More than 800 attacks, including vandalism and death threats, have been reported by the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party — and the attackers may be receiving state funding.
AfD state chairman Armin-Paul Hampel has revealed that over the last year the party has had to report over 800 cases of attacks ranging from physical assaults, vandalism, to party members’ cars being the target of arson, Die Welt reports.
The anti-mass migration AfD are no strangers to criticism and opposition from the media, the political establishment and left-wing extremists. At the party’s conference in Stuttgart earlier this year hundreds of left extremists fought with police and blocked party members from attending the event leading to hundreds of arrests.
While there are no official statistics from the German Federal Police, Mr. Hampel said that the party keeps its own records and has created a database to keep track of the attacks. The data covers everything from death threats, arson attacks, and property damage to members’ homes and party offices.
The party, who are not considered extremist and thus do not warrant government surveillance, find the figures alarming.
After a data leak by left extremists, many of the phone numbers and personal addresses of AfD members were published online leading to several members’ personal homes being attacked.
Controversial deputy chairman Alexander Gauland, who recently stoked criticism over comments regarding the German national football team, had his house pelted with paint. MEP and leader of the AfD in the European Parliament, Beatrix Van Storch, has had to seek police protection because of credible threats against her.
In one case last month a car belonging to an AfD supporter was lit on fire because it bore an AfD sticker on the bumper. In Saxony, where the AfD won huge gains in local elections earlier in the year, an office was vandalised soon after the election results. Another car was torched in February in Göttingen, the perpetrators leaving symbols of the left extremist Antifa group at the scene.
Antifa, behind many of the attacks, may also be the recipients of government funding, albeit indirectly. Government money has been directed to an office of Thuringian Left Party leader Susanne Hennig which also houses a group called Redroxx. Redroxx has openly called for members to “pay a visit” to AfD members in their homes.
“Welcome Network Pankow Helps” is said to receive extensive funding from the German Federal Family Ministry, and advertises on their website that they are a pro-migrant group dedicated to helping house migrants in Berlin.
It was on their website that a protest against a Berlin dentist and honorary spokesman of the AfD was advertised. The purpose of the demonstration was to block traffic to the dentist’s office and was attended by approximately 60 ‘black bloc’ anarchists.
Kristina Schröder of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has spoken out against the government’s potential funding of left extremist groups:
“You cannot fight with left-wing extremists against right-wing extremists, not with the extreme right against left-wing extremists, and not with Islamophobes against Islamists.”
She went on to state that it was “fundamentally problematic when groups that receive government funds agitate against parties that are not classified as anti-constitutional.”