Disturbing footage has gone viral of left-wing extremists attacking staff and vandalizing stores stocking the fashion brand Thor Steinar, often accused of being a popular brand of the far-right, in what appears to be a series of coordinated attacks in cities across Germany.
The attacks took place on Saturday, and incidents ranging from suspicious activity to assault were reported in Erfurt, Dresden, Magdeburg, Schwerin, Halle, and Berlin.
In footage of the incident in Erfurt, four hooded left-wing extremists can be seen repeatedly hitting a female member of staff who is lying on the ground. They target he legs, feet, and head with a baton. In the end, they attacked the young mother with pepper spray, leaving the victim writhing in pain.
The woman described her experience to German newspaper Junge Freiheit, saying that masked individuals came into the store, at which point one of them dragged her to the ground, presumably a male, and began to swing his fists wildly at her. The second individual, likely a female, pulled a telescopic baton out of her bag and began to hit her across her body as she lay on the ground.
“My memory starts again the moment the attacker pulls out the baton,” says the victim on the phone. “I did not feel the pain, just the contempt, and brutality they showed. I did not hear any sounds. For me, the room was completely silent. At some point, I just thought, okay, you have a child, you have to survive this.
“I yelled very loudly for help, I thought the door was open and passers-by could hear me, but no one came.”
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There were reportedly two other individuals who came in behind and kept watch on the door while the beating ensued.
In the end, a third individual took out a can and pepper sprayed the victim in the face before they all left. The injured woman then called the police and reported she had been sprayed in the face with “acid.” She went to the hospital to treat her injuries.
She said that they were expressing pride that they beat a woman, adding that: “They are not men.”
Coordinated attacks across Germany
In Magdeburg, four perpetrators broke into a Thor Steinar shop and sprayed a foul-smelling liquid, reportedly butyric acid. They also hit a local saleswoman and her dog. Here, too, the perpetrators escaped.
In Halle, two attackers tried to open a locked door and could not enter the shop. Seemingly undeterred, they then sprayed the entire shop window and the facade with tar paint. In Schwerin, a man managed to break into the store and spray butyric acid inside while spraying the outside with tar paint, while in Berlin and Dresden, salespeople reported persons acting suspiciously and watching the shops, although no raids were reported in those cities.
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The simultaneity of the actions, the large number of perpetrators involved, and the brutality suggest it is a concerted action by the left-wing extremist scene. For years, the Thor Steinar brand has been worn by right-wing supporters, however, executives in the company have rejected any right-wing extremist sentiment for years. Despite the denials, the brand and people wearing the brand have remained a target for those on the left.
In October 2018, a woman identified as Lina E. was arrested with three other perpetrators for attacking a member of the right-wing scene, presumably because of the Thor Steinar clothing he was wearing. They punched, kicked, and pepper sprayed the victim, fracturing his knee cap. In May 2021, Lina E. was charged with membership of a criminal organization, and accused of assaulting people from 2018 to 2020..