After the attack on Berlin Economics Senator Franziska Giffey (SPD), the 74-year-old suspect was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. The Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office announced early on Wednesday evening in the online service The man is said to have attacked Giffey in a library on Tuesday afternoon with a bag containing hard contents.

The 74-year-old is already known to the police and there are findings in the area of ​​hate crime, it said. “However, investigations into the suspect’s motive behind yesterday’s attack are ongoing.” The accused should be brought before an investigating judge on Wednesday. The man’s apartment was searched.

Giffey was attacked on Tuesday afternoon in a library in the Rudow district in southern Berlin. Giffey said on Instagram on Wednesday that she had spoken to the head of the library. “Concentrating on this conversation, I suddenly felt a hard blow to my head and neck from behind. A man had attacked me with a bag filled with hard contents.”

The police announced on Wednesday night that Giffey had “briefly gone to hospital for outpatient treatment of headaches and neck pain.” The attacker left after the crime. The State Security Criminal Police Office, which is responsible for political crimes, is investigating.

Giffey further wrote that the library in the Neukölln district was a very special place for her because of her old political connections and that she had always supported it. “I would never have thought it possible that I would be attacked there.” And further: “After the first shock, I can say I’m fine.” She will continue her work undeterred on Wednesday. “Nevertheless, I am concerned and shocked by the increasing ‘fair game culture’ in which people who are politically active and committed in our country are increasingly exposed to seemingly justified and acceptable attacks.”

The crime scene is in Giffey’s constituency. In Neukölln she was district mayor, then became federal family minister. After her doctorate was revoked, she resigned in 2021 and returned to state politics, where she was governing mayor until 2023.

Berlin Senator for the Interior Iris Spranger (SPD) expressed her horror after the attack on her party colleague. “I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on Franziska Giffey and other politicians or election workers, all of whom are committed to a contentious democracy,” wrote Spranger on the X platform, formerly Twitter. “The state and federal police are doing everything they can to protect politicians. The Conference of Interior Ministers agreed at the special meeting yesterday that democracy is more effective against incitement

At their special meeting on Tuesday, the interior ministers spoke out in favor of better protection for politically active people and also in favor of tightening criminal law. The background was the recent attacks on politicians and volunteers during the election campaign for the European elections on June 9th.

On Friday last week, SPD politician Matthias Ecke was beaten up by four young men aged 17 and 18 in Dresden. The top candidate for the European elections in Saxony wanted to put up election posters when the perpetrators unexpectedly attacked him. The Saxony State Criminal Police Office attributes at least one of them to the right-wing spectrum. Shortly before the attack on Ecke, according to police, the same group had probably injured a Green campaign worker nearby.

The next attack followed in Dresden on Tuesday evening: a 47-year-old Green politician was attacked by two people while hanging up election posters. Shortly afterwards, police officers identified a 24-year-old and a 34-year-old as suspects, as the Dresden Police Department announced. A police spokesman initially did not want to say who the person attacked was.

It was said that the male attacker pushed the politician aside around 6:50 p.m., insulted and threatened her. He is also said to have torn down two election posters. According to the information, the 24-year-old woman came over and spat on the politician, who was accompanied by helpers and a filming team. The police were able to find the two in the immediate vicinity of the crime scene. The 34-year-old German is being investigated for bodily harm, threats, insults and damage to property and the 24-year-old German is being investigated for bodily harm.

Because the two had previously been part of a group that was said to have chanted the Hitler salute, they are also being investigated for using the symbols of unconstitutional organizations. Both suspects remained at large, the police spokesman said.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) and the conference of interior ministers of the federal states called for an end to violence and agitation at their video conference on Tuesday. In their decision, the department heads condemned “in the strongest possible terms any attacks on politically active people who are committed to living democracy in Germany and who deserve the highest recognition, respect and protection for this.” The switch was scheduled after the attack on the SPD politician Ecke.

Faeser described the attack on Ecke on Tuesday evening in the ARD “Tagesthemen” as a turning point. She will lobby Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) to tighten criminal law. Apart from that, faster judicial procedures are also needed in order to quickly show perpetrators the limits. It is also important that all crimes are reported and consistently prosecuted. The interior ministers also called on the Conference of Justice Ministers to examine whether “the deliberate spread of disinformation with the aim of influencing elections or escalating violence constitutes injustice worthy of punishment.”

According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, a significant increase in crimes against elected officials was observed last year. A total of 2,710 such crimes were recorded – 53 percent more than in the previous year.

Note: This post has been updated several times.