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Criticism of controversial essay on anti-Semitism ruled unconstitutional

The Local · 28 Sep 2010, 15:29

Published: 28 Sep 2010 15:29 GMT+02:00

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The political science professor, Konrad L., published an essay in the agency’s journal Deutschland Archiv in 2004 entitled, Deutsche Identität in Verfassung und Geschichte, or “The German Identity in Law and History.”

In it he argued that the majority of German people during the Nazi era were not anti-Semitic and that there had been a “German-Jewish symbiosis beneath the swastika.”

After the journal was released, the BPB sent out a written apology to subscribers stating their intention to pulp all remaining copies. They also apologised to any readers “who may feel vilified by this article.”

Konrad L. took the case to court, calling the BPB’s actions slanderous. The case was unsuccessful in a North Rhine-Westphalia state administrative court, but his appeal to the high court resulted in a favourable ruling.

The court ruled that the professor should be represented, and thus protected, in his place as an author and that destroying his work represented a “stigmatization” of him due to his handling of the “sensitive topic” of anti-Semitism.

Furthermore, administrative courts “cannot make judgements on rights as personally fundamental as the freedom of opinion,” the statement said.

Story continues below…

The Cologne administrative court must now reconsider the professors’ claim against the BPB.

DAPD/The Local/rm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:54 September 30, 2010 by William Thirteen
this case highlights differing the difficulty of differentiating "freedom of speech" vs "incitement speech" in light of Germany's unique history. In the US we've always believed that

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence." - Justice Brandeis 1927

but here in Germany there is a differing interpretation of the duties of the state to protect victims of racism & discrimination.
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