AfD state MP hospitalized after glass ashtray attack by left-wing extremist in karoake bar

AfD MP Martin Schmidt suffered a laceration to his head and required stitches after the attack by a self-proclaimed left-winger who took issue with the right-wing group winding down in the karoake bar. The suspect was talked to by police but was not arrested

By Thomas Brooke
5 Min Read

A left-wing extremist is being investigated in Germany on suspicion of grievous bodily harm after a state lawmaker for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party was attacked with a glass ashtray in the northern German city of Schwerin.

The incident occurred in a Scottish-themed karaoke bar in the early hours of Friday morning where Martin Schmidt, a member of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania state parliament, was unwinding with parliamentary colleagues.

According to the police report, the group was insulted and harassed by the 52-year-old suspect. Schmidt told German news outlet Junge Freiheit his group had been called “fascists” by the man who demanded they leave the restaurant and gave them the finger.

“Everything was exuberant. My colleagues and I sang, and the atmosphere in the restaurant was happy and peaceful,” Schmidt explained.

“I sat down again because I thought the man had calmed down. But then he threw this fat glass ashtray at my head at close range. It hit me in the temple above the right ear.”

The politician suffered a laceration to the head and was given first aid by emergency responders before being transported to the hospital in an ambulance for further treatment. He required multiple stitches to stem the heavy flow of blood.

“The accused is said to have stated on site that he [attacked Schmidt] out of dislike and acted against the political stance of the injured party. He assigned himself to the political left-wing spectrum,” the police report read.

Schmidt thanked the emergency services for their quick response to the incident.

“With the heavy loss of blood, I don’t know how it would have turned out otherwise. I am very grateful for the first aid and left them my number to say thank you again,” he said.

The suspect was spoken to and identified on-site by police officers but was not arrested because “there were no grounds for detention,” according to the authorities. They confirmed an investigation is ongoing into “dangerous bodily harm and insult.”

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania AfD state chairman Leif-Erik Holm accused the media of fueling the rise in attacks against those affiliated with his party, accusing them of further escalating the “political violence from the left.”

He said the attack was “the result of the agitation and propaganda against our party that has been going on for months.

“I expect Prime Minister Schwesig and Interior Minister Pegel to condemn the act decisively. And I appeal to the political competition, but also to some media, to finally verbally disarm. The constant slander, defamation, and distorted images create a political climate that promotes exactly such acts,” he added.

A concerning rise in attacks against politicians across Germany

The attack came just hours after federal lawmakers denounced a concerning rise in attacks against politicians across the country.

“The attacks on members and sympathizers of all parties have taken on terrible proportions. We condemn them in their entirety,” Tino Chrupalla, the co-leader of the AfD told Bundestag colleagues.

“They must be investigated and the perpetrators punished without restriction. I am referring directly to all parties in this House and beyond. We must not make any distinctions,” he added.

There were 2,790 attacks on politicians of all political persuasions last year in Germany, and that figure is expected to rise amid a spate of high-profile attacks on candidates campaigning for next month’s European elections.

“Something has changed in this country,” said Lisa Paus, Germany’s federal minister for family affairs, during Thursday’s debate.

“Violence is becoming part of the political debate. Committed people and volunteers are being physically attacked, beaten, kicked, jostled, and spat at,” she added.

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