Neo-Nazis launch vicious attack on an art exhibition

Eight members of a far-right extremist organization attacked the opening of “Miss Painting” at the Kunsthaus Erfurt on Friday, the institution announced Sunday. In what sounds like a scene out of a Western, the accused individuals entered the exhibition, shouted a series of Neo-Nazi slogans while throwing beer bottles indiscriminately into the crowd, and brutally attacked members of the Kunsthaus’s staff. Exhibition curator Dirk Tecshner’s nose was broken during his beating. Meanwhile, an unidentified woman had her head smashed into a car hood as she was walking away from the scene with her child. Kunsthaus Erfurt director Monique Förster had a full beer bottle broken over her head, though specifics of any resulting injuries have not been reported.

Though the perpetrators were arrested, resulting in injuries to one officer, the police later freed them pending further investigation regarding the extent of the injuries sustained by exhibition-goers who had been hit by the bottles or harmed by other means. Authorities would only confirm that the eight arrested persons did have ties to an extreme-right cell operating in the region.

“Miss Painting,” on through August 25, features works by Katja BrinkmannFranziska HolsteinKristina Schuldt, and Anne Vorbeck. It is hard to fathom why the extremist group chose this particular exhibition to attack. One could point to Ms. Förster’s position as Kulturausschuss (Cultural Committee director) for the Erfurt segment of the Green Party as a possible motive — though, in that case, it is unclear why the indiscriminate violence targeted Teschner and the other exhibition goers. Regardless of motivations, the attack does nothing to help Erfurt, a small city in the center of Germany best known for the 2002 school shooting that left 17 dead.

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