To Echoworld Homepage

To Echo Germanica Homepage
October 2006 - Nr. 10


The Editor
Letter to the Editor
The Trakehner Horse
Minczuk & Kuusisto at TSO
Dresden's Frauenkirche
Mozart Opera Cancelled
German Impressionists
Golden Madonna
"Der Brückenbauer"
The Permanent Wave
Putin visits Dresden
Double Negative
KW & Beyond
Opera York's 10th Season
Two Outstanding Films
A Soiree To Remember
Opera On Film
Go To The Marché
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Baden-Wuerttemberg meets Ontario
Planet in Focus
Romancing the Rhine

Double Negative

Court Case in Stuttgart Tests Whether It is Permissible to Display a Crossed-Out Swastika

TWIG - Juergen Kamm of Stuttgart, who runs a mail-order business selling t-shirts, music, books, and buttons with anti-Nazi slogans as part of a campaign to fight right-wing extremism, may face over $4,000 in fines for distributing materials that display a swastika. Despite the fact that the swastikas in question were displayed in the middle of a circle with a slash through them, prosecutors asserted that the 32 year-old entrepreneur and activist was breaking a law that has banned the symbol since World War II.

Judges agreed with the prosecutors, saying that any use of Nazi iconography, even in the context of protest, risks making it socially acceptable in Germany again. The Washington Post cited Judge Wolfgang Kuellner as saying: "The danger of familiarization is ever present. In particular, this mass-market business risked undermining its taboo status."

Kamm has appealed the decision and a number of politicians have come to his aid, saying that this form of protest must be allowed, particularly in light of the recent success of far-right political parties in entering the parliament of Mecklenburg Western Pomerania.

"This is an incredible mistake," said Claudia Roth, leader of the Green party, as reported by the Washington Post. "We have problems in Germany with the extreme right and anti-Semitism. It’s a terrible signal, not only to young people, but also to older people who fought against the Nazis. Are we criminalizing them?" In a display of solidarity with Kamm, she turned herself in to Stuttgart prosecutors for wearing the anti-Nazi paraphernalia.

Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries has called for a new law if Kamm does not win his appeal.

However, Kamm and his attornies feel that the law is on their side. Current law grants license to artists, educators and filmmakers to use the symbol, and German courts ruled in the 1970’s that displaying a swastika to protest its meaning is permissible.
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"


To Top of Page

Send mail to  with questions or comments about this web site.
For information about Echoworld Communications and its services send mail to .

Copyright ©2010 Echoworld Communications