Poll: Only 18 Percent Of Germans Feel Free To Voice Views In Public

Jonathan Turley – jonathanturley.org May 28, 2019

For years, we have discussed the unrelenting attacks on free speech in Europe with the expansion of hate speech laws and the general criminalization of speech, including international speech crimes. Some in the United States would like to follow down that dangerous path (and universities are reinforcing the view of the need to regulate speech). The implications of such anti-speech policies are evident in Germany where a survey, conducted by the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach(and published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) found that only 18 percent of Germans feel free to express their views in public. It is the most vivid example of how Europeans are learning to live without free speech. Undeterred, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the successor to Angela Merkel, is now calling on greater limits on free speech during election periods — a concept that would normally be viewed as counterintuitive outside of the new European model.

Notably, over 31 percent of Germans did not even feel free expressing themselves in private among friends. Just 17 percent felt free to express themselves on the Internet and 35 percent said that freedom to speech is confined to the smallest of private circles.

Even at the height of the Stasi, citizens were not nearly as controlled in East Germany. It is the irony of our times. It has been otherwise liberal governments that have succeeded with authoritarian regimes failed in getting people to give up their free speech rights. All in the name of fighting intolerance . . . by codifying intolerance to an ever-expanding range of speech.

Over the course of the last 50 years, the French, English and Germans have waged an open war on free speech by criminalizing speech deemed insulting, harassing or intimidating. We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). There are encroachments appearing in the United States, particularly on college campuses. Notably, the media celebrated the speech of French President Emmanuel Macron before Congress where he called on the United States to follow the model of Europe on hate speech.

I readily admit to following the classic liberal view of free speech. The solution to bad speech — even hateful speech — to more speech. It is free speech that allows people of conscience to contest the flawed and hateful ideas of bigots. Germany has proven the fallacy of changing minds through threatened prosecution.  While I am certainly sympathetic to the Germans in seeking to end the scourge of fascism, I have long been a critic of the German laws prohibiting certain symbols and phrases, I view it as not just a violation of free speech but a futile effort to stamp but extremism by barring certain symbols. Instead, extremists have rallied around an underground culture and embraced symbols that closely resemble those banned by the government. I fail to see how arresting a man for a Hitler ringtone is achieving a meaningful level of deterrence, even if you ignore the free speech implications.

We recently discussed how Germany is extending its criminalization of speech to the Internet.  Germany imposed a legal regime that would allow fining social networks such as Facebook up to 500,000 euros ($522,000) for each day the platform leaves a “fake news” story up without deleting it. Governments have finally found a vehicle to get citizens to allow them to curtail or chill speech — ironically in the name of facilitating “real news” or “truth.” It is perfectly Orwellian and Merkel’s latest contribution to the erosion of free speech in the West.

The view of Germans that they are living without free speech would be of little surprise. What is most disconcerting is that they seem to reconciled to living without this basic human right.


10 responses to “Poll: Only 18 Percent Of Germans Feel Free To Voice Views In Public”

  1. I wouldn’t say anything neither. Especially when 4.1 million Surrendered German Soldiers were intentionally starved to death in President Eisenhower’s Death Camps n Germany after World War II. The most atrocious crime against Humanity of all time.

  2. Amen, Tony. The Rhine Meadow Camps were the actual Death Camps in Europe.

    See James Bacque’s books on the subject of the deliberate starvation of and atrocities perpetrated against Germans.

  3. And nobody with the exemption of a couple of realistic journalists having the courage to write about the Starvation of 4,5 million soldiers of the German Army.

    At that time it was the world’s best disciplined, organised, equipped and fighting military on the battlefields (including sea and air) in the world.

  4. Concerning free speech, The West is nearing the point of no return and will fall into the hands of dictators who loudly and quite visibly preach their democracy and freedom.

  5. “Only 18 Percent Of Germans Feel Free To Voice Views In Public” the only thing I can say is “to complements German’s Bundskanzlerin” accompanied by one hundreds Kudos for bringing Germany economically to the edge of abyss with more than one million illegal Migrants to brush away “illegal” with the Marrakesh Conference in December 2018.
    There she convinced the participants the necessity to adapt millions and millions of migrants from all over the world into Europe. It was not binding, no law, no obligation, all voluntarily. Within six months it became already an obligation to adopt migrants with the impossibility to send them back where they came from.
    This is the start of pure communism, no borders, one culture the monoculture, everybody enslaved and all equal.
    Two EU neocons with a top position in the EU Commission demand all of this to become true. All enslaved for the One per cent and NWO.

    To Mrs. Angela Merkel we have to admit like for your friend Mrs May of UK, “Mission Accomplished”, Mrs Merkel.

  6. It is not much better in the English speaking nations and we are losing the right free speech very quickly.

    On the issue of starving the German troops, if that is true then it was likely the Jewish death numbers which were exaggerated to deflect attention from the US crime, which raises the question who is using whom – the Anglo-American Round Table cabal using the Rothschild-Zionist cabal or vice versa. There certainly is a symbiotic relationship with the two groups working hand in hand for over the past 100 years.

  7. Zero percent of the Amerikan sheeple feel free to talk about Jews in public.

    No one talks about the Jews in police state Amerika and thus Amerikans will continue to suffer under Jewish rule.

    The wars will continue, the boys will continue to be butchered for Israel, the public monies will continue to fund the apartheid and genocidal state of Israel. The blood will flow because stupid Amerikans will continue to support the demon pigs that run Israel.

    The Christian Evangelical lobby will continue to sing hosannahs on high for the God of Israel until the nukes come raining down ending the Amerikan state forever.

    Total death is the net sum for allowing Jews to enter your society and allowing them to take over – and Trump may be the Jew WHORE president who ends it all.

  8. @ Tony and AI:

    Remember 1932-1933 there was Holodomor. A crime for which Stalin and Kaganowitsch were responsible. Ukrainian farmers, that is Christians, were deliberately starved to death. There was no famine. The number of deaths can only be speculated about. Stalin claimed it was about 10 millions.

    Henry Makow has published a very long article about it on his page.

  9. Germany, one of the few so called free countries that has thought crimes i.e a person can be jailed for simply thinking something!

  10. Germany is no longer a democracy . Free speech is no longer available and can lead to a jail sentence as demonstrated by the lady Ursula Haverbeck who sent to prison for having declared in public that the Holocaust is a fraud .
    People cannot even talk about the crimes of the African savages tolerated by political leaders friends of arch criminal Soros .
    It seems that there is one law for the Africans and one for the German citizens . The law for the African is ignored and for German citizens is applied to the letter .