German SDP leader in hospital after being attacked during campaign

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German SDP leader in hospital after being attacked during campaign

A German politician was attacked and seriously injured by four assailants while putting up campaign posters in the eastern German city of Dresden late on Friday evening, according to police.

Matthias Ecke, 41, is a member of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and a current lawmaker in the European Parliament.

Ecke was taken to hospital for treatment following the attack and will require surgery. Ecke is the SPD's top candidate for the upcoming European Parliament elections in the eastern German state of Saxony.

Police said they have not identified the attackers. A special state violent crime task force has taken over the investigation into the attack, according to Saxony's Interior Ministry.

News of the attack prompted outraged reactions from politicians from several of Germany's political parties, who decried the violence.

Minutes before Ecke was attacked on Friday, according to the police, a group of four unidentified assailants had attacked a 28-year-old Green Party campaign worker while he was putting up posters in the same part of Dresden.

The perpetrators punched and kicked him, and the 28-year-old was also injured.

Due to similar descriptions of the attackers and the proximity of the attacks in both time and location, investigators believe that the same group carried out both assaults.

The SPD party organization in Saxony said that other campaign teams placing posters had faced insults and attempts at intimidation and that posters had been destroyed.

The attack is an "unmistakable alarm signal to all people in this country," the co-chairs of the SPD in Saxony, Henning Homann and Kathrin Michel, said in a statement.

"The series of attacks by thugs on poster teams of democratic parties is an attack on the foundations of our democracy. The violent action and intimidation of democrats is the tool of fascists."

The SPD's leaders in Saxony blamed the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and other right-wing extremist groups for sowing hatred against democratic politicians and warned that right-wing supporters "are now completely uninhibited" and see democratic politicians as "fair game."

German democracy "must not tolerate this," the SPD leaders said. "And it is also clear that we will not be silenced!"

Saxony's state premier, Michael Kretschmer of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), warned that political street violence was a reminder of the darkest periods in German history.

"It is shocking and an attack on our democratic values, the attack on SPD top candidate Matthias Ecke appals me deeply and cannot be justified by anything," Kretschmer said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

The party's national co-chairs, Saskia Esken and Lars Klingbeil, described Ecke's beating as an "insidious attack" on the entire party and all campaign workers "who passionately stand up for our democracy and the rule of law."

"The perpetrators want to intimidate us as representatives of a democratic society. But they will never succeed," Esken and Klingbein said in a statement on Saturday.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, also a member of the SPD, said that if authorities confirm that the attack on Ecke was politically motivated, "then this serious act of violence is also a serious attack on democracy."

There have also been several violent incidents during election campaigns across Germany, most recently on Thursday evening in the western German city of Essen, where the Green Party member of parliament Kai Gehring and his party colleague Rolf Fliss were attacked after a party event.


  1. Emily Smith says

    A despicable act of violence. I hope for a swift recovery for Matthias Ecke and stand against any form of aggression in politics or any other context. It’s essential to maintain a respectful and peaceful democratic environment.

  2. ErikaSmith82 says

    Does the article mention if the perpetrators have been apprehended and if there is a motive behind the attacks?

    1. JohnDoe45 says

      As stated in the article, police have not yet identified the attackers. The investigation is ongoing, and a special state violent crime task force is handling the case. The motives behind the attacks remain unknown at this time.

  3. Emily92 says

    It’s truly saddening to hear about the violent attack on Matthias Ecke and the Green Party campaign worker. Violence has no place in our society, especially when it targets individuals who are simply exercising their democratic rights. Wishing both victims a swift recovery and hoping for a thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.

  4. EmilySmith89 says

    Absolutely shocking news. Violence has no place in politics or anywhere else. Wishing Matthias Ecke a swift recovery and hoping the perpetrators are brought to justice soon.

  5. EmilyJohnson says

    It’s truly shocking to hear about the violence against politicians during the campaign. I wish Matthias Ecke and the Green Party campaign worker a speedy recovery. This kind of aggression has no place in our society.

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