Police are investigating Tuesday a brazen attack on a German political leader who was stabbed in a restaurant with a 12-inch knife.
Andreas Hollstein, the mayor of Altena, was rushed to the hospital after he was attacked at a kebab shop Monday, officials said. He received minor injuries to his throat and was ultimately released. A man who helped Hollstein in the attack was also hurt.
The suspect asked Hollstein if he was the Altena mayor before attacking.
Hollstein, a pro-refugee advocate and member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said he had received threats, including “anonymous emails soaked in hate.”
“I was worried about my life,” Hollstein said after the stabbing. “My interest is in looking after the town’s interests. That’s what drives me on,” he said. “At the moment I’m just carrying on.”
Atlena is a German town that’s taken in a large influx of immigrants over the last two years.
Officials said investigators believe the assault may have been politically motivated.
Merkel said she was “horrified” by the stabbing, and spokesman Steffen Seibert tweeted the German leader was “relieved” that Hollstein survived.
German Federal Minister Heiko Mass said Germans should “never allow people to be attacked just because they help others.”
“There must be no room in our country for hatred and violence,” he tweeted.
By Sara Shayanian