Hot Potato: Food for Thought
Let the Nazis Speak
1997 October 22

German law forbids expression of Nazi ideas. The determination of the Germans to prevent fascism from rising again is commendable. However, the banning of Nazi expression does not avert its return. Although I staunchly oppose fascism, this article may get banned in Germany because I favor granting Nazis freedom of expression.

Any restraint on the freedom of expression, no matter how noble the sentiment, is misguided thinking. A government cannot prevent the existence of an idea. While it is possible to impede the spread of an idea, Nazism is so well known in Germany that it must be regarded as an indelible cultural legacy. Banning the expression of Nazism only drives it underground. The resulting clandestine movement is made attractive to the malcontents always present in every society.

Germany should allow freedom of expression, even for Nazis. The wider society should vocally express its revulsion towards ideas now spurned by virtually all Germans. Freedom of expression is the cornerstone of democracy, and a strong democracy is the best protection Germans have against a return of the Nazi horrors.

  E-mail ©
Site Map