Skinhead Researcher: Ban on Hate Music Ineffective
BERLIN (AP) _ A government ban on neo-Nazi rock songs - including one that urges Germans to kill Turkish children and rape their mothers - will not stop the music, an expert on skinheads predicted today.
President Richard von Weizsaecker, meanwhile, appealed for protection for Jews and foreigners, who have been the targets of young rightist thugs.
″A society which allows the lives of refugees or those who think differently to be threatened attacks itself at its very core,″ Weizsaecker said in a speech in Frankfurt to members of Germany’s Jewish community.
″The state has a responsibility to ensure all its citizens enjoy a life free from fear,″ he added.
German officials have been groping for ways to halt right-wing violence, mostly directed at foreigners, that has left 16 people dead this year. An apartment building for foreigners was firebombed Wednesday night in the southwest town of Ludwigsburg, police said. No one was injured.
On Wednesday, a federal censorship office outlawed numerous songs from at least five skinhead rock groups. The ban prohibits the sale, manufacture and distribution of the groups’ music.
Tony Robson, a researcher for Searchlight, a monthly magazine in London that monitors neo-Nazi activities worldwide, likened the music ban to the government’s recent attempts to outlaw neo-Nazi gangs. He said rock groups, just like the organizations, would only reform under new names.
″They’re desperately trying to show the world they’re doing something,″ he said of the German government. ″They’re coming under pressure. But unless they start jailing people, confiscating printing presses, the record-pressing plants, the CD plants, the bans will remain purely a stunt.″
The government has given no indication it intends to prosecute band members themselves or take action against Rock-O-Rama, a Cologne record company that markets and sells skinhead music worldwide.
Lawmaker Roland Sauer said the bands affected are Endstufe (Final Stage) of Bremen, Noie Werte (New Values) of Stuttgart, Kahlkopf (Bald Head) of Oberursel and Sperrzone (Prohibited Area) of Bruchsal. The music of the notorious Stoerkraft (Disturbing Force) was banned in October.
Sauer said the government also banned a skinhead song called ″Kanaken,″ a German racial epithet for foreigner. The song urges neo-Nazis to ″annihilate″ Turks, Germany’s largest immigrant group, and says: ″Kill their children, rape their women.″ There are 1.6 million Turks in Germany.
The banning came Wednesday, the same day a young neo-Nazi accused of the arson deaths of a Turkish grandmother and two girls - a hate crime that sickened and shamed the nation - tried to kill himself by slashing his wrists, authorities said.
Lars Christiansen, 19, was seriously injured in Luebeck prison in northern Germany, said Hans-Juergen Foerster, spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office.
Christiansen and Michael Peters, 25, have confessed to the fatal Nov. 23 firebombing.
In Bonn, meanwhile, police prohibited a right-wing extremist group from holding talks on Jews and the return of pre-war German territory at a restaurant tonight. Police said they banned the meeting of Initiative All Germany because of its ″expected anti-Semitic and anti-foreigner speech.″