The laws against honoring Nazis aren’t working, said Ursula Knapp in the Frankfurter Rundschau. It’s forbidden in Germany to distribute Nazi propaganda, display swastikas, or chant official Nazi slogans. But today’s neo-Nazis can easily comply with the letter of those laws while trampling their jackboots all over their spirit. Instead of saying “Heil Hitler,” for example, they greet each other with “Eight-eight,” since H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. Their flags feature swastika-like symbols, with crosses bent in a slightly different way. And now, a high court has ruled, they can march down the streets chanting, “Glory and honor to the Waffen-SS.” Such a slogan doesn’t violate the law, the judges decided, because it can’t be mistaken for the official Nazi slogan, “My honor is loyalty,” nor for the Hitler Youth slogan, “Blood and honor.” That’s an “extremely narrow interpretation” of the law. Perhaps the average German wouldn’t mistake that slogan for the official one. But he could hardly “mistake it as anything but Nazi.” Surely our lawmakers “will want to close this loophole as quickly as possible.” Anything that glorifies Nazis “must be outlawed.”
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