German Neo-Nazis Under Fire

The list of legal problems impacting the far-right German NPD grew longer when its party chairman is forced next week to respond to charges his group distrubuted racist propaganda during the 2006 World Cup in Germany. According to a report in the Berlin daily Tgenspiegel, Udo Voight, head of the NPD and two senior party members, will be charged with incitement and defamation stemming from propaganda that was distributed which was entitled: “White! Not just the jersey color!” The comments were apparently directed at Patrick Owomoyei, the son of a Nigerian man and a German woman. A second flyer described him as “Kunta Kinte” referring to the character in an American novel and TV production.

Last September, Hamburg party chair, Jorgen Rieger, was charged with Holocaust denial and other members are being charged with distributing racist propaganda. I deplore what these men are saying, but the issue of freedom of speech is also involved. The Western world reacted with fury when Muslims protested Danish newspaper caricatures of Mohammed, but apparently freedom of speech is not provided idiots and racists in the NPD. If we truly stand behind the principle of freedom of expression, the right to publish cartoons or insulting flyers have equal rights. I see no evidence of what they did as violating the famous Supreme Court denial of freedom to shout “Fire” in a crowded theater. They are fools, men filled with hate, and the best antidote to their anger is the court of public opinion.