Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

German far-right AfD MP badly hurt in Bremen attack

German far-right AfD MP badly hurt in Bremen attack

Police are searching for men, who knocked down and beat the leader of Bremen's branch of the conservative Alternative for Germany, lawmaker Frank Magnitz, following a recent string of attacks against his party in the Eastern state of Saxony, including a blast outside their office in Doebeln last week.

The location of the attack.

Speaking from hospital on Tuesday, Mr Magnitz said he had little memory of what happened.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, a centre-left politician who has been a strong critic of AfD, tweeted that "violence must never be a means of political confrontation - no matter against whom or what the motives are".

Mr Magnitz, 66, had just left a new year reception in Bremen's Kunsthalle art museum when he was attacked in the city's Goetheplatz as he walked to a central auto park.

"Anyone who carries out such a crime must be punished". It views the country's established political parties with contempt, and the feeling is mutual.

AfD entered the national parliament (Bundestag) for the first time past year with 94 seats and now has representatives in every German state parliament.

The assault against the AfD lawmaker came hot on the heels of a series of attack on the party offices in Saxony and less than a week after an explosion in front of its seat in Dobeln there.

While they have won fans in some quarters and are projected to make gains in European elections in May as well as three regional polls in Germany's former communist east this year, they have also sparked furore and become a target of attack. Three suspects were detained.

The AfD say they keep track of attacks against their officers, members, and their homes, and gave statistics to Breitbart London which showed that attacks have risen from only four in 2014 to well over 600 in 2017.

Since mid-December, German police have recorded eight attacks against AfD offices.

AfD's party leaders Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel called Magnitz's assault a "result of the incitement to hatred by politicians and media against us".

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier wrote to Magnitz to express his "consternation" over the attack. He wished Magnitz a quick recovery.

That was echoed by other politicians from established parties, including prominent Green party politician Cem Ozdemir, who said AfD must be countered by legal means, not violence.

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