FDP politicians are said to have repeatedly behaved in abusive manner towards the former FDP MEP Silvana Koch-Netzin. She reported this to the magazine “Stern”. Party colleagues touched her chest, knees and back. As an intern, a member of parliament pushed his hand under her blouse.

Former FDP MEP Silvana Koch-Netzin has reported numerous sexual assaults, including by party colleagues. “I was touched. Simply that way. There were always hands on my knee. My chest was touched and I was given a gentle back massage without being asked,” said Koch-Multiin of the “Stern” published on Thursday. “And there was always smut and lewdness—phrases like, ‘I’d love to swap places with your ice cream cone.'”

A party friend once said about her in the evening, “her future lies between her legs”. She herself was sitting within earshot.

Regarding her reaction to such incidents, the 51-year-old told the magazine: “I was silent and endured. At most, rolled your eyes. Hands pushed away without a word. Not more.”

At the time, she wanted to belong and was afraid of “looking bitchy,” Koch-mehrin continued. “I didn’t fight back, I began to talk myself into questioning myself.”

“I participated through passivity, didn’t resist and didn’t set any boundaries,” said Koch-Überin about her behavior at the time. “That’s how I supported the system.”

The “Stern” spoke to Koch- Mehrin on the occasion of the publication of her book “Now that I’m not dead”. According to the report, she also describes in it how a MEP wordlessly pushed her hand under her blouse in his room. At that time she was still an intern.

“I was frozen. Then at some point he said: ‘What are you doing there?’ He then laughed in embarrassment and tried to downplay the matter,” Koch-mehrin told Stern. She did not want to name the man today either: “It’s not about personal exposure for me,” but about something fundamental. “I want to tell you that it happened to me. As happens to many women.”

Koch-Netzin sat for the FDP in the European Parliament from 2004 to 2014. In 2009 she was her party’s top candidate for the European elections. In 2011, accusations of plagiarism against Koch-Überin came up; she then resigned as chairwoman of the FDP delegation in the European Parliament and as vice-president of the parliament. In fact, the University of Heidelberg withdrew her title. A lawsuit by Koch-Überins, on the other hand, was unsuccessful. Today, Koch-Überin heads the Women Political Leaders network, which she founded with the aim of bringing women into political leadership positions.