Thomas Fischer, former head of Germany’s Supreme Court, takes Alexander Gauland, leader of conservative party AfD, to court for alleged incitement of hatred. The former judge opines that Gauland, who is a doctor of legal studies, must have know that his speech is illegal. Gauland, however, claims that the comments in questions were just made off the cuff.
But what are the horrendous words that should have never been uttered? Gauland said another politician, Mrs Aydan Özoguz of left-wing party SPD, should be disposed of in Anatolia. Özoguz is of Turkish descend.
Mrs Özoguz holds the office of an ‘Integration Minister’. You are probably scratching your head now. Yes, an Integration Minister is disposable and it is outright obscene that such an office had been created, but she surely had the right friends.
The hate speech offense in question is punishable by between three months and five years in prison. Until recently it was more or less a dead paragraph. It includes the wanton prerequisites that the offense must ‘trouble the public’ to be an offense and it must be directed at some groups or individuals who are members of such groups.
For its wantoness the very law can hardly be aligned with the idea of the rule of law. In the past these prerequisites were often used to ditch court cases, but in recent years actual verdicts on the basis of §130 StGB are handed down to alleged “perpetrators” more and more often.