (AfD) party member with the regional state Parliament in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania was hospitalised after what is alleged to be a politically motivated attack.

At around 1 am on May 17 Martin Schmidt was attacked in a Schwerin restaurant.

An ashtray was allegedly thrown at Schmidt, causing a cut to his head and putting him in hospital until 5 am.

Nikolaus Kramer, the parliamentary group chairman of the AfD, said: “Such acts are not only cowardly but also a direct attack on the fundamental values on which our co-existence is based.

“Violence against politicians, regardless of which party, is an attack on freedom of expression and democratic discourse.

“Those who resort to such means show not only a frightening lack of respect for human dignity but also for the democratic processes that make up our society,” Kramer said.

“We must stand united against any form of politically motivated violence and make it clear: In a democracy, the argument wins, not the fist!”

AfD party chairman for Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania, Leif-Erik Holm, claimed the incident marked a further escalation of political violence from the Left.

“The attack is also the result of months of incitement and propaganda against our party,” he said.

According to the police, the alleged attacker, a 52-year-old man, claimed to hold left-wing political views and to have acted out of political motives. He is also said to have been under the influence of alcohol at the time.

Officers said he first identified a group of AfD members, whom he then insulted. After a short argument, the man allegedly threw a glass ashtray, hitting Schmitt in the head and causing the laceration, media outlet Taggesschau reported.

The alleged attacker is under investigation on suspicion of causing insult and bodily harm.

With less than a month to go before the European Parliament elections in June, Germany is seeing a spike in apparently political violence and incidents of attacks on politicians of all stripes have been reported.

In Schwerin, The Left (Die Linke) has already equipped its election workers with defensive spray for protection, public broadcaster NDR said.

The most serious incident occurred in East Saxony on May 3, where Matthias Ecke MEP, the top candidate for the Social Democratic Party, was badly injured after being allegedly attacked by a group of four young men. Ecke suffered broken bones after being repeatedly punched and kicked, leaving him requiring surgery.

AfD activists are most frequently the most targeted in apparently politically motivated violence and suffered more attacks than any other party’s workers in 2019, according to official Government statistics.


Separately, Hannes Gnauck, a Bundestag MP for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party who also serves as the leader of the group’s youth wing, had his immunity lifted on the night of May 16 by the German Parliament’s Immunity Committee.

According to a report by news outlet  Die Welt, the decision to pull Gnauck’s immunity was unexpected, with media initially left in the dark regarding the reasons behind the move.

It has since emerged that the action concerns historic accusations against Gnauck from his time in the German military, with which he served between 2014 and 2021.

Representatives within the AfD are calling foul play, with Gnauck and his colleagues claiming they had already written to the Bundestag’s President Bärbel Bas weeks ago asking for his immunity to be voluntarily lifted so the MP could address the accusations in court.

Bas is said to have written back to claim that the situation did not warrant Gnauck losing his immunity.

“Ms Bas let me know at the time that this step was not necessary at all,” the AfD MP said.

“Now, shortly before the EU elections, for no apparent reason, my immunity will be lifted in order to enable investigations into a procedure that has now been suspended for three years due to my mandate in the Bundestag.”