Friday, 3 July 2009

*German Green Party politician fined for playing klezmer music

A Dresden politician was fined for playing loud klezmer music outside City Hall to disturb a neo-Nazi march.

Stephan Kuhn of the Green Party was ordered Wednesday to pay a $210 fine, which will benefit an organization that helps victims of right-wing violence.

Neo-Nazis held a commemorative march on Feb.13, 2008, on the anniversary of the World War II firebombing of Dresden by Allied forces, which right-wing extremists have taken to calling the "bombing Holocaust." In protest, Kuhn blasted the music at the neo-Nazis from the windows of the Green Party parliamentary fraction offices.

According to the indictment, the state prosecutor said it was proven that "loud Jewish music" was played from the window, interrupting a speech that a neo-Nazi was trying to deliver. Kuhn, the state said, thus interfered with the right to free assembly.

Kuhn said he did not regret his actions. "If I was able to stop the flow of brown [Nazi] verbal muck, I am more than willing to accept the payment of a fine," he told reporters.

Reportedly, in a similar case in 2006, a state prosecutor in Mittenberg, in the former west German state of Baden-W├╝rttemberg, dismissed charges against a Catholic priest who rang church bells during a neo-Nazi gathering in the local marketplace.

The members of the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany were unable to continue their rally and filed suit.

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