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View Poll Results: Do you favor the sentence against Julius Streicher?
Yes; in such a predicament you cannot argue free speech as an excuse for spreading hatred and lies. 10 55.56%
No; the actual murderers are to be held accountable. Free speech/press is inviolable. 8 44.44%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 5th, 2013, 07:03 PM   #1

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Free Speech and Nuremberg - Streicher's Advocate


I just coined the term, so don't try and steal it.

More controversial than any other of the ten lethal verdict at Nuremberg (possibly exempting Alfred Jodl, who was aquitted in the 1950s, to little notice) was that over Julius Streicher, editor of anti-Semitic hate machine Der Stürmer and, notably, contributor to the infamous German children's book Der Giftpilz, which was part of the greater campaign to sow distrust and hatred against Jews and ease the expulsion from civil society of "undesirables". He was, arguably, the least charismatic and sympathetic of those before the bar and the loudest on the scaffold. Still, I am most uncomfortable with the idea of hanging (strangling slowly to death, as it happened) a person for "nothing more", an inconvenient phrase I know, than the spreading of disinformation and propaganda. Frankly, I think the contents of that newspaper to be inviolable in a civil, peaceful context, and I have thus very difficult to adapt to the idea of its suppression even in times of war and ethnic hatred.

In light of the crimes of his Nazi party comrades and the oft-discussed issue of free speech; do you believe it just to sentence someone for spreading information, if it is part of a larger crime against humanity? Is it free speech or genocide? Take into account that I only consider the "media" accusations against Streicher; any other crimes on the table will not be subject to the discussion. The vote is in the context of whether it is right to sentence anyone by court whose crime consists in forging propaganda and press material.

Last edited by Chancellor; January 5th, 2013 at 07:12 PM.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 07:37 PM   #2
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Executing anyone for speech is wrong. Where do we draw the line. Are we then to say that the execution of the Haymarket anarchist was also justified.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 07:58 PM   #3

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Free speach is the freedom to have an opinion contrary to those held by the government. While Julius Streicher's Der Sturmer wasn't the only newspaper in the Third Reich, all of the newspapers followed the same basic theme... controlled by the Nazis or by agents loyal to them. At the same time, any newspaper that didn't say Hitler was wonderful, was outlawed. When one's opposition is removed and only one side has a voice, that is not free speach. Streicher may not have put forth the legislation to remove the voice of those opposed to Hitler, but he certainaly benefitted from it.

The only press the German people recieved were from men like Streicher which printed only the Nazi Party's talking points that the Jews were evil, insidious, monsters with a secret desire to murder every single German citizen in the most cruel ways possible... And in this, when it came time to murder millions of innocent people, the German people generally agreed, because most of them had grown up with nothing but Der Sturmer.

Julius Streicher was not a newspaperman. He was a racist bigot who spread Nazi propoganda to incite racial hatred. And in that sence, men like Streicher and others, like Goebbels, were more dangerous than anyone that ran the gas chambers or ordered the killings. Because without them to spread the idea that such actions were okay, no one might have even been brave enough to follow the orders to commit murder.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 01:34 AM   #4

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I agree with the idea that people who spread the message are more dangerous than individual grunts who do the killing. I still don't think I have my opinion set in stone about your question. One thing that comes to mind is why was Streicher picked to stand in trial? Surely there were many other people in the media that were as guilty as him in spreading the message of hate. I don't know anything about him but perhaps he was the most prominent "hate speech" guy still alive at the time of the trial and perhaps the prosecutors wanted to set a "legal" precedent about the spreading of hate propaganda.

Edit: After some contemplation I decided to vote tentatively "yes".

Last edited by Omar Giggle; January 6th, 2013 at 01:46 AM.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 02:05 AM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chancellor View Post
More controversial than any other of the ten lethal verdict at Nuremberg (possibly exempting Alfred Jodl, who was acquitted in the 1950s, to little notice).
Alfred Jodl was acquitted by a local German court, not the International Military Tribunal, of the charges of waging wars of aggression and crimes against humanity.
However, he was not acquitted for his involvement in the Commando and Commissar orders, which instructed German troops to execute captured allied Commando's and Soviet Commissars, both clear war crimes.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 02:24 AM   #6

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Interesting question.

I think it is difficult to apply the free speech argument in such a situation. The "yelling fire in the theatre" comparison seems very apt in this case.

There was no free press in Germany at time, only government controlled press, so there was no public way to counter him, and Streicher very well knew what he was doing and that when he called for attacking and killing Jews that actions by SA carrying out his wishes would result. Especially when he named individuals. So like it is argued that yelling fire in a theatre is known to be able to cause a stampede injuring or killing people, so it can be said that it was known beforehand by himself and others that his words would cause injury and death to people.

However on principal grounds I would still vote "no", because I am also an opponent of the death penalty, even for war criminals.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 02:34 AM   #7

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Why would one retroactively apply free speech concerns to Striecher's role in pre-Nuremburg Germany? He benefited from the "permissible speech" policy of the regime... free speech itself having been strangled to death, there. Those who have no humanity are jealous of those who do, and often find a greater victory for themselves in robbing or destroying the humanity of others, than that of killing them. This was Striecher's aim. To drive the German people away for their collective humanity far enough to facilitate the Nazi goals with the support of the people the regime could more easily lay before the world as unity of purpose.

As a citizen of a country that claims reliance on freedom of speech in making it work, I am very comfortable with the fate of Streicher. He had no interest in the principle, and supported a regime who was likewise inclined. I would totally reject any consideration of his fate with the misapplication of free speech considerations of today in every aspect of his activities and their legacy.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 02:40 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gudenrath View Post
Interesting question.

I think it is difficult to apply the free speech argument in such a situation. The "yelling fire in the theatre" comparison seems very apt in this case.

There was no free press in Germany at time, only government controlled press, so there was no public way to counter him, and Streicher very well knew what he was doing and that when he called for attacking and killing Jews that actions by SA carrying out his wishes would result. Especially when he named individuals. So like it is argued that yelling fire in a theatre is known to be able to cause a stampede injuring or killing people, so it can be said that it was known beforehand by himself and others that his words would cause injury and death to people.

However on principal grounds I would still vote "no", because I am also an opponent of the death penalty, even for war criminals.

Good post
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Old January 6th, 2013, 02:46 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chancellor View Post
I just coined the term, so don't try and steal it.

More controversial than any other of the ten lethal verdict at Nuremberg (possibly exempting Alfred Jodl, who was aquitted in the 1950s, to little notice) was that over Julius Streicher, editor of anti-Semitic hate machine Der Stürmer and, notably, contributor to the infamous German children's book Der Giftpilz, which was part of the greater campaign to sow distrust and hatred against Jews and ease the expulsion from civil society of "undesirables". He was, arguably, the least charismatic and sympathetic of those before the bar and the loudest on the scaffold. Still, I am most uncomfortable with the idea of hanging (strangling slowly to death, as it happened) a person for "nothing more", an inconvenient phrase I know, than the spreading of disinformation and propaganda. Frankly, I think the contents of that newspaper to be inviolable in a civil, peaceful context, and I have thus very difficult to adapt to the idea of its suppression even in times of war and ethnic hatred.

In light of the crimes of his Nazi party comrades and the oft-discussed issue of free speech; do you believe it just to sentence someone for spreading information, if it is part of a larger crime against humanity? Is it free speech or genocide? Take into account that I only consider the "media" accusations against Streicher; any other crimes on the table will not be subject to the discussion. The vote is in the context of whether it is right to sentence anyone by court whose crime consists in forging propaganda and press material.
Hans Friztsche was found innocent of charges of spreading propaganda by the same court.

As for Streicher, what was he hanged for? Merely printing Der Sturmer or all the other things he was involved in?
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Old January 6th, 2013, 03:08 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartacuss View Post
Those who have no humanity are jealous of those who do, and often find a greater victory for themselves in robbing or destroying the humanity of others, than that of killing them.
Wow. I really like this comment. Very apropos.
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