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AfD politician convicted and fined $18,000 for using banned ‘Nazi’ slogan ‘Everything for Germany’

A member of the nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party was convicted for using a so-called “banned nazi slogan” at a December event.

  • Björn Höcke, a high-profile AfD party member planning to run for Governor of Thuringia in September, was convicted for “using signs of unconstitutional and terrorist organizations”. It would be his second conviction for the same speech crime.
  • A court ordered him to pay 16,900 Euros ($18,000) in fines for leading a chant of the phrase “Alles für Deutschland” or “Everything for Germany” at an AfD event. This conviction follows a previous 13,000 Euro fine in May for a similar offense, which his lawyers are appealing.
  • Höcke can appeal the latest ruling, and his conviction does not prevent him from running in the upcoming Thuringia gubernatorial election.

Zooming in: The banned phrase allegedly uttered by Höcke is a Third Reich holdover, heavily suppressed thanks to post-war antifascism laws.

  • Prosecutors alleged the seemingly innocent words “Alles für Deutschland” were inscribed on the knife blades of uniform daggers issued to members of the Sturmabteilung (SA) and the National Socialist Motor Corps.

What they’re saying: In response, Höcke questioned whether using everyday words should constitute a criminal offense and, despite the conviction, insisted he did nothing wrong.

  • “I voiced an everyday sentence that has been documented in the German language since the 16th century,” he said, arguing that the “real scandal” was that “only I face a legal conviction for it…I’m a dissident, not a criminal,” he concluded.

Why it’s important: In Europe, “hate speech” laws are often used against those who speak out against the status quo.

Despite this, nationalist politics are becoming increasingly normalized across Europe, with parties like AfD skyrocketing in popularity.

  • Alternative for Germany has reportedly established itself in the former communist east, including Thuringia. In the recent European Parliament election, AfD finished second with a whopping 15.9% of the vote despite facing pressure from an increasingly desperate German left.

In the Headlines: While nationalist politics and their figures continue to face opposition, a laundry list of embarrassing headlines has emerged from Germany in recent weeks, highlighting stark injustices with the current regime.

  • In May, it was reported that the Bundestag drastically lowered the penalties for those convicted of possessing child sex abuse material, paving the way for criminal appeals and further deviancy.
  • In June, 95-year-old Ursula Haverbeck was dragged into a German courtroom for her political speech, which allegedly downplayed and denied the “Holocaust”. She was eventually convicted and remanded to prison for her free expression, sparking international outrage.
  • Days later, a group of Germans were hunted by police for similar “crimes”, this time for allegedly chanting the words “Sieg Heil”, or “hail victory”, in Munich’s famous Augustiner brewhouse.

This article originally appeared on the Justice Report and is republished by The Noticer with permission.

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