A German senator has been attacked in Berlin amid a growing spate of assaults against politicians in Germany. (Photo by Christian Ender/Getty Images)

News Vote 24

German senator attacked as violence against politicians escalates


A senator has been attacked in Berlin amid a growing spate of assaults against politicians in Germany.

Having primarily affected populist politicians in the country over the past few years, the number of violent incidents has now expanded to representatives across the political spectrum.

Just days after the lead MEP candidate for the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) was attacked in Dresden, another senior politician from the party, Franziska Giffey, was also set upon.

According to local reports, Giffey was touring a local library on May 7 when she was attacked by an unknown assailant.

Police say the man proceeded to strike her “from behind with a bag filled with hard contents and hit her in the head and neck”.

While Giffey is said to have escaped with only minor injuries, the assault has sparked outrage in Berlin.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the attack on Franziska Giffey and other politicians or election workers, all of whom are committed to a combative democracy,” said Berlin’s interior tsar, Iris Spranger.

“The State and federal police are doing everything they can to protect politicians.

“Protecting individuals from such attacks under criminal law also serves to protect democracy itself,” Spranger said.

The attack on Giffey comes just days after a violent assault on Matthias Ecke, the SPD’s spitzenkandidat (lead candidate) for the European Parliament elections in June.

Ecke was reportedly set upon by a group of men while campaigning in Dresden on May 3, with the assault leaving him with numerous injuries, including broken bones.

Representatives from the SPD have since said that Ecke will require surgery following the attack.

Such incidents are not an isolated events, with another politician – this time with the Greens – being attacked on the night of April 7.

The politician – who has yet to be named by police – was said to have been putting up campaign posters when assaulted by a man who pushed and threatened the victim, before tearing down two of the posters.

Another individual is said to have spat on the politician.

Much of the blame for the uptick in violence is being placed on the so-called “far-right”, with the attack on both Ecke and the unnamed Green being linked by politicians to “fascism” and “Nazism”.

However, those on the hard right in the country are frequently the main target of violence. The populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) suffered more attacks on members than any other party in 2019, according to official government statistics.

While such violence has since expanded across the political spectrum, the AfD remains one of the main targets, with a representative of the party being attacked while campaigning just a day after Ecke.

The unnamed MP was assaulted by two masked assailants while manning a party stand in Lower Saxony. The extent of the injuries suffered is unclear.