Monday, August 27, 2007

YouTube criticized over Neo-Nazi clips

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Video-sharing Web site YouTube has met with harsh criticism in Germany for hosting clips that incite racial hatred, according to a news report due to be broadcast on German public TV late on Monday.

The videos hosted on YouTube include clips of a 1940 anti-Semitic propaganda film "Jud Suess" and two music videos of outlawed German far-right rock band Landser, which show footage from World War II depicting Nazi military operations.

Report Mainz, which is due to air the program, said in a statement that Social Democrat (SPD) parliamentarian Dieter Wiefelspuetz said airing the clips on YouTube in Germany was scandalous. Report Mainz quoted him as saying: "Publishing these films amounts to aiding and abetting incitement of the people."

Report Mainz also said that Germany's Central Council of Jews Vice President Salomon Korn was considering pressing charges against Google Germany.

According to the statement from Report Mainz, German youth protection body has complained to Google Germany more than 100 times and asked Google, which bought YouTube last year, to remove the clips.

Some of the material has been on the site for almost a year.

Google Germany was not immediately available for comment.

More than 60 years after the Holocaust, Germany is grappling with a rise in support for Nazi ideas. Neo-Nazi violence in Germany has reached its highest level since reunification in 1990.


I have mixed feelings about the publication of Nazi propaganda. I don't want them to get free advertising but I also think they should be confronted. I also think the public should see the truth, what the Nazis are all about. Pouring sunshine into dark corners sometimes makes the rats scurry and the mildew dry up. So public awareness is a good thing.

But, what about the benefit to these types of organizations when it comes to recruiting and strengthening the bonds between members of Nazi groups and between the groups themselves?

Does the manufacture and distribution of Nazi propaganda stregthen the Nazi movement? I think maybe it does and I think that's what has Germany so upset. They have laws in place to prevent the rise to power of the Nazis or other hate groups that might spawn another Holocaust. Germany has codified into law its opposition to Nazism.

So, I guess the reaction to the Nazi propaganda is a bit different over there.

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