Germany censors its neo-Nazis

The right of assembly doesn’t apply for Hitler’s supporters


After the death of Rudolf Hess—Adolf Hitler’s deputy during the Third Reich—in 1987, skinheads began descending annually on his hometown of Wunsiedel, to march in his honour. But the residents of Wunsiedel fought to keep neo-Nazis from their streets, sparking a decades-long legal battle. German courts banned the march in 1991, but overturned the decision in 2001. In 2005, the march was again outlawed, but a prominent far-right lawyer, Jürgen Rieger, challenged the constitutionality of the ruling. Before he died in October, Rieger argued, “Stalin killed over 30 million people, but he can be glorified.”

Now, it seems the dispute has been settled once and for all: the country’s Constitutional Court has determined that when it comes to glorifying Hitler’s regime, the right to assembly does not apply. According to the court, “Given the injustice and terror the Nazi dictatorship caused, this exception is inherent to the rules limiting propaganda approving the historic Nazi dictatorship.”

Reaction to the ruling has been mixed. Those who seek to ban Germany’s far-right National Democratic Party, which many say is sympathetic to the Nazi cause, see it as delivering them closer to their goal, while others deride the ruling as unnecessary, akin to civil rights curtailments imposed on suspected terrorists. According to Russell Miller, co-editor-in-chief of the German Law Journal, the decision is consistent with “Germany’s postwar consti–tutional tradition of militant democracy,” which protects “against those who would use their liberties to undermine the democratic order.”

It remains to be seen what effect the decision will have on other neo-Nazi events. Earlier this year, some 6,000 neo-Nazis descended on Dresden for an annual march, making it one of the largest far-right assemblies Germany had seen in decades.


Germany censors its neo-Nazis

  1. here's one. germany tried this before hitler came to power, and look what happened there. what these people are doing is disgusting, but if they commit no actual crimes, they should be free to be as dumb as they want. hezzbola supporters march in canada, and the only people the cops harrass here are the people who come out in opposition to them. radical muslims in calgary gather on jewish property and spit on passing jews, and nobody has a problem with that. but white skinheads march, and suddenly laws start getting passed. double standards don't lend themselves to much respect.

    • Ah yes, the old neo-Nazi persecution complex. Do you remember the two 'Final Solution' gang members in Edmonton who attacked a journalist for outing a Nazi war criminal? Or the cross burnings in Provost AB? The growing membership of the 'Aryan Guard' in Calgary? Maybe neo-Nazis aren't all fun and games after all.

      • Wilm Hosenfeld

        Ich versuche jeden zu retten
        Das Leben eines deutschen Offiziers in Briefen und Tagebüchern
        Im Auftrag des Militärgeschichtlichen Forschungsamtes herausgegeben von
        (I'm trying to save everyone
        The life of a German officer in letters and diaries
        Issued on behalf of the Military History Research Office of)

        Thomas Vogel

        In the above book, Wilm Hosenfeld's (The Pianist a 2002 film directed by Roman Polanski) letters of October 1944, he notes the western allied forces were stalled on the western front while the Russian forces were breaking out all along the eastern front. If the western forces had remained stalled, all of Germany may have been East Germany. The neo-Nazis' would not be a question, as the neo-Nazis' would have been in gulags (as Wilm Hosenfeld) instead of hiding or immigrating to North and South America and other parts of the world.

      • response part two to rita-ho
        nazis should be dealt with like everyone else. if they hurt someone, arrest them, but you can't legislate racism out of existence. and no matter what you beleive, a double standard does exist. if you are a white racist who hates jews, you can expect to be prosecuted for your views, even if you don't commit a real crime, but if you are a muslim racist who hates jews, you get a pass, even if you commit a crime. it happens all the time, and it doesn't help anyone. next time take the time to make a better argument instead of trotting out the same tired old crap. "nazis are bad so it's ok" everyone knows nazis are bad. but the same unjust laws used to prosecute bad people can easily be used to prosecute you.

        • The thing is neo-nazi and islamo-fascists should be prosecuted as the same.Stalinists and maoists, too.
          All of them make propaganda of bloody regimes.
          We should not make it easier to neo-nazi just because islamo-fascists get no prosecution. Instead, we should make it harder for those who use the freedom of democracy to undermine it.
          All of these people believe in the entity of the state controling the individual`s mind. See North Korea.
          No, neo-nazi should have no donuts.

      • response part one to rita-ho
        ah yes, the old "if you defend the rights of bad people you must be a bad person" complex. i certainly do not agree with anything a neo nazi says or does. i do however believe that rights are not just for some people. they apply to everyone. even people with racist views. you will also note that i said they should be free to do what they want if THEY COMMIT NO ACTUAL CRIMES. marching is not a crime. attacking a journalist is a crime. so is burning a cross i believe. people like this will not change their world view just because some law was passed. all that does is reinforce their belief that they are being persecuted, which gives them even more reason to get angry.

  2. The difference is Stalin and his supporters won the Russian revolution as did the USA Union Army in their revolution, while Hitler lost WWII. The winners are celebrated in their countries and the losers not so much.

  3. Censored for being too long. Lets make it short. To the victors goes the Glory.

  4. Great info.

    Some 6,000 neo-Nazis descended on Dresden for an annual march, making it one of the largest far-right assemblies Germany had seen in decades.

  5. Stalin killed over 30 million people, but he can be glorified.

    Shocking really shocking.

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