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Far-right leader sues over hotel ban

The Local · 14 May 2010, 08:32

Published: 14 May 2010 08:32 GMT+02:00

In a legal first for Germany, a court in Frankfurt (Oder) is to rule on Voigt’s complaint on May 25, the Berliner Zeitung reported.

Last December, Hotel Esplanade in the Bad Saarow region of Brandenburg cancelled the reservation Voigt had made through a travel agent. It freely declared that it was banning him because his political views were inconsistent with the hotel’s stated aim to “offer an excellent travel experience” to every guest.

Voigt complained.

“No one can talk of arbitrariness, because Mr Voigt has been repeatedly cited for (racial) incitement. Those are objective facts,” said the hotel’s lawyer, Jörg Umlauf, to the paper.

Such bans on NPD members were also supported by the Potsdam Hotel and Guesthouse Association and the Tourism Marketing Board of Brandeburg.

Story continues below…

Brandenburg’s Interior Minister, Rainer Speer, of the centre-left Social Democrats, told the paper: “I understand the hotel’s position. Germanic chauvinism, racism and xenophobia have no place here.”

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

10:26 May 14, 2010 by whatzup
I met this little guy once when he was demonstrating with his buddies while shouting into a megaphone hanging around his neck. He shouldn't be allowed in a doghouse, never mind a hotel.
13:26 May 14, 2010 by Talonx
@ whatzup

I actually agree, entirely. So long as it's the hotel deciding to protect its guests.
15:21 May 14, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
There are just some people in the world, where everyone would have been better off if they had a tragic accident at a young age.
17:57 May 14, 2010 by Prufrock2010
He should also be banned from airplanes, trains and all forms of public transportation. I agree with der Grenadier.
18:24 May 14, 2010 by grazhdanin
In theory there should be freedom of opinion, no matter what it is.
18:35 May 14, 2010 by Henckel
No matter how peaceable he may be personally, his politics are so extreme that he might be a target for violence, in which other, innocent people might be hurt or ki8lled. And yet, freedom of opinion and speech are i8mportant. It's a question with no easy answers.
19:08 May 14, 2010 by Prufrock2010
"...his politics are so extreme that he might be a target for violence..."

From your keyboard to god's ears.

Peaceable he ain't. He's a goddamned Nazi.
21:43 May 14, 2010 by aslanleon
What a country! So it's all right to ban someone from hotels, or as one poster says, "airplanes, trains and all forms of public transportation." This is a totalitarian, anti-freedom mindset. You think that only those whose ideas you approve of should have civil rights.

My family left Germany in 1935. Apparently, it's still not time to move back.
22:08 May 14, 2010 by Portnoy
You're right aslanleon -- we don't want you here.
22:16 May 14, 2010 by aslanleon
Of course you don't want me there. You only like people who think as you do-- they're the only ones who have rights. The rest are untermenschen. You're sounding more like Udo Voight than Udo Voight does.
22:30 May 14, 2010 by wxman
This is quite a bit like the Nazis and Communists in the 1920s chasing each other around the streets, clubbing each other, destroying each other's property and censoring each other. All the time talking about how bad the other socialist is.
23:57 May 14, 2010 by majura
He has no case. Just an insignificant PR plot that The Local has been sucked into.

That Hotel is a privately run business and can refuse entry to anyone based on the simple fact that the hotel is situated on private property. Much in the same way you can don't have to let anyone into your house/apartment.
23:59 May 14, 2010 by Prufrock2010
I wonder if he's related to Jon Voigt, the crazy right-wing father of Angelina Jolie. In any case, I would not want to be in the same hotel, train or airplane with this sicko bastard.

As a private entity, the hotel is perfectly within its right to refuse him accommodations. His lawsuit will fail.
01:01 May 15, 2010 by aslanleon
"As a private entity, the hotel is perfectly within its right to refuse him accommodations." It's a good thing the American government and people made that idea illegal here or otherwise hotels could still discriminate against African Americans. Do you have a list of those with no rights hotels can deny accommodations to in Germany? Jews? Blacks? Muslims?

Nice to see that some attitudes about rights and freedoms in Germany are the same as they were in 1935-- old country traditions are always so charming.
01:47 May 15, 2010 by Prufrock2010
aslanleon --

You've got it wrong vis-a-vis discrimination in America. The distinction is one of invidious discrimination based on an identifiable class of persons relating to race, gender, age, religion, national origin, sexual preference or other legally defined "suspect" classes. It does not apply to individuals who do not fall within the suspect class. If you are a white farmer from Topeka and the Beverly Hills Hotel does not want your business because they don't happen to like you personally, they have every right to tell you to go elsewhere, as they are a private entity. Unless you can prove invidious discrimination based on one of the foregoing legally-defined suspect class distinctions, you have no colorable claim against the establishment. If you have a dog and the hotel doesn't accept dogs, you're out. If you're a known junkie, criminal, or sex offender, they have a right to refuse you. If you're a Nazi and they don't like Nazis, they don't have to give you a room. There is an abundance of case law on this subject in the U.S. It has nothing to do with the 14th Amendment, civil rights or Jim Crow. It is about the lawful discretion of the innkeeper within the boundaries of the civil rights statutes. Unless Voigt can make a compelling argument that German law provides equal protection to Nazis as a class of citizens, analogous to equal protection provisions of U.S. law, I think he's out of luck.
02:21 May 15, 2010 by wetdawg~
Now had the reservasee been an Muslim Imam...all hell would broken lose...what's the difference? I thought predijice was illegal in Germany?
02:33 May 15, 2010 by Prufrock2010
A German hotel can demand cash, a credit card or some other verifiable means of payment before check-in. If you cannot produce that because you are indigent, does the hotel have a right to refuse to rent you a room? Isn't that discrimination against the poor?
02:57 May 15, 2010 by aslanleon
When you include political orientation with classifications like junkie and criminal, you aren't banning Udo Voight-- you are Udo Voight. In my travels in Europe, I have found too many people to have the attitude displayed here. It confirms what my father told me about Germany-- you had all the freedom you could imagine, provided of course that you didn't have any unpopular ideas. Then you had trouble registering at a hotel.
11:53 May 15, 2010 by derExDeutsche
Germany does not need to express its displeasure by throwing people on the street. There are democratic processes left, I hope.

some of you sound like cavemen sometimes.

Prufrock especially;)lol
13:10 May 15, 2010 by Prufrock2010
ExDeutsche --

Coming from you I take that as a compliment. Why don't you attempt to refute my 14th Amendment Equal Protection argument, as you seem to be an American constitutional authority?

By the way, private businesses still have some discretion about whom they choose to do business with -- even in "socialist" Germany. It has nothing to do with "democratic processes," which relate to forms of governance, not law.
17:47 May 15, 2010 by michael4096
@aslanleon
It confirms what my father told me about Germany--
It sounds like neither your father nor you have ever been to the germany we are discussing. Just as the america that imprisoned school teachers for educating slaves is not the america of today, germany is very different from your father's day.
21:47 May 15, 2010 by derExDeutsche
@Prufrock2010,

I happen to own a Hotel, its my line of work. And you are right, it would be my absolute pleasure to invoke my right to toss YOUR ASS on the street. lol

As much as I would enjoy it, I wouldn't do it. As long as you weren't violent, which judging by your posts, I am not entirely sure of.

@alsanleon

You are right, my friend. Don't let the Kooks get ya down!
00:04 May 16, 2010 by Prufrock2010
ExDeutsche --

You don't have the right to toss my ass on the street, but you do have the right not to rent a room to me. You've made my point, thank you very much.

Tell me what hotel you own, and I'll exercise my right not to book a room there.

BTW, there's nothing violent, express or implied, in any of my posts.

BTW, "lol" is blogging shorthand used by 14 year old girls. You might want to avoid it in future discussions if you wish to be taken seriously.
00:10 May 16, 2010 by derExDeutsche
@Prufrock2010

per usual, you are correct. I am a 14 year old girl on the inside. lol.

any other corrections you would like to make oh wise master debater, youlet me know.LOL

Who said that it is ileagal to remove your from my private property? LOL

Security would be more than happy to escort you by your ear out the door.
00:43 May 16, 2010 by Prufrock2010
ExDeutsche --

I gather from your response that you think you can arbitrarily evict a guest at your purported hotel for any reason or no reason once a contract has been entered into simply because it is your private property, assuming that the guest has violated no law or hotel rule. If you could cite some law in support of that proposition I would be most grateful. Otherwise quit trying to play bad-ass lawyer. You don't know what you are talking about, and you deliberately miss the points I was making earlier about the right to refuse accommodations to an unwanted guest unless that refusal is invidiously discriminatory. There is a significant difference in rights and responsibilities once a contract is formed as opposed to the refusal to enter into a contract in the first place. Renting a room from an innkeeper is a contract. But why should I waste my time trying to explain something so arcane to a cretin?
01:16 May 16, 2010 by derExDeutsche
Proufrock

This is all hypothetical because I would never propose to throw any of my guest out based on Political grounds alone.

That would be you who endorses that.

I live in a 3rd World Latin American Country and own businesses in several other 3rd and 1st world nations.

There would not be any bad ass lawyer needed to toss anybody out for any reason. Hence the term 3rd World. No real rights of any kind are reapected. and the corrupt Govt. only needs a generous handout, and they will take over from hotel security, drive you directly to the airport, and never allow you into the country again. Simple.

Similar to your vision of Germany.
02:28 May 16, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Glad you've found your niche.
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