Politicians from the right-wing party have suffered the most physical assaults—not that German mainstream media are reporting this.

A brutal attack on a German leftist politician—that left the victim hospitalised—has turned into a witch hunt against the country’s second most popular party, the anti-globalist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). However, statistics reveal that while the AfD is being singled out for “threatening democracy,” it is members of the right-wing party that have suffered the most physical harm.

Demonstrations were held in Berlin and Dresden on Sunday, May 5th to protest right-wing extremism and political violence, following an attack on Friday on a Social Democrat (SPD) Member of the European Parliament. Verbal abuse and physical assaults against campaigning politicians have become commonplace on German streets.

Matthias Ecke, aged 41, was hanging up posters in Dresden ahead of June’s European parliamentary elections when he was physically assaulted by four young men in a horrendous attack: his cheekbone was fractured, an eye socket damaged, and he suffered cuts and bruises to his face. Ecke is now recovering well following surgery on Sunday. Prior to this assault, the youths are believed to have beaten a Green Party staffer who was also hanging campaign posters in the same neighbourhood.

Obwohl die Hintergründe der Gewalttat auf den SPD-Politiker Matthias Ecke nicht bekannt sind, fanden am Sonntag Kundgebungen gegen die AfD statt. Nur einige Tausend erschienen bundesweit. Dort wurde die AfD u.a. als „Nazi-Partei“ diffamiert.https://t.co/xYILJvr7iR

— Apollo News (@apollo_news_de) May 6, 2024

Party leaders from across the political spectrum condemned the attack, immediately blaming “far-right” extremists for the assault, and the opposition right-wing AfD party for sowing discord in society. Though the motives of the four perpetrators—aged between 17 and 18—are currently not known, the fact that they were wearing black was enough to convince mainstream parties and the media that they are somehow connected to the AfD.

Although the attack on Matthias Ecke was one of the most severe in recent times, politicians are continuously being verbally harassed and physically assaulted in Germany, and AfD members have had it the worst—a fact that mainstream media is unwilling to share.

Authorities recently revealed that there were 86 instances last year of AfD politicians being physically assaulted. The Greens finished second with 62 such cases. Mainstream media have instead been focusing on another number: 2,790, which represents all instances of abuse carried out against politicians, including physical and verbal abuse—such as threats, insults, and slander. In this broader category, Green politicians were on the receiving end of these assaults most of the time, in 947 cases, while AfD members “only” had to suffer such abuse 236 times last year.

The AfD is projected to finish in second place at the European elections, with 17-18% of the votes, and is expected to be the strongest party in three regional elections in the Eastern states of Brandenburg, Saxony, and Thuringia this autumn, possibly winning a third of all seats. The party’s rise—triggered by the leftist government’s poor handling of the cost-of-living, energy and migration crises, and the general disenchantment with mainstream parties—has alarmed the country’s political elite, which is attempting to politically cripple and even ban the party.

The governing Social Democrats’ co-chair Saskia Esken—who last week in an interview equated AfD with chief Nazi propagandist Joseph Göbbels—said “far-right” parties prompting discontent and contempt for democracy was to blame for a recent spate of verbal and physical attacks on politicians. 

„Vergleichen Sie jetzt die AfD mit Goebbels?“

Saskia Esken: „Ja!“ pic.twitter.com/XO19RWOuV2

— Argo Nerd (@argonerd) May 2, 2024

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) also denounced the “threat” posed by “far-right” political violence, saying such attacks result from “the atmosphere created by the discourse of pitting people against each other.” Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has called for a meeting on Tuesday with her state-level colleagues to discuss the rise of political violence across Germany. The heads of the SPD in Saxony issued a statement in which they blamed the AfD, saying “these people and their supporters bear responsibility for what is happening in this country.”

Conservative publication Apollo News also points out the hypocrisy of media coverage involving recent attacks. While the assault on Matthias Ecke has garnered international media attention and has been dominating the headlines in Germany for days, a Saturday attack on local AfD politician Holger Kühnlenz—who was punched in the face—hardly received any attention at all, and was only mentioned in the regional news section of the public news service Tagesschau’s website.

Den Angriff auf den AFD Politiker Holger Kühnlenz findet man bei der Tagesschau unter Regional Niedersachsen. Der Angriff auf den SPD Politiker Matthias Ecke ist das Topthema im Bereich Innenpolitik. pic.twitter.com/ZIP25cJd3l

— ᴘᴇᴛʀ ʙʏsᴛʀᴏɴ (@PetrBystronAfD) May 5, 2024

Last week, two Greens deputies were also physically attacked while campaigning in Essen in western Germany, but the events were quickly hushed upalong with the disclosure of the alleged perpetrator’s Arabic origin.

Last year’s stabbing of AfD leader Tino Chrupalla with a hypodermic syringe was met with callousness and malice from leftist politicians, who insinuated that Chrupalla had staged the incident.

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