Another German Politician Attacked as Fear of Political Violence Rise

Franziska Giffey, Berlin’s state minister for energy, economy, and enterprise, was injured in a violent assault at a library in the Rudow district of the German capital on Tuesday.

Giffey is a member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD).

The incident adds to the growing concern over the increasing political violence targeting elected officials in Germany. Giffey sought medical treatment after being struck in the head and neck at a Berlin library.

Police later detained a 74-year-old man.

Berlin Mayor Kai Wegner strongly condemned the attack, stating that those who target politicians are undermining democracy. She expressed on Instagram that in our free and democratic country, everyone has the freedom to express their opinion, but there are certain boundaries that must be respected.

Recently, a candidate affiliated with Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s party faced a violent incident in Dresden while campaigning for the upcoming European Parliament election. As a result, the candidate had to undergo surgery. Four suspects, aged between 17 and 18, were detained by the police. According to security officials, one of the teenagers is believed to have connections with far-right groups.

On Tuesday, a 47-year-old Green Party politician in Dresden was assaulted by two individuals while in the process of putting up election posters. The incidents have heightened political tensions in Germany, with both government and opposition parties expressing concern over the increasing number of physical and verbal attacks targeting their members and supporters in recent months. They have urged the police to enhance protection for politicians and rally-goers.

In February, the German Parliament reported 2,790 attacks on elected representatives in 2023, with The Greens experiencing a significantly higher impact in 1,219 instances. The Alternative for Germany party (AfD) encountered 478 instances, while the SPD faced 420 instances. Mainstream parties have criticized AfD for its alleged connections to violent far-right groups and for creating a hostile political environment.

Alternative for Germany, known for its strong stance against immigration and European integration, is anticipated to see significant gains in the upcoming European polls and elections in Saxony and two other eastern German states later this year.