Q: On Sunday [July 12] in the Berlin-Friedrichshain neighborhood [a formerly East Berlin district with a strong left, antifascist, punk, alternative, international, and hipster scene] there was a brutal attack from Neo-Nazis. What happened precisely?
A: Sunday morning around 6 o´clock, near the Frankfurter Allee subway station, Neo-Nazis first attacked leftists and then also randomly a group of passerby, who luckily were able to flee. As an uninvolved person crossed by, the Neo-Nazis attacked him until he lost consciousness. One of the Nazis dragged him onto the sidewalk, laid his face on the curb and kicked him in the back of the head with all of his might.
The victim is in the hospital in the intensive care unit with major injuries including cerebral bleeding. The Berlin police, who are not known for their sensibility to Right-wing attacks, said it is a wonder that the victim even survived. The four Nazis who were still at the crime scene, were arrested and remain in police custody.
Q: In which context do you see the attack?
A: The attack makes us first of all furious and shows us how important antifascist defense is precisely on these focal points like the subway station Frankfurter Allee. We´re reminded of the attempted murder there in March of last year, as a racist shoved a black person in front of the subway train. Also, guests of the club “Jeton” have for years been attacking alternative people, migrants, as well as gays and lesbians. The attacks occur mostly spontaneously and with very serious brutality. Also with the opening of the Thor-Steinar-Laden [http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,587746,00.html a neo-Nazi clothing store and hub] in the Petersburger Straße [also in Friedrichshain] there is an ever-increasing number of Neo-Nazis strolling through the neighborhood.
Q: Berlins Senator Erhart Körting (Social Democratic Party) condemned the act. He said, it shows, where it can lead, when violence is brought to a political dispute…
A: With his statement, Körting tried to relativize the Neo-Nazi attack and to equate it with antifascist engagement. With it, he suggested and constructed a peaceful societal middle, which simply doesn´t exist. The fact is, if the leftists, who were attacked first by the Nazis, had rendered the latter unable to act, this grave attack would have been prevented.