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Police investigate after 'Nazi knifeman' threatens President

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Police investigate after 'Nazi knifeman' threatens President
Demonstrators protest against the visit of President Joachim Gauck. Photo: DPA.
08:32 CEST+02:00
German President Joachim Gauck was confronted by some aggressive right-wing extremists during an official weekend visit to Saxony, including one man carrying a knife.

Police are currently investigating two men who reportedly aggressively insulted President Gauck, one of whom was holding a knife and had a swastika tattoo, police said on Monday.

Gauck had been visiting the town of Sebnitz in Saxony for the German Hiking Day on Sunday when a group of around 200 protesters started verbally attacking him. They shouted things like “piss off” and “traitor to the people”.

A 30-year-old man with a swastika tattoo on his back came at the President, trying to throw some kind of brochure at him while carrying a knife. Dresden police are investigating the man for attempted aggravated assault as well as for violations of the Weapons Act and displaying known symbols of an unconstitutional organization.

Another person is also under investigation for resisting police, but no details about the suspect were given.

Nine demonstrators' names were also taken down by police and five people were sent away from the crowd. Police also used pepper spray on protesters.

Protests have been staged against Gauck in the past for his outspoken support for helping refugees who have fled to Germany from war-torn countries, in particular from Syria and Iraq. 

The President was also harassed during a visit in March to Bautzen, also in the eastern state of Saxony.

Gauck, who was elected in 2012, announced earlier this month that he would not seek a second term.

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