German Politics

She Was Not Surprised?

I’m a little confused about a statement by the Chancellor’s spokesperson, Bela Anda, as reported by Netzeitung.

As you might have heard, yesterday, an unemployed teacher was able to approach Mr Schroeder during a campaign rally in Mannheim and slap him. The Chancellor was, according to Mr Anda, not seriously injured by the “attack” and the perpetrator, who, interestingly, is – and for technical reasons will remain – a candidate for the Social Democrats in next months local elections despite immediate cancellation of his party membership, was released from police custody later in the evening. He faces charges of assault and insult.

Physical attacks on politicians are, luckily, very rare in current German politics – so there it is always surprising to hear about them. Or maybe not – apparently, Mrs Schroeder has been expecting such reactions to her husband’s politics all along – or how else is one to interpret Mr Anda’s statement that she “had been startled but was not really surprised.”