Alternative for Germany (AfD) candidate Stephan Schwarz was hospitalised after a brutal attack by Antifa militants in the town of Schorndorf over the weekend while campaigning for this year’s regional election, newspaper Rems Zeitung reports.
Schwarz, along with several other AfD activists, manned an information booth in the centre of the town on Saturday when they were approached by a group of around 15 to 20 people carrying hard-left Antifa flags and banners, the city prosecutor said.
The extremists dragged 36-year-old Stephan Schwarz to the ground and beat him while he was down. As he attempted to call the police, one of the attackers stole his phone. After the police arrived on the scene, Schwarz was taken to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with a concussion.
Schwarz is currently in the hospital. It was not the first attack he has had to endure. In the 2019 local elections, he was also the victim of violent attacks by Antifa.
In addition to him, the attack by around 20 left-wing extremists was also directed against the other two information booth helpers, including the AfD member of the Bundestag Jürgen Braun. He was unharmed. The AfD information booth was also destroyed in the attack.
Another helper, who is almost 80 years old, was maltreated with sticks and thrown to the ground. As if by a miracle, he was unharmed. The information booth and material were completely destroyed.
“It then happened very quickly,” Braun told Berlin weekly Junge Freiheit. “They came around the corner, shouted something and rushed towards our booth. That was a division of labour in the sense of organized crime.” The attackers had pulled up banners so that possible witnesses could not see the attack on the street.
“When the injured party, lying on the floor, tried to dial the emergency number with his smartphone, it was said to have been torn from his hands and stolen by a hitherto unknown person,” the police said.
The 36-year-old had to be hospitalized with several injuries. “We hope there are no internal injuries. Mr. Schwarz is still in the hospital and will be examined for a longer period of time,” said an AfD member.
“The police were not on site at this time,” Braun said in a disgust. “Agreements were not kept, because the presence of the police was actually discussed.” This has “created a climate of hatred against the AfD” in the city. Schorndorf is “also not a random place” because the left-wing extremist scene, IG Metall and those who are politically responsible all have very close ties.
Police later arrested five people in connection with the incident, three outside the town’s railway station and two others on a pedestrian footbridge. All five are said to be between the ages of 18 and 25 and are currently under investigation by the Stuttgart public prosecutor’s office. Schorndorf mayor Matthias Klopfer condemned the attack stating:
“Violence must never be a means of political debate: I am dismayed and appalled by the violent attack on the AfD candidate for the Landtag, Stephan Schwarz, and the destruction of the AfD’s information stand at today’s Schorndorf weekly market.”
The attack is just the latest on an AfD politician by far-left Antifa militants in recent years and comes two years after the brutal attack on MP Frank Magnitz, an attack that was described by some as an attempted assassination.
Antifa militants later took credit for the attack on the far-left web platform Indymedia, stating, “The anti-fascist spring Bremen announces that we wanted to free the AfD politician F. Magnitz of his fascist ideas on Monday at 18.00 clock local time.”
Last year, German security authorities sounded the alarm over growing levels of violence within Antifa circles, with a report claiming that members may be plotting attacks and assassinations on law enforcement officials and political opponents.