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German state politicians receive death threats

October 21, 2019

Death threats have been sent to Green lawmaker Dirk Adams and to an ally of Angela Merkel, Mike Mohring, in the eastern state of Thuringia ahead of elections. At least one threat ended with "Heil Hitler."

Pair of jack-booted feet
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/B. Thissen

The parliamentary leader of Thuringia's Green party, Dirk Adams, on Monday became the second top politician in the eastern German state to say he had recently received a death threat from suspected neo-Nazi extremists, shortly before an election is due to take place.

Adams said the threat, sent by email on Friday, was purportedly from a group calling itself the "Cyber-Reichswehr" and had warned him that he would face a knife or car bomb attack if he did not leave his party.

Mike Mohring, the parliamentary leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) in Thuringia, had previously announced that he had been sent a threatening email on Saturday, on top of other such messages he has received in the past.

Read more: Anti-Semitism rising in Germany, survey finds

Mike Mohring
Mohring has received other death threats in the pastImage: picture alliance/dpa/Michael Reichel

'Leftist and ecological pussies'

Mohring said the threat directed at him had concluded with the words "Sieg Heil and Heil Hitler" and was signed by the "Musicians of the State Coup Orchestra," self-described as a "group of globally connected right-wing extremists."

Mohring said the email had also threatened him with a knife attack like the one that seriously wounded to-be Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker in October 2015, which was carried out by a man motivated by far-right views.

"This is a warning and there will not be a second one," the email to Mohring read. "This applies to all the leftist and ecological pussies out there; we will enslave you first and then exterminate you."

Police said he had been put under protection.

Both politicians are standing as their parties' top candidates in Saturday's election.

Read more: German groups combating far-right extremism face uncertain future

Map of Thuringia Erfurt
Image: DW

Growing threat

 The threats to the two men come as police and intelligence agencies are put under growing pressure to combat far-right extremism in Germany as the public menace it represents becomes increasingly apparent.

Earlier this month, a suspected anti-Semitic neo-Nazi extremist attempted to storm a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle, shooting dead two people during an ensuing rampage. In June, the pro-immigration Christian Democrat Walter Lübcke was also shot and killed by a neo-Nazi extremist.

Opinion polls indicate that the CDU will be vying with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) for second place in the Thuringia election, with the Left party likely to continue ruling in the state.

The anti-immigration AfD has been criticized by numerous politicians across the political spectrum for fostering an atmosphere of hate that encourages political violence. The party made strong gains in the eastern states of Brandenburg and Saxony in September elections.

Read more: AfD: What you need to know about Germany's far-right party

To the point: Halle terror attack: How deadly is Germany's far right?

tj/ng (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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