Tuesday, 28 April 2015

In Bramfeld Elke W. (78) is an original. Lots of people know the old woman, who rides through the district on her old bike and supplements her meagre pension by collecting bottles. Now she is in front of the district court in Barmbek. The state prosecutor accused her of insulting and assault. She is said to have insulted a dark-skinned boy as "a negro" and even to have struck the child.

..."Yes, I called the boy negro," the accused admitted. "But before that he blocked the bike path. I rang my bell several times but he didn't get out of the way. When I stopped, he said to me: what do you want, old whore? Then the word "negro" [Neger] slipped out. I apologised to the boy immediately afterwards! But I didn't hit the boy."

...For the lawyer of the accused, the issue is clear. "No blows were struck and the mutual insults balanced one another out," he explained, demanding his client be acquitted. Elke W. grew up in a time when the expression "negro" was normal. Even writers like Erich Kästner or Astrid Lindgren used this word in their books.


The judge saw it differently. She sentenced the old woman to a fine of 100 euros. "What Astrid Lindgren and Erich Kästner wrote before is not relevant to the times we live in," she explained in her judgement. The word negro is an insult to a person's honour, she said. That you used this word to a child aggravates the offence. "Strike this word from your vocabulary!", the judge warned the accused in conclusion.

Sources: Unzensuriert, Hamburger Wochenblatt


The word she used was "Neger". I think "negro" is the best translation of that in English. I don't think it's as strong as "nigger". If any native German speakers would like to offer their opinion, I'd love to hear it.

1 comments:

  1. Neger is defined as Negro which is regarded as pejorative in the modern usage in German language dictionaries. Rather asinine, given that there at least 120 American colleges, organisations, associations, sports bodies and cultural societies which have the word Negro in their names; Barack Hussein Obama listed in his annual tax return some years ago that he had made a donation to the United Negro College. What we see in this legal case is the attempt to not only restrict people's language but also their minds. It also underlines that the laws of Europe are Judaic/Islamic in that the concept of 'honour' or 'offence' to a person's 'sensibilities' is regarded as justification to silence another person, under the false premise of social 'cohesion' and 'order.'

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