Nazi Slogan legal as long as it is translated into English

August 15, 2009 § Leave a comment

All Nazis slogans banned in Germany may be legal if they are translated from German into English, one of the country’s highest courts has ruled.  The Federal Court of Justice said it had rescinded a conviction against a man fined 4,200 euros ($5,993) for possessing 100 T-shirts due for sale emblazoned with the words “Blood & Honor” — a translation of the Hitler Youth slogan “Blut und Ehre.”

The display of Nazi symbols is forbidden in Germany, but the court said the context of the original phrase had been sufficiently distorted to render its usage legal.

“By translation into another language, the Nazi slogan, which is characterized not just by its meaning but also by the German language, is fundamentally transformed,” it said.

The court added, however, that the man could still be convicted of using the English phrase “Blood & Honor” because it was also the name of a far-right organization that is banned in Germany, but that the original verdict had not considered this.

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