The German Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe defends the usage of the term “Polish Death Camps” as freedom of speech. It also determined that German TV station ZDF does not need to acknowledge the verdicts of Polish courts. Tomasz Pietryga explains how this verdict is against EU laws and is an odd extension of freedom of speech.
The Court of Justice in Karlsruhe stated that ZDF does not need to apologize to Auschwitz survivor Karol Tendera for using the term “Polish Death Camps”, despite the fact that both other German and Polish courts agreed that ZDF must apologize, and EU laws mention acknowledging and executing verdicts of other member states.
The court explained that in Germany, there is freedom of expression and freedom of media. Do such freedoms warrant ignorance and lack of knowledge as well as lies and manipulation? Freedom of expression does not give the right to lie, whereas the German court gladly does so in such a shameful subject for the German nation as Auschwitz.
It’s a shame that the predecessors of the German judges did not care about the rights to freedom and dignity of Karol Tendera when they sent him to the German death camp Auschwitz
Much has been said about the German leadership moving away from the policy of guilt and towards the process of whitewashing German crimes. Is the verdict of the Court of Justice proof of this? It’s a shame that the predecessors of the judges in the court did not care about the rights to freedom and dignity of Karol Tendera when they sent him to the German death camp Auschwitz. The “freedom” to make a murderous ideology reality was more important to them.
The Polish side has vowed to put forth the issue to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. This will be an opportunity to explain the relationship between courts in the EU as well as put the term “Polish Death Camps” to European public debate writes Tomasz Pietryga in Rzeczpospolita.
The verdict of the court has provoked outrage among the Polish public as well as media.
Journalist Grzegorz Jankowski wrote on twitter: “This makes my blood boil! The German Court of Justice determined that using the term “Polish Death Camps” is freedom of speech. To put it bluntly: they say that it is right to lie through your teeth. Who needs such courts and such justice?”
Karol Tendera is an Auschwitz survivor and the secretary of the club of former prisoners of German death camps. After ZDF showed the term “Polish Death Camps Majdanek and Auschwitz” on their website in 2013, Tendera sued the tv station. Although he won in Polish and German courts and ZDF was forced to apologize, they did so in a disgraceful manner by putting the apology in a barely visible part of an article. That is why Tendera turned to the German Federal Court of Justice.