A summer evening in Berlin’s Tiergarten, the SPD parliamentary group is celebrating with hundreds of guests and Chancellor Scholz. But for several women, the party becomes a bad experience.

After an alleged knockout drop attack at the summer party of the SPD parliamentary group, the Berlin criminal police are investigating because of dangerous bodily harm. The police said a total of five people had been registered by Saturday morning.

First, a 21-year-old woman complained of feeling unwell, dizziness and memory loss after attending the party festival near the Chancellery. According to the police, the woman ate and drank at the party with around 1,000 guests in the afternoon and evening on Wednesday, but did not consume any alcohol. From around 9.30 p.m. she is said to have become unwell and dizzy. The morning after, she couldn’t remember the evening. She was examined at the hospital and called the police.

According to their own statements, this prompted a blood test and a toxicological examination. A police spokeswoman said the results were not yet available. By Saturday morning, the police had become aware of four other cases with similar symptoms. Investigated against unknown.

“A monstrous event”

The SPD had already expressed shock on Friday. “This is an outrageous event, which we immediately reported to the Bundestag police,” said the SPD parliamentary group leader Mathias Martin in a letter to MPs and employees. He recommended that those affected file a police report. The “Tagesspiegel” quoted from an internal party chat in which eight people were affected.

On Saturday, a spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group replied to the question of whether the women concerned might have been victims of other crimes such as theft: “We are not aware of any other crimes.” The police spokeswoman also said that there was no knowledge of other crimes, including any sexual assaults.

SPD leader Lars Klingbeil expressed the hope that the perpetrator or perpetrators would be identified and brought to justice. As the organizer of the festival, the parliamentary group leadership is cooperating with the security authorities, Klingbeil told the Welt television station. “We will now evaluate all the information that is available.” Klingbeil was shocked by the alleged incidents. “It makes me angry that something like this could happen at an SPD event.”

So-called knockout drops are drugs that sedate or render victims defenseless and cause memory loss. The police repeatedly warn of criminals who mix the substances in drinks at parties or in clubs and steal from or sexually abuse victims. Investigations are considered difficult because victims often do not remember.

Olaf Scholz also present at the summer festival

In addition to SPD MPs and their employees, Chancellor Olaf Scholz also came to the summer party on Wednesday. Because of the corona pandemic, there were significantly fewer guests than usual in the past.

The SPD member of the Bundestag Ariane FAscher was at the festival. She told the “Märkische Oderzeitung”: “I didn’t notice anything on site. None of my employees noticed anything either.” She wishes that the incident would be “transparently and relentlessly” cleared up. “Such a festival takes place in a fairly familiar setting. It’s all the more frightening when you no longer feel safe.”