At least two high profile members of the Alternative for Germany Party (AfD), including a regional party chairman, have been attacked this week by left-wing extremists.
On Tuesday the AfD group chairman in Rhineland-Palatinate Uwe Junge was wounded in the face by one of a group of four far-left extremists on a public sidewalk. This attack follows the assault of another prominent AfD member on the same day, reports German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
According to the AfD in Rhineland-Palatinate Mr. Junge, 58, was assaulted by the left-wing radical in the German city of Mainz. Police stated that the assault was not reported by either the AfD or Mr. Junge until the day after the incident, and said that the details of the case and the perpetrators remained unclear.
On the same day federal chief Jörg Meuthen, from Baden-Württemberg, was assaulted at a speaking engagement in Hamburg. Left wing protestors in the crowd shouted at Mr. Meuthen whilst he delivered his speech. A 17-year-old male then approached Mr. Meuthen and threw a rock-hard frozen pie at the AfD chief’s head.
While the projectile hit Mr. Meuthen at a glancing blow, the AfD politician was still looked over by a doctor for potential injuries.
Following the attack Mr. Meuthen said: “I’m lucky that the offender didn’t really hit me, otherwise I would certainly be in hospital,” adding: “This cowardly and dangerous act is just another example of the innumerable attacks on our members and campaigners.” Police later confirmed that the 17-year-old attacker had ties to the leftist scene.
Attacks on members of the AfD have become common place in Germany as left-wing extremists and so-called anarchists have systematically targeted members of the party and its supporters. Though the party is used to protests and attacks at their conferences, many are disturbed by the rise in personal attacks, including arson of their cars, physical assault, and vandalism of businesses and homes.
The rise in the number of attacks is a result of a massive data leak of phone numbers and addresses of members following a hack by the “Antifa” group who routinely attack right-wing politicians and supporters.
In Austria, Antifa attacked a rally of the anti-mass migration hipster right Identitarian youth movement. The so-called “anti-fascists” threw bricks from rooftops at the rally goers below almost killing one German man who came out in support of the movement.
While German media and government concern themselves more with tackling hate speech online, German police warn of the growing threat of left-wing extremist violence. In Berlin alone, Antifa activists burned cars and smashed businesses for days after the authorities tried to remove them from a building they had been squatting in illegally for years.
The AfD face their next electoral challenge in the local elections in the German capital of Berlin in three weeks’ time. The party is progressively gaining support as more and more Germans have lost faith in the policies of the conservative Christian Democratic Union and the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel during the migrant crisis.