• Sweden edition
 
'Heil Hitler' song deemed not hate speech: ruling
Eddie in a 1959 Chevy with Lennart Nordblom/Bengtfors Powergliders, August 1991

'Heil Hitler' song deemed not hate speech: ruling

Published: 23 Jul 2010 08:43 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Jul 2010 08:43 GMT+02:00

The Chancellor of Justice (Justitiekanslern, JK) will not bring criminal charges against a car owner who played late rockabilly singer Eddie Meduza's song "Heil Hitler" over loudspeakers to a large group of people in a parking lot.

The grounds for the dismissal of the notification is that the car owner probably is not the publisher of the CD nor the producer of the radio program that played the song. JK also considers it doubtful that the track constitutes hate speech because it is clearly intended as a joke or satire against Nazism.

According to JK's ruling on Tuesday, the regional public prosecution office in Borås in western Sweden had submitted a police notification report to JK for incitement of racial hatred regarding an incident that took place on May 14th.

The incident took place in a parking lot in Sätila between Gothenburg and Borås. A police patrol was called to keep order at a dance event. At the close of business, there were still 80 to 100 people in the parking lot.

A car with large loudspeakers on the roof played music at a high volume. According to the car owner, he played an Eddie Meduza song. In the chorus, the lyrics "Heil Hitler" are clearly sung. The notification was directed against the car owner and made by two of the officers who were called to the scene.

According to the ruling, JK took the text of the lyrics from the internet.

"The investigation of the case is not the source of the song that was played through the loudspeakers on the car," JK wrote.

There would be several difficulties in investigating a possible breach of freedom of expression even if an investigation were launched and the car owner questioned, JK said.

"The words 'Heil Hitler,' taken individually, could be construed to include contempt against all Jews in the same manner as a public presentation of Nazi symbols, such as a swastika," JK wrote. "These words cannot be taken out of context."

However, "A comprehensive assessment of the text of the Meduza song indicates that it intended to be a joke or a satire about Nazism and stresses its terrible consequences," JK ruled.

Rocker Meduza, who died in 2002, was known for his provocative lyrics about alcohol and sex.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

12:15 July 23, 2010 by israeli
swedes are nazis thats why they hate israel. now it is formal
13:34 July 23, 2010 by Swedesmith
Painting all Swedes, all Jews, all blacks or any other race with the same brush is ignorant. That type of thinking just leads to more hate.
14:48 July 23, 2010 by Marko2010S
Let's all sing "Heil Hitler" "Heil Hitler" "Heil Hitler".

I wanna buy that track !
15:41 July 23, 2010 by GefleFrequentFlyer
Sweden and thier a la carte "whats legal and whats not" when it comes to racially charged issues blows my mind....

In other news, "raggare" is not an excuse to parade around town like a fool, regardless of tradition.
17:47 July 23, 2010 by Kevin Harris
Eddie Meduza's song Heil Hitler is a parody. It ridicules Hitler, the Nazis and those that support them. It no more celebrates Hitler, than Sprinsteen's Born on the Fourth of July celebrates the USA. Eddie, like Bruce, was a bit peeved that idiots with no sense of irony, were actually dumb enough not to realise the true message of the song, and interpreted it in the opposite way to which it was meant.

It seems from some of the posts above, that even after all this fuss, people still can't be bothered to actually listen to the song, or did listen to it, and were actually dumb enough ...... etc.

The song is available on You Tube, complete with visuals ridiculing Hitler and the Nazis. Perhaps when viewed with pictures to help you, you might actually get the point of the song.
17:54 July 23, 2010 by Jannik
It doesnt matter if the song is satirical or not.

"Hate speech" laws are totalitarian by nature.

Singing hitler songs should be allowed with reference to freedom of expression.

These types of laws fit well with the totalitarian leftist state in Sweden.
23:26 July 23, 2010 by babychuma
I agree with Jannik, we are not children and can decide for ourselves what is appropriate for a social setting. That being said it should be legal to publicly crush an idiot for playing something that espouses fascism. Can't have one without the other. If it is satire I would defend it with my dying breath, but if your a fascist your on your own. Everyone in a democracy has the responsibility to denounce any totalitarian ideology.
12:50 July 24, 2010 by Andersson
"heil hitler" or "great hilter" ......
23:16 July 27, 2010 by wxman
So, speech should be free unless I don't like it? It doesn't work that way.
Today's headlines
Eco-conscious Swedes in hen house trend
Chickens photo: Shutterstock.

Eco-conscious Swedes in hen house trend

Fresh eggs from the hen house at the bottom of the garden is the latest eco-friendly fad being pursued by Swedish urbanites ready to run the risk of a little neighbourhood friction to keep their Saturday pancakes organic. READ () »

Football fan father leaves baby in sweltering car
Parked car photo: Shutterstock.

Football fan father leaves baby in sweltering car

A baby was saved from a car parked in the stifling heat outside of a football stadium in western Sweden on Sunday with the child's father believed to be at the game. READ () »

Police launch probe after Easter ferry smash
A coastguard vessel involved in the rescue operation. Photo: TT

Police launch probe after Easter ferry smash

Stockholm police are investigating criminal negligence in connection with a crash involving a small taxi vessel and a giant Finland-bound ferry on Friday which left three people needing rescue from the icy waters of Stockholm's archipelago. READ () »

Ikea to introduce 'green' vegetarian meatballs

Ikea to introduce 'green' vegetarian meatballs

Swedish furniture giant Ikea is planning to put vegetarian meatballs on the menu in an attempt to cut down on its carbon footprint, the company has announced. READ () »

Students to keep paying off debt beyond 67

Students to keep paying off debt beyond 67

The Swedish government has proposed scrapping the 25-year span for repaying student loans, by suggesting those who attend higher education should keep paying the money back well into retirement. READ () »

Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage
The crayfish cage in the picture is not the one mentioned in the story. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage

Police in eastern Sweden have launched a preliminary investigation of animal cruelty after two puppies were found drowned in a crayfish cage. READ () »

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat
Rickard Rundgren Björk of the coastguard services speaks to the media after the rescue operation on April 19th 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin /TT

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat

Three Saturday morning sailors had a lucky escape after their small boat collided and sank after it crashed into a cruise ship whilst sailing in the Stockholm archipelago. READ () »

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK
Sofie Marie Jansson. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK

British police have found the missing Swedish girl Sofie Jansson in London, exactly a week after she was last seen, with authorities saying she is doing well. READ () »

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Sweden's opposition party has stepped up its efforts to secure the pensioner vote by pledging to lower taxes for the elderly and make higher earners pay more. READ () »

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend
Showan Shattak pictured in Malmö before his attack. Photo: Facebook

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend

The 25-year-old man, whose stabbing by neo-Nazis sparked mass demonstrations across Sweden, has made a strong recovery in hospital and took to social media to thank supporters for campaigning against fascism. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
Advertisement:
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

718
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com