On Monday night, 66-year-old Frank Magnitz, a state chairman and MP of the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party was savagely beaten, seriously injured, and left for dead by three masked assailants in what’s being called a politically motivated assassination attempt.
Magnitz was reportedly attacked in Bremen’s Goetheplatz as he left a new year reception at Kunsthalle art museum. Police have said that the AfD politician was bludgeoned over the head repeatedly with an unknown object. He was left with a gruesome gash on his forehead along with severe bruising near his right eye.
Prominent members of the AfD have blamed anti-fascist activists for the assault, and have claimed that the violence was a result of “the everyday incitement against the AfD, for the media and politicians of the old parties are responsible.”
On Tuesday, when German police and members from the press spoke with Mr. Magnitz he stated that he had little memory of the events of Monday night.
This attack marks the second attack on the growing right-wing populist party in less than one week. Late last week, AfD’s regional office in Döbeln, a small town in East Germany, was damaged in a suspected bomb explosion. Fortunately, no one was injured in that incident.
German politicians and members of the government from all sides of the political spectrum have condemned the brutal attack.
The speaker of the German parliament, Wolfgang Schäuble, stated, “Violence cannot and should never be a means of political debate. Political debate must be conducted in such a way that it can not give rise to hatred or aggravation, still less violence.”
Jörg Meuthen, the AfD party spokesman, tweeted a photo of Mr. Magnitz lying in his hospital bed unconscious with a gaping head wound.
Another spokesman for the party says that Magnitz remains hospitalized and in serious condition.
In 2017, Alternative for Germany became the first national populist party to enter the national parliament (Bundestag) since the 1960s. The party now occupies 94 seats in the Bundestag and has representatives in every state parliament in the country. The AfD now represents the third largest party in Germany.
Many consider the AfD as a natural ally of our President Donald Trump. They were among the first German parties to congratulate Trump after his 2016 presidential election victory. Like Trump, the AfD platform stresses the need for secure borders, a return to traditional values, and stands up for the well-being of native working class citizens.
Look for AfD to make gains in the European Parliament elections in May of 2019.