Recently, The European Conservative had the opportunity to speak with Petr Bystron, a German MP representing Bavaria for the anti-establishment Alternative für Deutschland party (AfD), where he currently holds its foreign affairs portfolio. The interview was conducted by editorial board member Benjamin Harnwell. It has been edited for clarity and length.
The European Conservative: Firstly, congratulations on your re-election.
Petr Bystron: Thank you! But in the case of the AfD, you should not say "congratulations." You should rather say, "My heartfelt sympathies." To be elected for the AfD is like when you were in the Middle Ages storming a castle — you just get hot oil, stones and s*** poured over your head.
EC: That's pretty much the populist experience of elections these days. I want to start with the violent mob that was rampaging outside of your family home recently. I've seen some of the photos, and it does look absolutely horrific. Could you describe what happened?
Petr Bystron: First of all, this was at my private home, where I've been living for more than 20 years. Secondly, it's not the first time that I have been attacked here.
This is quite the daily agenda in Germany now. The first time this sort of thing happened to me was in 2017, when the window of my car was smashed at night. That same year, someone threw paint over my house. More disturbingly, someone figured out the whole route my son — who was then 8 years old — took from my house to his school and covered it with Antifa stickers.
The message was clear: "We know where you live. We know where your kids are going to school." These things are happening every other day.
EC: So, these acts of intimidation are not only against you, but also against your children?
Petr Bystron: Yes, of course. Just look at the videos of this protest. There was a violent mob, probably drawn from across Europe. These people are the same people who have thrown concrete bricks at policemen, who are part of militant Antifa. They are really violent. They threw paint against our house, they ignited small bombs, they fought with the police in front of our house. The scene was like a civil war — like something from a war zone.
EC: Am I right in saying that there were nearly a thousand protesters?
Petr Bystron: Yes.
EC: So, that's a seriously coordinated event, then.
Petr Bystron: Yes, of course, they were coordinated. But you know, I'm not blaming the Antifa. They are just doing their "job." I'm blaming the official authorities. It was an officially permitted demonstration of leftist extremists — and they were allowed to go through a residential area.
The usual way for such a big demonstration to be conducted is to hold it some distance further away because there are special security measures that come into play where a member of Parliament lives. Demonstrations are not legally allowed on these roads. But in this case, the authorities allowed it knowing that I live there. It was on purpose. The people who allowed this are to blame.
EC: Has anybody from the security services reached out to you to apologize?
Petr Bystron: Absolutely not. The scandal is that, two weeks beforehand, there was some alert within the federal secret police, and they wrote me two emails saying I might be in danger and therefore shouldn't attend some election campaign rallies. They even sent two policemen some 650 kilometers from Berlin to Munich just to accompany me to a few meetings because there was obviously a concrete danger. They had some information that militant Antifa is planning something against me.
Despite the police knowing that my family and I are in danger, the authorities still allowed this mob to come down the street in front of my house. This shows just how highly politically coordinated the oppression is against opposition in Germany.
It's not about some spontaneous kids running around — it's about systematic oppression of opposition.
EC: Encouraged by the state?
Petr Bystron: Yes, of course, by the state. And this is not the only occasion. In the summer, there was a really big demonstration in Berlin against the COVID measures of the government. They were absolutely friendly. The people were wearing pictures of Mahatma Gandhi and peace signs — a lot of them were former voters of Greens, of the Left. They used to be in the peace movement in the '80s. And many of them were physically beaten by the police, really heavily. The authorities said, "Yes, well, because they were not wearing masks and they didn't observe social distancing."
And at that exact same place, just one week later, there was a big demonstration in favor of LGBT supporters with 60,000 people, a crowd very close together, not wearing masks, not observing social distancing — but with the difference that this protest was not against the government. And this time, the police did nothing, absolutely nothing. They just escorted the demonstrators.
Once again, what we see is a really heavy oppression of everything that is in opposition to the government — and the government using force, using special police forces to beat people — even kids, old people, women — sitting peacefully on the ground. We have all the videos. Anyone can see everything that happened.
It went so far that even a member of the United Nations Commission for Human Rights said he is alarmed about it and [has] started to collect all the facts.
Read the rest at The European Conservative.