Alternative for Germany Politician Stabbed in Knife Attack

An Alternative for Germany (AfD) politician was attacked with a box cutter in the city of Mannheim, days after another attack at a Pax Europa rally in the same city by an Afghan immigrant killed a police officer.

Unrest in Mannheim

The politician, Heinrich Koch, was attacked after he confronted the suspect for tearing down election posters. After the confrontation, Koch was slashed and suffered injuries to his head and stomach that required stitches. After the attack, police reported that they had arrested the 25-year-old suspected attacker, stating that the suspect showed clear signs of mental illness. They subsequently transported the suspect to a psychiatric hospital.

One of AfD’s leaders, Alice Weidel, announced the attack in a post on X, wishing Koch a fast recovery. In a separate post on X, Weidel shared a video likely taken by Koch of the incident, wherein the suspect appears with multiple posters under his left arm and a box cutter in his right hand. The only visible poster appears to be an AfD poster, which likely reads “Unser Land Zuerst!” (Our country first!).

“The attack on AfD member Heinrich Koch in the video: With their agitation against the opposition, the Ampel coalition and the media are creating a climate in which even extreme physical attacks are no longer shied away from. We condemn this violence and call on people to finally return to basic democratic practices,” Weidel stated in her post.

A row of AfD, Volt, and SPD posters with AfD’s “Unser Land Zuerst” poster visible in the center. (Photo – Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Critics have noted that Weidel’s post seemingly implied the attack against Koch was a political act against AfD. The police, however, have stated that there is currently no evidence to suggest the suspect knew Koch was an AfD politician or had attacked him for his political beliefs. Weidel was reportedly joined in this claim by another, unnamed, AfD politician who alleged the suspect was a left-wing extremist.

The Ampel coalition (traffic light coalition) is a coalition between the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP), and the Greens.

A String of Attacks

Attacks against politicians in Germany have been increasing ahead of the 2024 European Parliamentary elections, which are set to begin in Germany on Sunday, with at least 23 politicians having been assaulted since the start of 2024. In May, a SPD politician was beaten so badly by four teenagers while placing campaign posters that he alleged needed surgery in Dresden. These same attackers allegedly targeted a Green Party politician earlier that day.

Politicians have placed the blame largely on AfD, claiming the party’s use of divisive rhetoric has soured the political atmosphere, leading to attacks.

“If you have politicians that officially say, ‘let’s hunt them down’… words shape actions,” Niklas Nienass, a Greens politician and member of the European Parliament, stated.

Despite these claims, AfD has suffered more violent attacks than any other party, according to statistics from 2023 provided by Politico, with 86 attacks registered against AfD while the Greens suffered 62 attacks. Weidel has denounced those who use the attacks for political purposes, claiming they are “vile and irresponsible” for doing so.

Trent Barr
Trent Barr
Trent Barr is an Intelligence Analyst for Atlas News. He has years of experience and is trained in open source intelligence gathering. Trent Barr specializes in Latin American, German, and Vatican affairs while also holding an interest in Europe as a whole.


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