COLOGNE, Germany -- A group has claimed credit for an attack on the home of German star Til Schweiger (Inglourious Basterds), saying they doused his Hamburg villa in white paint and set his girlfriend's car on fire to protest the actor's support of German troops in Afghanistan.
Police in Hamburg are investigating the attack, which occurred this week. In addition to throwing paint at the home of the actor/director, unidentified persons set fire to a Mini Cooper reported to belong to his girlfriend Svenja Holtmann. Schweiger and Holtmann, who were on vacation when the attack occurred, have declined to comment.
In an open letter to a local newspaper, a group calling themselves Tatortverunreiniger_innen -- a play on the name of popular German TV series in which Schweiger plays a Hamburg detective -- said the attack was in protest of the Schweiger-helmed film Guardians. In the action drama, the lead character (also played by Schweiger) is a German army veteran who served in Afghanistan.
Schweiger has made several public statements in support of German soldiers stationed in Afghanistan and traveled to the country to screen the movie for the embedded troops there. That has been controversial among some segments of the population here who believe that, given its war history, Germany should not send troops abroad.
With his film, the group writes, Schweiger is "glamorizing" Germany's military intervention and ignoring the deaths of Afghan civilians at the hands of German soldiers.
In a statement, a representative of Germany's conservative Christian Democratic party condemned the attacks as "an assault" on the freedom of artistic expression, "something we can't, given the history of our country, accept under any circumstances."