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First Person Shooters (Games) Games

Wolfenstein Being Recalled In Germany 625

Posted by Soulskill
from the ach-mein-leben dept.
D1gital_Prob3 tips news that Activision's recently-released shooter, Wolfenstein, is being recalled in Germany due to the appearance of swastikas in the game. Such symbols are banned in Germany, and the German version of the game went through heavy editing to remove them. Apparently, they missed some. Activision said, "Although it is not a conspicuous element in the normal game ... we have decided to take this game immediately from the German market." Reader eldavojohn points out a review that has screenshot comparisons between the two versions of the game.
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Wolfenstein Being Recalled In Germany

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  • censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:27AM (#29515977) Journal

    Apparently this [schnittberichte.com] is the reason that it has to be pulled from the market. I don't know about you but I find the rationale for this type of censorship to be utterly absurd. So much for free speech.....

  • Trotskydoom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Baldrson (78598) * on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:30AM (#29516043) Homepage Journal
    So just release a modified version of Wolfenstein that focuses on commies rather than nazis called "Trotskydoom" wherein the objective is to blow away all of the Bolsheviks that are confiscating food from the farmers to impose the famine of 1921 on rural Russians. I mean, come on, there isn't anywhere in the world the hammer and sickle are outlawed and the commies killed far more than the nazis did so it should be even more fun than Wolfenstein!
  • so long ago (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:30AM (#29516053) Homepage

    It's been over 60 years, Germany. You don't have to worry about symbolism bringing back the Nazi party; most of them are dead. Your reasons for denying the existence of history are over now. It's time to give free speech a try.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:32AM (#29516073) Journal

    but the invisible-to-my-eye Swastikas are not?

    Don't you know that human beings are so impressionable that all they need is to see a small swastika and they will instantly volunteer to help load the boxcars? Clearly we need a benevolent government to protect us from such evil.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:33AM (#29516095)

    Beyond the obvious problems with censorship in general, this kind of "censorship" where superficial elements are removed while keeping the overall spirit and subject matter of the game (come on, who wouldn't figure out looking at those obfuscated Nazi banners what the REAL symbol is supposed to mean) is abous as ridiculous as Japanese censorship laws, where you can make the most perverted porn than any other country in the world, but must superficially pixelate certain parts.

    If you are not willing to forgo censorship alltogether, at least do it "right". What's done here detracts from immersion while serving absolutely no purpose towards whatever your censorship laws are trying to serve (unless their purpose is to ruin immersion, that is)

  • by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:33AM (#29516101)

    Stuff like this is one reason out of many I'm very wary of social progressives. Germany is a socially progressive state, and I don't think it's at all a coincidence that such censorship exists. Of course the social progressives are going to come out of the woodwork to justify it by scaring people up about the possibility of Nazis arising again and so on and so forth, but I guess sacrificing freedom in order to protect it is just a necessity to them. Individual freedom is on the down-and-out world-wide in the name of social consensus and thus niche groups (including nerds and gamers) suffer the most.

  • Hey Germany (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:33AM (#29516105) Homepage Journal

    The Swastika didn't kill anyone.
    A bunch of jackasses did. Why don't you just outlaw people planning to kill other people?

    Do you think not having a Swastika will prevent a dictator or demagogue from choosing a different symbol to hide behind?

  • Swastika (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spatial (1235392) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:34AM (#29516113)
    If it's so bad, why the hell do they censor it when the point of the game is to lay waste to everything it stands for?

    Of course, rationality is far too much to expect from a censorship board.
  • by Cornwallis (1188489) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:34AM (#29516117)

    Witness the USA's own B Obama and the renewed, continuing, supported powers under the Patriot Act and patriot Act II. There, fixed that for ya.

  • by darkwing_bmf (178021) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:34AM (#29516119)

    Shame the anti-Nazi folk couldn't give you a break

    I'm anti-Nazi. Everyone here is (hopefully) anti-Nazi. That doesn't mean we should censor their symbols out of existence or try to ignore history.

  • Re:Trotskydoom (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:34AM (#29516129) Homepage
    The nazis are loved by nobody. The commies, especially Trotsky, are still worshipped and respected in some parts of the world. And not only ignorant parts, either - highly educated people believe in it! That makes it pretty much a no-go as far as video game villains go. You need someone who nobody sympathizes with, like aliens or nazis or corporations.
  • Re:censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Absolut187 (816431) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:38AM (#29516183) Homepage

    Its even more absurd considering the fact that the game is all about KILLING the nazis..

    AFAIK there is no option to play as a nazi in this game (unlike, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory).

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:40AM (#29516227) Journal

    Here's a huge list of screenshots of differences between uncensored and german version [schnittberichte.com]

    Wow how did you ever find that link? Did you actually read the summary or something?

    The interesting thing now is if they're gonna remove that texture, remaster, repackage and send the new ones to all stores again, even more so because the game is over an month old now and the best sales are already gone.

    German law Strafgesetzbuch Section 86 [wikipedia.org]:

    Dissemination of Means of Propaganda of Unconstitutional Organizations (1) Whoever domestically disseminates or produces, stocks, imports or exports or makes publicly accessible through data storage media for dissemination domestically or abroad, means of propaganda: 1. of a party which has been declared to be unconstitutional by the Federal Constitutional Court or a party or organization, as to which it has been determined, no longer subject to appeal, that it is a substitute organization of such a party; [...] 4. means of propaganda, the contents of which are intended to further the aims of a former National Socialist organization, shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than three years or a fine. [...] (3) Subsection (1) shall not be applicable if the means of propaganda or the act serves to further civil enlightenment, to avert unconstitutional aims, to promote art or science, research or teaching, reporting about current historical events or similar purposes. [...] Section 86a StGB Use of Symbols of Unconstitutional Organizations (1) Whoever: 1. domestically distributes or publicly uses, in a meeting or in writings (Â 11 subsection (3)) disseminated by him, symbols of one of the parties or organizations indicated in Section 86 subsection (1), nos. 1, 2 and 4; or 2. produces, stocks, imports or exports objects which depict or contain such symbols for distribution or use domestically or abroad, in the manner indicated in number 1, shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than three years or a fine. (2) Symbols, within the meaning of subsection (1), shall be, in particular, flags, insignia, uniforms, slogans and forms of greeting. Symbols which are so similar as to be mistaken for those named in sentence 1 shall be deemed to be equivalent thereto.

    Note: I do not agree with the German governments staunch policy against symbols [bbc.co.uk] but they're free to govern as they see fit (pending the EU's approval). If they want to keep selling the game in Germany, they might want to uphold German laws. I don't know how many gamers are in Germany but they have a population of about 82 million and I think that it's a safe bet some "texture, remaster, repackage" can be afforded for that market.

  • Re:censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) * on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:40AM (#29516239) Journal

    No kidding. Seems like Germans would have learned a thing or two about the negative aspects of authoritarianism. Censorship, even well intentioned, can easily turn into repression. Freedom of expression protects everyone.

  • Re:censorship (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Brian Gordon (987471) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:44AM (#29516291)

    Yeah, it's almost like Germany never ratified the United States Bill of Rights...

  • by gnick (1211984) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:44AM (#29516297) Homepage

    Ignoring history (or hiding from it) seems to be the basis of these laws. It strikes me as hugely contradictory to outlaw both denying the holocaust and displaying a swastika. It's an unfortunate historical relic - Deal with it...

  • by EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:51AM (#29516419) Journal
    Umm, the reason it exists is because as you may have heard Germany had a little bit of bother with nationalism around the 1930's and 1940's. It has nothing to do with social progressives and all to do with that early to mid 20th century problem.

    Regardless of whether the German government is left, right or liberal that law would still exist.
  • Re:censorship (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:51AM (#29516423) Journal

    Free Speech is an inalienable right, not something doled out to you by a friendly Governmental overlord. Nice try though.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:57AM (#29516511) Journal

    I think the anti-Nazi laws made sense in the first decade or two after the end of WWII, and maybe an argument can be made right through the Cold War, but come on. Is there anybody out there who seriously still has a Thatcheristic fear that they'll be burning the Reichstag again?

    Yes, there are some neo-Brown Shirt skin heads out there, and all the anti-Nazi symbolism laws in Germany and Austria haven't seemed to put much of a dent in them. Short of shooting anyone who looks remotely like a Hitler lover, I think the time has come and gone when the laws could be justified.

  • Re:censorship (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:03PM (#29516623) Journal

    We want to keep right-winged people to from glorifying the Nazi time and we want to keep them from using their symbols, if possible.

    In other words you want to restrict their freedom of political expression because you find their ideals abhorrent. You can justify it any way that you wish but it's still censorship. Personally I find the notion of censoring a Nazi to be as offensive as his political goals if not more so -- because we ought to know better.

  • by WankersRevenge (452399) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:08PM (#29516729)

    What the fuck are you talking about? Not allowing Swatiskas in birthplace of the Nazi regime is somehow part of a worldwide trend on reducing freedoms? I know shit about contemporary German culture, but I can imagine that the swatiska is a emotional lightning rod for people there. You know ... the regime was responsible for the deaths of millions and millions of people. Sure, they aren't really dealing with it by hiding it, but that's their choice. This is a uniquely German issue, not some liberal plot to filter words or ideas.

    Also, equating video games with suffering because it doesn't have blood or swatiskas in it is like saying some dude is suffering because his fajita wasn't served with sour cream. It's not suffering. It's whining.

    Jesus ... I don't know who is a bigger ass ... you or the people who modded you insightful.

  • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:10PM (#29516775)
    Some of these US posters come over as having a mental age of about 13. You seem to think that "freedom of speech" is the freedom to say or do anything. That's an interesting US interpretation, but it has been popularised by oppressive corporations who want the right to lie to you in the name of advertising, or news. In the US it is used to attack, unfairly and inappropriately, politicians and public figures. Your libel laws are a thug's charter. (British libel laws are not bad, it is the over the top legal fees that are bad. They are designed to prevent people making false accusations of wrongdoing, whereas in the US you can make false accusations and claim to "believe" them to avoid punishment.)

    You simply have no idea of the significance of Nazi symbols in Europe; the US was never invaded, and the US Government took good care not to expose US citizens to the truth about the Allied invasion of Europe, concealing (for instance) the horrors of D-Day and the Bulge. Your Government takes good care that you don't know what war is like, especially since public reaction ended the ground war in Vietnam.

    When you emerge from your bedrooms and basements, try visiting Germany and the east and actually learning some real history. Then you might understand why, to much of Europe, the use of Nazi symbols in a game is highly inappropriate. But, until you are grown up and actually know something about the world other than soundbites and games, shut the fuck up about civil liberties in a country about which you clearly know less than nothing. And yes, you do make me cross. Go talk to some of the American survivors of WW2, they might tell you a thing or two.

  • Re:so long ago (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ThePhilips (752041) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:15PM (#29516849) Homepage Journal

    Bavaria was btw one of the least nazist lands probably. They are simply over-conservative so even smallest strain of nazism is going to remain there for quite some time. (Hint: nazism came to power and spread from poor German lands while Bavaria was (and is) one of the richest.)

    Frankly the ban on svastika is absurd, considering that neo-nazis are pretty harmless bunch and it is anti-nazis whom I actually afraid of more.

    In northern poor lands of Germany (where from browns have originated) though spirit of racism is still kicking. Names or symbols do not matter IMO. But Germany instead of solving the racism problem concentrates too much on apologetic measures like this ban.

  • Fuck you! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PontifexPrimus (576159) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:16PM (#29516855)
    Seriously, fuck you. And get back to me when you can say that on American television; until then, continue denying that anyone in America ever fucked.
  • by scorp1us (235526) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:18PM (#29516891) Journal
    Mod parent insightful, not funny. Seriously though, Buddhism used the swastika [religionfacts.com](usually a mirror image though) . This was done up until Germany rendered it a vile symbol. Before that it meant good fortune and other positive things. Men give these symbols meaning. The geometry is indifferent.
  • Re:Swastika (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:24PM (#29516971)

    Ironic given that holocaust denial was once a serious crime in Germany.

  • by SoVeryTired (967875) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:24PM (#29516977)

    The trouble is, laws like this are incredibly difficult to get rid of. What politician wants to stand up and denounce such a law, at the risk of looking like a Nazi sympathiser?

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:26PM (#29517003) Homepage Journal

    Warning: mysql_connect(): Too many connections in /home/sc003clu/www/home/includes/config.php on line 67

    Warning: Missing argument 1 for showerror() in /home/sc003clu/www/home/includes/config.php on line 93
    Fehler 1040 : Too many connections

    Gotta 3 /.

    But, IMO, it's about time to start letting that censorship crap go. Really. Apparently, the game is perfectly legal and acceptable all around the world, except Germany. After 6 decades it's just time to move on. And, no, "moving on" doesn't mean forgetting the lessons of the past - it only means accepting the lessons, then moving on. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • by ThePhilips (752041) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:27PM (#29517023) Homepage Journal

    Symbols do empower.

    Rituals too.

    The point is that banning a symbol doesn't change people. And symbol gets its meaning from people. It only suppresses expression of their true wishes. They'd find another symbol - and another scapegoat to blame for their problems - as soon as they would accumulate enough negative emotions.

    What actually happened is that svastika's relation to Hitler and nazis was as good as perpetuated by the ban. IOW, you can't get over the problem by forcing yourself to stop thinking about. That simply doesn't work.

    Germany would have more success parting svastika from its past by doing reverse: paint svastikas with flowers and funny colors and and slap them all over the country.

    Make people smile at it - not shun it. Suppression doesn't work - reframing does.

  • Re:censorship (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) * on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:30PM (#29517079) Journal

    It's meant to keep right-winged people from glorifying the Nazis.

    By quashing political dissent, you are becoming like the Nazis. Let the right wingers openly glorify the nazis, so reasonable moderate people can see just how awful they are. Here in the states we let the KKK march freely, and usually the protests over the march are bigger than the klan march itself. If you do not trust your populace to make the right choice when fully informed, how can you even pretend to be democratic?

    By singling out Nazis as forbidden by the government, you have codified them as a de facto opposition group to the state. Those who feel disenfranchised will look to the obvious enemy of your government for support. This strengthens the Nazis as opposed to simply ignoring them. Slashdotters will know this as the Streisand Effect.

    If you really want to prevent Nazis from gaining power again, don't outright ban them in your constitution. Codify principles incompatible with Naziism in your constitution. Freedom of religion, Freedom of Expression, etc. As long as Freedom of Expression is not protected by your constitution, it can be taken away from you. When (not if) that happens, do you really care if it was the Nazis or some other group?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:35PM (#29517157)

    I'm going to be brutally honest, at the risk of sounding like a conspiracy nut: I assumed that the symbolism of Nazism was still banned so that, if ever the country went down a similar road, they would at least never*look*like Nazis again,and would in the process of nazification be able to point to the fact that Nazi symbolism etc was still banned.

    In fact, while a swastika can be intimidating, what was dangerous was a group of people acting on certain ideals. So it would be much better if the ideological descendants of those people, trying to act on those ideals again, would do it openly with all the symbolism that reminds us of why we didn't like them the first time round.

  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:39PM (#29517233)

    I think the issue is with where to draw the line. Obviously, someone shouldn't be allowed to fly the flag of Nazi Germany outside their house, as that would be extremely intimidating to anyone living nearby who belongs to any of the groups Nazis don't like. By banning the swastika nearly outright, they avoid situations where someone could claim it was there for some artistic, ironic reason.

    Actually, it wouldn't be intimidating. If you tried this (and it was legal), I can guarantee that the flag, the flagpole, the garden fence, your windows and many other things would be gone very soon.

  • by Boronx (228853) <evonreis@mohr-e[ ... m ['ngi' in gap]> on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:51PM (#29517459) Homepage Journal

    'Cause the Poles fought back?

  • by KingMotley (944240) * on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:54PM (#29517517) Journal

    I would agree that some of the people posting not only have a mental age of about 13, but are likely chronologically 12-15 as well. That doesn't change the fact that the anti-nazi laws in Germany look pretty silly for those of us that don't actually live there. You shouldn't comment on other countries laws if you don't know them very well. Your interpretation (or at least your statement) of the libel, slander, and tort laws within the US makes for a nice sound bite, but it's not nearly that simple. Simply believing a statement to be true, or the proclamation of such isn't a valid defense. Just an FYI - the US libel laws are based on the original British defamatory laws, and are very similar at their core.

    You should really brush up on your history a little bit, because the US was invaded. The white house burned down to the ground. We don't ban flags, symbols, or discussions about the subject. We don't ban the confederate flag, or other civil war era material. Vietnam wasn't a war, it was a police action -- big difference. Burying your head in the sand and pretending something didn't happen or doesn't exist doesn't make you better, it just raises a new generation of ignorant citizens.

  • by fluxrad (125130) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:02PM (#29517693) Homepage

    Oohh! +5: LOLUSians!

    You simply have no idea of the significance of Nazi symbols in Europe

    I think it's you that must have no idea of the significance of Nazi symbols in the rest of the world. Irrespective of your personal beliefs, in the U.S. we hold freedom of speech to be our dearest liberty. That includes, no matter how distasteful you may find it to be, the right of others to say damn near anything they please. That's why, despite slavery being the United States' version of original sin, we allow nutjob racists to run organized marches in the streets (As a presumed European, you simply have no idea of the significance of KKK symbols in the U.S. right?). That's why we allow southerners to fly the Confederate flag, or allow anyone who damn well pleases the right to suggest that 9/11 was an inside job, or that Obama is a <insert racial epithet here>. I'm sure someone else will drop the obligatory Voltaire quote.

    US Government took good care not to expose US citizens to the truth about the Allied invasion of Europe, concealing (for instance) the horrors of D-Day and the Bulge.

    Honestly, given the sacrifice (and stories) of American servicemen in both battles, I think that's an incredibly offensive thing to say. And I'm glad you have the right to say it.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:32PM (#29518215) Homepage

    Would you see the harm in outlawing the christian cross? How about the pentagram? How about the star of david? The moon and star? The hammer and sickle?

    While we're at it, I don't see the harm in outlawing a lot of things. But then again, my views are going to be different from many others and that is the point. What is harmful is one body limiting the free expression and opinion of others, even [and especially] "unpopular thought."

    I can still say "nigger" legally and I'm thankful for it. There are likely to be other consequences, but they are not imposed by law and that's the way it should be. If the game that contains swastikas is shunned by the people of Germany, that is good. If some Germans don't care and would enjoy playing the game? That's good too. But when one body says that some things are illegal because it contains offensive symbols? I have to take issue with it.

    Now I can hear comments coming ... "what about child porn then?! isn't that the same body telling us that some things are illegal because it contains offensive content?" Well yes... yes it is and I have issues with that as well. Would I rather that child porn not exist? Yeah, certainly. Would I prefer that rape never occur? Yes. Would I wish that images of mutilated bodies from war and disaster not appear in public? Absolutely. I think materials and information like these should be legal. The line should be drawn at the action people take. Don't war. Don't cause mass destruction. Don't murder or rape. And most certainly don't exploit children who are not capable of making choices for themselves. These are actions that should all be prohibited by law and punishable. But things like porn are subjective and the grey areas are far too many. (Some say that cartoons depicting children in sexual situations is child porn... but isn't child porn law supposed to focus on the exploitation of children and not crimes of thought and imagination?)

    The line between thought and action is pretty clear and obvious. Punish actions, not thoughts.

  • Re:censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VirginMary (123020) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:36PM (#29518277)

    You are incredibly naive! Not only was outlawing Naziism pretty much imposed on our government by your government and its allies, (so much for your "Freedom of Expression"), but you seem to think that putting some nice sounding principles into a constitution guarantees citizens rights. We have a saying in Germany: "Paper is patient." This means that you can write whatever you like down on paper but it doesn't necessarily mean anything! Communist East Germany had a beautiful constitution granting its citizens all kinds of rights which they didn't actually have in practice! Also it seems to me that what your constitution means changes with the composition of your Supreme Court judges. Furthermore it is extremely easy to ignore or misinterpret constitutions and countries ideals as witnessed by the many US citizens that firmly believe that the US started out and was intended to be a Christian state.

  • by kLaNk (82409) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:52PM (#29518613)

    Obviously, someone shouldn't be allowed to fly the flag of Nazi Germany outside their house

    When you start that sentence out with "obviously" I fear you've already missed the mark.

    In the US south confederate flags are flown often. In other parts of the world swastikas are common decoration, even decorating holy temples.

    Taking a stance like yours only empowers those icons and enables them to continue to be a hot topic decades later. If, after the civil war, nigger had been legally banned and the government moved to great lengths to eradicate its usage, I'd argue that it would hold *significantly* more power than it does today.

  • by Synn (6288) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:56PM (#29518651)

    Obviously, someone shouldn't be allowed to fly the flag of Nazi Germany outside their house

    Why is this obvious? People fly the confederate flag all the time. Yeah, I'm sure it's offensive to many groups, but that's the problem with free speech, it's often offensive.

  • Re:so long ago (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Darth (29071) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:59PM (#29518711) Homepage

    They are definitely not denying the existence of history. When I was in Germany, everyone there was very aware of their history. I agree that suppression of symbols isn't helping, but they aren't doing it in an attempt to deny the Nazis existed.

  • by GargamelSpaceman (992546) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @02:00PM (#29518735) Homepage Journal
    Yes, but now some politician has to be publically *for* removing the laws which means this issue has to be more important to them than about a million of other issues which really are important unlike whether or not schwa stickers are allowed.. So... This poitician with questionable priorties may also have questionable ideologies ( since this minor thing was so important to them ) which means they likely wouldn't get elected in the first place.

    I mean unless you were a nazi why risk something that matters over advocating repealing anti-nazi laws? A non-nazi who wanted the anti-nazi laws repealed might mention that restricting free speech is a bad idea, but free speech minus schwa stickers is free speech still. Hardly anyone misses the schwa sticker, and of those that do miss it the vast majority hardly ever miss it. There happens to be no compelling need for the schwa sticker itself. Of course it's absence probably makes it more conspicuous.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @02:03PM (#29518801)
    Two words for you, my man:

    Sunset provision.

    I have no problem with justified, situational revoking of limited subsets of liberty, provided it expires. For instance, I had no problem with the original USA PATRIOT act, solely because it would expire after a year, and hey, people were scared and needed a bit of security theater. Then, they went ahead and renewed it, and made it permanent... THAT was a stupid move.
  • Re:so long ago (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Idarubicin (579475) <allsquietNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @02:15PM (#29518991) Journal

    It's time to give free speech a try.

    You go first. [wikipedia.org]

  • by Golddess (1361003) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @02:19PM (#29519063)

    Displaying the confederate flag doesn't generally imply a threat of violence.

    Maybe not to you...

  • by superdana (1211758) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @02:25PM (#29519157)
    The original (pre-Nazi) swastika is still used in Japan too. It's all over the maps there--it marks the location of temples.

    Also, those of you who have character palettes on your computers, look up Unicode code points 534D and 5350. I wonder if those are blank on German computers.
  • by Logic and Reason (952833) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @03:14PM (#29519815) Homepage

    Additionally, regarding the well known history of Germany there is NO REASON to show, wear or use Nazi symbols other than for a) education (allowed) or b) propaganda for forces against the German democracy (disallowed).

    So which is Wolfenstein?

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @03:23PM (#29519989) Journal

    The fact that a bolt of lightning hasn't come down from the heavens and fried guys like you where you sit is one of the top reasons I'm an atheist.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @03:25PM (#29520033) Journal

    How does censoring hate speech stop hate? It hasn't done so in Austria and Germany. You don't extinguish evil ideas by banning them, you extinguish them with counter-argument and facts. Only a fool believes that censorship leads to freedom.

  • by bcmm (768152) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @04:37PM (#29521423)
    If someone were to fly as confederate flag as in implicit threat to murder his black neighbours, then I think he should be made to take it down. I'm not from the US, but I get the impression that it's more often used as a symbol of disliking the federal government. I don't see that (seriously) showing a Nazi flag could ever not be taken as a threat against the Jewish/Roma/whatever population of a city.
  • by node 3 (115640) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @06:24PM (#29523053)

    I don't see that (seriously) showing a Nazi flag could ever not be taken as a threat against the Jewish/Roma/whatever population of a city.

    That's absurd. It's just a flag. If someone puts up a flag and they are a person who will engage in violence against some other group of people, how is them not being able to put up the flag going to change anything?

    People are too goddamned cowardly these days.

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