Thursday, 1 June 2017

Uwe Junge, AfD regional head, photographed last year after being assaulted by leftists
In Germany, AfD members and supporters are subject to harassment and assault. Even those who simply provide them with commercial services are attacked. Recently, a landlord had to close down his pub when he was subjected to constant harassment after allowing the AfD to host an event there (see article). Most establishment politicians seem to wink at this violence and harassment.

Here, in an open letter to a leading local politician, the wife of an AfD politician (who was physically assaulted last year, see photo) expresses her indignation about the silent complicity of officials in this political violence.

Mr President,

With a beating heart and unspeakable rage I read in the Allgemeinen Zeitung this weekend that you branded Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) "really dangerous". As a member of a democratic party and wife of AfD regional head Uwe Junge, I can no longer remain silent.

I have had enough of being insulted by you and the likes of you because I am an AfD member. Citizens who want to visit AfD events are shoved and hit; AfD politicians are beaten up, their cars and houses are sprayed with paint, windows are smashed, their houses are even set on fire. The private addresses of AfD members are published and their children are isolated in school, intimidated and harassed. Publicans who make their premises available for AfD events are threatened and their property is damaged. It is not the AfD that is dangerous, but people like you, Mr. Hering. People who approve of or support such conduct, among them high representatives of the church and officials of the SPD [Socialist Party], the Greens, the Left and the trade unions.

AfD members and voters do not set fire to cars, do not break jaws and do not damage property. We talk about what bothers us and what we want to do better. But there is never any violence from us. 

The arson attack on my car and our house as well as the attack on my husband only elicited a tired telephone call from you and your colleagues. What about taking a public position or discussing it in parliament? Nothing. The obligatory flowers sent to the hospital with well-wishes for my husband - none.

Instead, with your statements - and your party colleague Mr. Schweitzer is just as bad - you fire up the left-wing extremist activists. You pour oil on the fire, instead of sounding the alarm, because you do not want to see that in our country there is already a fire on every street corner. How long will you go on doing this? What needs to happen before you and the parliament distance yourselves from these politically-motivated crimes? When do you plan to publicly express your dismay? Do people need to die or be seriously injured first? If this happens, you will have been complicit. Your president Dreyer will then no longer be able to laugh it off.

Do you know what it's like when you no longer feel safe in your own home? When you can no longer go out in public with your friends and family because you don't want to expose them to the danger of being seen with AfD members? What have we AfD members done to expose ourselves to such hostilities? We only have different political convictions! And this in Germany, not in a dictatorship!

Perhaps it is not fitting when the wife of an AfD politician expresses herself so directly. But I am deeply affected. I pay for this day after day. You contribute to the fact that our life is taken away from us. I will no longer accept your ostracising behaviour in silence. If we should meet one another, please do not extend your hand to me.

Claudia Junge, Mertloch

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