A freelance journalist working for the German newspaper Naumburger Tageblatt was stabbed by three youths, who also performed a Hitler salute when they attacked him.
Klaus-Peter Krummling, 59, was reportedly leaving a shop on Friday night in the city of Naumberg, in the eastern state of Saxony, when the three suspects accosted him. One reportedly spat at Krummling and showed him the middle finger. When Krummling then confronted the trio on a street outside the shop he was stabbed in the stomach by one of the youths, while another performed a Hitler salute.
“Only later in the car I saw that [my stomach] is wet…and everything is red,” Krummling told Naumburger Tageblatt, which first reported the story on Monday. “At home, I alerted the police.” Authorities are currently investigating the attack.
Since the end of August, Germany has dealt with a series of increasingly violent far-right incidents. On August 27th the death of a German man, allegedly at the hands of two migrants, in the city of Chemnitz sparked a series of violent demonstrations, where far-right demonstrators reportedly performed Hitler salutes and attacked anyone who did not look German. In the aftermath, it emerged that a German prison officer had leaked the arrest warrant containing the ethnicity of the two migrant suspects to far-right groups.
— IM Reul 👻 (@Korallenherz) August 27, 2018
Earlier this week, prosecutors in Chemnitz announced that they’d arrested six men on suspicion of forming a neo-Nazi terror cell called “Revolution Chemnitz”. The suspects, who were reportedly part of the “skinhead, hooligan and neo-Nazis” scenes allegedly aimed to procure semi-automatic weapons and “overthrow the rule of law and democracy.”
Chemnitz is also located in the eastern German state of Saxony, where the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party — whose representatives marched at the Chemnitz rallies — ranked in more than 30 percent of the votes in last year’s German elections. AfD, which describes Islam as a “danger to our state, our society, our values”, is now the main opposition party in the German parliament. The AfD is also competing in a crucial regional election in Baviaria later this month, and while it is unlikely to win in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s home turf, there has been an upward surge of support for the party.
This poster for the upcoming Bavarian elections is: Wow. pic.twitter.com/caUveFxfMk
— Moira Weigel (@moiragweigel) September 7, 2018
The German state has forcefully condemned the far-right violence over the last month. Angela Merkel said that there was “no excuse” for the “inhuman” violence, while Saxony state premier Michael Kretschmer described the Chemnitz demonstrations as “disgusting.” However, the string of incidents show that far-right ideas have permeated into mainstream German politics, and Merkel may lack the political capital to stamp it out completely. In July for instance, Merkel kowtowed to the AfD by taking an increasingly hardline turn against immigration.