Sascha Krolzig, leader of Dortmund’s far-right fringe party Die Rechte (The Right), on Friday lost an appeal to the German Constitutional Court, which upheld his 6-months prison sentence for using the insult “frecher Judenfunktionär” (cheeky Jewish functionary) against Matitjahu Kellig, the head of Jewish community in Detmold.
In 2019, Krolzig announced on Twitter that Die Rechte was “the only consistently anti-Israeli party on the ballot,” and published articles under the hashtag #niewiederIsrael.
In Krolzig’s trial, back in February 2018, the prosecution argued that the phrase is associated with Nazi ideology, which in Germany makes it hate speech, its central message being that Jews can’t be a part of German society.
Krolzig admitted to writing the taunt, but claimed it was protected speech under the right to freedom of expression. But the judge ruled against him and rejected his plea for probation due because Krolzig was already on probation for a 2015 conviction.
The Constitutional Court on Friday confirmed the original sentence, stressing that freedom of opinion does not justify opinions which “mark the transition to aggression or breach of law.”
According to the decision, German history has made it necessary to employ “an increased sensitivity in dealing with the pejorative use of the word Jew.”
And you thought Germans don’t learn from history.
Sascha Krolzig was a leading member of the Kameradschaft Hamm, one of the most active neo-Nazi groups in North Rhine-Westfalia until its ban in August 2012. Since January 2004, Krolzig has been appearing frequently as a registrant and speaker at right-wing extremist rallies. In the numerous demonstrations that followed, he appeared with neo-Nazi figures Siegfried Borchardt, Ursula Haverbeck, Axel Reitz, Christian Worch and Thomas Wulff.
Krolzig joined the Kampfbund of German Socialists in January 2007 and was one of its Regional Commissioners until its dissolution in July 2008. In September 2012, he was elected to the board of the North Rhine-Westfalian state association of Die Rechte.