Beatrix von Storch, a lawmaker from the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, was attacked and smeared with dog excrement during a political event in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The incident took place at a forum in the town of Daun, where a 35-year-old man approached von Storch and soiled her with dog feces under the guise of wanting to take a picture with her. The assailant was immediately apprehended by the police, although he briefly resisted being restrained.
In response to the attack, von Storch, who is also the deputy leader of the AfD, condemned the incident in a video message posted on social media. She expressed her disgust and stated that while the AfD fights with arguments, its opponents resort to despicable means such as using feces. She vowed that the party would continue to fight unwaveringly for the renewal of Germany’s spirit and morality.
Critics of the AfD have labeled the party as far-right and bigoted due to its opposition to mass immigration. President Frank-Walter Steinmeier recently hinted that the country might need to ban the AfD to protect German democracy. The German Institute for Human Rights also argued that the party is hostile to the country’s constitution and therefore could legally be barred from participating in elections.
Steinmeier expressed concern that enemies of democracy could gain enough power to erode German freedoms and brutalize society. He called on the German people to stand up against those who despise democracy and put them back in their place, an apparent reference to the AfD.
German intelligence officials have also suggested that AfD members are becoming more extreme. However, the party continues to enjoy support from more than one in five German voters, making it the second-largest party after the ruling CDU/CSU coalition.
During the event in Daun, protestors outnumbered AfD participants by a margin of approximately 100-125 to 80-85. Von Storch filed a complaint seeking prosecution of her attacker. The AfD deputy chief has been a member of the Bundestag parliament since 2017.
This is not the first time von Storch has faced controversy. Her Twitter account was briefly suspended in January 2018 after she made derogatory comments about police in Cologne posting a New Year’s greeting in Arabic. Her remarks sparked outrage as she seemed to imply a connection between the greeting and the sexual assaults that occurred in Cologne during New Year’s Eve festivities in 2015.
In conclusion, the attack on Beatrix von Storch during a political event in Rhineland-Palatinate has sparked condemnation and renewed scrutiny of the AfD party. Despite criticism and controversies, the party continues to have significant support among German voters. The incident highlights the polarizing nature of German politics and the challenges faced in maintaining democratic values.