Bielefeld man given six-month jail term for “cheeky Jewish functionary” slur

The head of a far-right organization in the western town of Bielefeld was sentenced to half a year in prison on Thursday for calling someone a “cheeky Jewish functionary.”

Bielefeld man given six-month jail term for “cheeky Jewish functionary” slur
Photo: DPA

The Bielefeld district court sentenced 30-year-old Sascha Krolzig on a charge of hate crime, the Neue Westfälische Zeitung reported on Friday.

Prosecutors said that he had fallen foul of the law by calling Matitjahu Kellig, the head of Jewish community in Detmold, a “frecher Judenfunktionär” (cheeky Jewish functionary) in an online post.

Due to the phrase’s associations with Nazi ideology it constituted a form of hate speech, with the central message being that Jews could not be a part of German society, prosecutors argued.

Krolzig admitted to writing the words but said that their use should be protected by the right to freedom of expression.

The judge sided with the prosecutors and also rejected the possibility of probation due to the fact that Krolzig is still on probation for a conviction from 2015.

Krolzig’s lawyer said that he planned to appeal the verdict.


German authorities impose second local coronavirus lockdown

Germany on Tuesday placed a second district under lockdown over a coronavirus outbreak at a slaughterhouse, just hours after similar restrictions were imposed for a neighbouring area.

German authorities impose second local coronavirus lockdown
A man wearing a protective suit in the district of Gütersloh after a coronavirus outbreak at a meat plant. Now neighbouring district Warendorf is going into lockdown. Photo: DPA

“In order to protect the population, we are now launching a further safety and security package to effectively combat the spread of the virus,” North Rhine-Westphalia health minister Karl-Josef Laumann said Tuesday, ordering a lockdown for the district of Warendorf.

Authorities had earlier announced similar measures in the neighbouring district of Gütersloh after more than 1,500 workers tested positive for Covid-19 at the slaughterhouse.

Almost 280,000 people live in Warendorf. Businesses and cultural facilities will close, while all schools and daycare centres (Kitas) will also shut their doors.

READ ALSO: Explained – What you need to know about Germany's new local coronavirus lockdowns

In Gütersloh the new lockdown affected 360,000 people living there and will be in place until at least June 30th.

It came after more than 1,500 workers out of a total of nearly 7,000 have tested positive for Covid-19 at the slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrück run by Tönnies.

All workers are currently in quarantine. However, authorities are now turning to tougher rules to try and control the spread of coronavirus.

The new lockdown in Gütersloh means a return to measures first introduced in March, with cinemas, museums, concert halls, bars, gyms, swimming pools and saunas shut down.

However, restaurants can remain open with rules in place.

Schools and Kitas were already closed last week in a bid to control the virus.