Alice Weidel, the co-leader of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, was recently escorted to a safe house along with her family after security officers learned of a credible planned attack on the politician.
“The weekend before last, there was a safety-related incident. Ms. Weidel and her family were taken from their private apartment to a safe place by security authorities because evidence had accumulated that pointed to an attack on her family,” said Weidel’s spokesman on Tuesday.
Weidel was notably absent from her party’s rally in Mödlareuth on Tuesday where she was expected to be the keynote speaker to mark German Unity Day, a national holiday in the country to commemorate German reunification in 1990.
The right-wing politician has refrained from making public appearances following the recent attack threat and instead addressed the supporting crowd via a pre-recorded video message in which she said, “I would love nothing more than to be with you today, but unfortunately I can’t.”
The rally was to be the highlight of the AfD’s election campaign in the German state of Bavaria ahead of voters heading to the polls on Sunday. Weidel called for the Bavarian electorate to give Prime Minister Markus Söder of the center-right Christian Social Union party a lesson at the ballot box.
Weidel has remained in a safe house for ten days and despite the serious threat against a major German politician, German state-run media is largely avoiding the topic entirely. For example, Germany’s Taggeschau has still not reported on the incident. There are now questions as to when Weidel will even be allowed back out in public.
The AfD has been gaining significant ground in national polling recently, hitting a record 23 percent back in August and maintaining this level of support. In some areas of the country, namely Saxony, the party tops the polls with 35 percent of the vote, double that of the federal government parties combined.
BAYERN | Sonntagsfrage Landtagswahl Forschungsgruppe Wahlen/ZDF— Deutschland Wählt (@Wahlen_DE) September 29, 2023
FW: 15% (-1)
AfD: 14% (+2)
Sonstige: 6% (-1)
Änderungen zur letzten Umfrage vom 08. September 2023
Verlauf: https://t.co/Jv3KCr1r52#ltwby pic.twitter.com/ye67MJcHmi
In two state elections to be held this weekend, Bavaria and Hesse, the party enjoys fewer supporters but could still spring an electoral surprise. In the former, the right-wing party sits at 14 percent in a recent poll published on Sept. 29, up two points from the same survey conducted at the start of September. While in Hessen, the AfD enjoys 16 percent.
Weidel isn’t the first AfD politician to be faced with the threat of violence to themselves or their family.
In January this year, a local AfD politician in the port city of Hamburg was savagely attacked by two men as he rode the bus home, suffering a cut lip, facial bruises, and several cracked teeth.
AfD politician suffers brutal assault on Hamburg bus in suspected politically motivated attack
Marc-Manuel Kunstmann, son of prominent German actress Doris Kunstmann, suffered a cut lip, facial bruises, and several cracked teeth during the attack
In May, AfD politician Bent Lund was nearly stabbed to death by individuals said to belong to a migrant clan in the Schlewswig-Flensburg district. After the gang failed to push Lund off the road with their SUV while he was driving his motorcycle, they attacked him at his front door where he was pepper-sprayed and stabbed several times. One blow penetrated eight centimeters into his body and just missed his heart.
And in August, members of the far-left Antifa activist group published the private addresses of candidates standing for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the German state of Hesse and encouraged protesters to “challenge” them in places where they feel safe.
“Together with you, we want to challenge them for the spaces in which they move as a matter of course, feel unmolested, and think they are safe. Whether in a restaurant, club, or workplace: Anyone who wants to exclude, lock up, or dispose of others because of a racist, anti-Semitic, sexist, and anti-queer worldview should not complain about resistance and exclusion,” the group said in a statement.