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'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)

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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.
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