Absurd, alarming, scandalous: Antifascist Bernhard Klevenz comments on his conviction for incitement of the people

Lesezeit17 min

MagMa publishes here the statement of comrade Bernhard Klevenz in the face of a deeply absurd, scandalous and alarming verdict. The court refused to allow him to present the following statement. Therefore, and in view of the consequences for all upright anti‐​fascists, the comrade’s statement is made available to the public here. Whoever wants to support Berhard Klevenz is welcome to contact him: bklevenz@t‑online.de. As a supplement the documentation of the trial as PDF is recommended, which can be found on the not yet blocked website of Bernhard Klevenz: https://​undemokrat​.4lima​.de/​V​o​l​k​s​v​e​r​h​e​t​z​u​n​g​.​pdf.

Statement on the trial on 01.03.22

I have been running a homepage at the original address www​.bklevenz​.de on historical and political issues since about 1999. I primarily write my own texts, which I revise according to my knowledge and insights. In this context I also publish historical documents, which I scan, edit with software and eventually add name and subject indexes to make the document searchable. This included the book Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler. Since this is supposed to be about Volksverhetzung (trans.: crime in german law, officially translated as »incitement to hatred« of national, racial, religious group or a group defined by their ethnic origins. Generally applied to Holocaust denial), I list my essays as far as they come into consideration for this.

Overview of my political essays:

  • »The Diligence of Others. A Definition of Work and Productivity«. I also had this paper printed and distributed it, among other places, at my former place of work.
  • »At our expense? Wage continuation in case of unemployment or abolition of the welfare state« on the problem of an unconditional basic income.
  • « ›From the spark will come the flame‹. In memory of the Dutch revolutionary Marinus van der Lubbe …«

For this I have posted as material:

  • »The Brown Book of the Reichstag Fire and Hitler Terror« (1933) by the KPD.
  • »Red Book Marinus van der Lubbe«, published by the »International Van der Lubbe Committee« (1933).
  • In »How Many Times Will Hitler Be Defeated?« (2012) I criticize the ritualization and moralization of organized anti‐​fascism. (By now, this is already outdated).
  • »Immigration as a Project of Capital« (2015).
  • »Popanz.pdf« is an annotated edition of Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler, 1943 edition. (The exact reference is necessary because Mein Kampf was constantly edited between 1926 and 1943. I used the 1943 edition because it was the most accessible to me; it is the most common version on the Internet). The complete text of Mein Kampf is juxtaposed with statements by contemporaries about Hitler as a person and his development into a »charismatic leader.«
  • »Masked Ball. Democracy unfolds into recognizability: social cuts and preparations for war under the pretext of fighting epidemics.« (2020)
Graphic from Bernhard Klevenz‹ website https://​undemokrat​.4lima​.de/

In September 2020 criminal charges were filed against me for incitement of the people according to § 130 StGB. (As. 3 – 4) However, not only because of »Popanz.pdf,« but because of my essay »Immigration as a Project of Capital.« This was said to be a racist text. A prosecutor named Rüling unfortunately found nothing criminal in this essay, but suggested to deal with »Popanz.pdf« all the same. (As. 9)

I was given a penalty order in the amount of 1500 Euros (50 daily rates) for incitement of the people (§ 130 StGB), against which I appealed. Thanks to Corona, I was sent almost the complete investigation files upon request (normally, as a non‐​lawyer, one is only allowed to inspect them) (As 137). I refer exclusively to these files.

In June 2021 the trial took place. In old age, one tends to be peaceful and willing to compromise; therefore, and due to the special circumstances (mask requirement1, my hearing loss2, and, of course, lack of trial experience), I did not object, contrary to my original request, to the court’s intention to limit the plea to the amount of the penalty, that is, not to object in substance.

The penalty was reduced to 750 euros for social reasons, and I was to delete the full text of Mein Kampf from my homepage, at least take out chapter 11. After careful consideration, I did not do this.3 Because I did not take Popanz.pdf off my website, www​.bklevenz​.de was deleted by Telekom at the behest of the court. Two days after the verdict was announced, I filed an appeal. Since I realized that due to my above mistake an appeal would not be successful, I withdrew it, uploaded my website to three other hosters and turned myself in.

I will explain the reasons.

  1. the district court Bruchsal does not accuse me of racism in general nor that I adopt or propagate the ideology of Adolf Hitler. The incitement of the people is said to consist merely in the »making available« of the text, although the text has already been available for years by the Institute for Contemporary History in all detail, and can be acquired in the book trade or over Amazon for 59 euros. On the Internet it is available free of charge on Wikisource and of course (in several versions) on archive​.net (USA).
  1. The book is supposedly a symbol, like the swastika or the SS rune. However, the real reason behind this case is precisely that Popanz.pdf and of course my homepage are essentially different from a spray painting swastikas.
  1. The court adheres (or pretends to adhere) to the notion that any publication of Mein Kampf is per se already capable of disturbing the »public peace«: They claim that »(The defendant) was also aware that the publication on his homepage could lead to uncontrollable dissemination.« (Judgment 3CS 520 Js 38593/​20 )

No attention at all was paid to the statements of the director of the Research Center for Contemporary History Hamburg, Axel Schildt, on the actual influence of Mein Kampf on current right‐​wing radicalism (investigation files As 59 – 69).

  1. The idea that someone could read Mein Kampf and then, inspired by the words of Adolf Hitler, revive the NSDAP, as the court believes (or pretends to believe), provokes laughter. Not because the language of the book is difficult and »messed up« (Schölermann, NDR‐​Info, As 66) – it is not – or because neo‐​Nazis have difficulties with coherent texts, but simply because it is historically settled.
  1. Mein Kampf is neither particularly »disgusting to read« (Axel Schildt, As 67) nor a »filthy book« (Judge Hintermayer with noticeably stilted indignation), but simply a source. The anti‐​Semitism in Mein Kampf is no different from what was common in völkisch and nationalist circles at the time.I had brought with me as an aid to memory and illustration the historical‐​critical edition of Mein Kampf from the Institute of Contemporary History. (5000 pages, 5 kg weight) The chairwoman asked, apparently in order to awaken in the culprit insight into the reprehensibility of his actions: »How many pages does this edition have and how many pages does their work have (621 p.)? You see, they also distance themselves on every page, and you don’t!« This left me temporarily speechless: a historical‐​critical edition, starting from the original text of the first edition, records all changes in later editions, in addition to sources and preliminary work. And Mein Kampf in particular was repeatedly revised between 1926 and 1943, depending on political expediency. That is why four professors were involved, not counting students and assistants. This is the reason for the 5000 pages, and not what the judge may understand by »critical discussion«. Conformist indignation may also be found in it, but that is not the purpose of such an undertaking.
  1. My commentary in the volume of 59 Kb, about 20 printed pages without formatting, is irrelevant for the court, although it is by no means »for the most part4 only concerned with biographical references« (judgment 3CS 520 Js 38593/​20) and the numerous biographical references are also due to my approach.

The Order of the Karlsruhe Public Prosecutor’s Office:

The social adequacy clause of § 130, 2, 7, §86 para. 3 StGB does not apply in the present case. This would only be able to intervene in the case of a seriously critical examination of the contents of the book. However, this is completely lacking. A commentary on the book ›Mein Kampf‹ without a critical examination of the content of the racial ideology described therein cannot be regarded as a seriously critical commentary. (Order of the Karlsruhe Public Prosecutor’s Office, Röber, As 113)

The social adequacy clause of §86 (3) StGB is intended to enable scholarly discussion of National Socialism while maintaining the fundamental ban on its symbols. It is the starting point of a rat‐​king5 of judicial and supreme court decisions with which I do not have to deal.

However, I dispute that the public prosecutor Röber is at all competent to judge what is a »seriously critical dispute« or at what point a dispute is »seriously critical«.

  1. The »portrait of Adolf Hitler in heroic form« is said to exist in the original cover of the book Mein Kampf (1926). I got it from Wikipedia, but it can also be found on the homepage of the Institute of Contemporary History, and everywhere else where this book is mentioned. (In the meantime I have replaced it by a photograph from the series »Das historische Bild« of t‑online.de. Apparently, the court considers this photograph to be less heroic).
  1. There is no organization, whose characteristic is the picture of Adolf Hitler. The portrait of Adolf Hitler was not even a trademark of the historical NSDAP.
  1. »Influencing the social climate« (indictment and verdict) is indisputably as much a concern of mine as of anyone else who deals with political issues. That is why I also distribute my writing »Masquerade Ball: Democracy Unfolds to Recognizability. Social cuts and preparations for war under the pretext of fighting epidemics« wherever possible.»Political climate protection« might be a fancy new wording for censorship.
  1. The court also wisely ignores the actual content of the homepage in which »Popanz.pdf« is embedded​.My views are on my homepage, and you can always ask me about them. But that is not the point of the court.

Modern Fascism Does Not Need a Swastika

Democracy and fascism are not opposites, but two sides of the same coin, forms of bourgeois rule. Fascism is democracy in crisis. We have, as at the end of the twenties of the last century, an insoluble economic crisis with mass unemployment, from which we can get out only through war, pauperization and the disintegration of social structures.6 This is where »leadership« is needed.

It is therefore obvious to deal with how and by which circles a future charismatic leader is built up, and which personal qualifications the future hero of the Free World should bring along. (That is why I called the file »Popanz.pdf.«) Adolf Hitler is a productive example. In this respect, my comment is by no means superfluous. I am also guaranteed that I am not the only one who has such thoughts.

After World War II, the first‐​tier of Nazis were executed as a matter of decency, so to speak. It was the second‐​tier Nazis who built the Federal Republic of Germany.

In fact, it was a community of lifestyles, views and culture that had ›rebuilt‹ (emphasis in original. B.K.) the foundations of the economy, state and army after 1949. The postwar leaders had all earned their first spurs in the Third Reich, and many of them had emerged from the Security Service of the SS7. (Johann Chapoutot, Gehorsam macht frei. A Brief History of Management – from Hitler to the Present. Propyläen, 2021, p.128)

In terms of personnel continuity, this is nothing new. It was already the subject of (e.g.) a book by Bernt Engelmann at the end of the seventies: Wie wir wurden, was wir sind (Trans: How we became what we are). But Chapoutot also shows the ideological continuity by the example of the SS‐​Oberführer8 Prof. Dr. Reinhard Höhn, the later head of the »Akademie für Führungskräfte der Wirtschaft, Bad Harzburg.»9

After 1990, the FRG increasingly assumed »responsibility for the world,« as the wording goes. In alliance with the »European partners« and the USA, the FRG carried out the partition of Yugoslavia in the 1990s with thousands of deaths, in alliance it is today inciting Ukraine to war against Russia, in alliance it is waging wars for the partition of the world in Afghanistan, Mali, Syria and in many other places. The EU could be seen as the realization of the »European Greater Economy« already planned by the Nazis.

In order to succeed with its imperialist policy, the more violent the FRG appears externally and internally, the more it must always prove that it has nothing to do with the Nazi regime. That is why, for example, the Bundeswehr has to pretend that it is something completely different from Hitler’s Wehrmacht, in whose footsteps it stands, and that it has only existed since 1956 or, even better, since 1990. This makes the cultivation of tradition more difficult than with the »allies« …

That is why the »fight against right‐​wing extremism« is being waged, although and precisely because the last real Nazis have been dead for a long time. All kinds of curious figures fall victim to the »fight against the right«, except the real right‐​wingers and fascists: the rulers in state and society of the FRG.

The imperialist policy on the outside corresponds to the policy of social cuts and the preparation for war on the inside. The Corona crisis has confirmed my views. Under the pretext of fighting a pandemic, the medical care of the population is restricted directly (discontinuation of preventive examinations, postponement of operations) and indirectly (when a visit to the doctor can result in two weeks’s quarantine for the whole family and then the loss of one’s job, people are not so quick to take sick leave).

Mock medical face masks serve as an outward sign of the »New Normal.« Plans are drawn up for quarantine camps first for mask refusers, then for vaccination opponents. Public health becomes an increasingly obvious pretext for excluding a portion of the population from social life and health care »to keep the healthcare system affordable.« (Which part and how many is, of course, still subject to »democratic debate.« And Corona is just the beginning, a trial balloon, if you will). The role of anti‐​Semitism today is taken over by a completely irrational fear of viruses.

I would recommend it now to everyone politically: Clear line, clear direction. Opponents of vaccination must have tangible disadvantages. And basically, in a way, you can’t deal with them any longer. That’s the way it is. You can’t ship them off to Madagascar.10 What can you do? (Prof. Heinz Bude, on Gabor Steingart’s News Podcast, Dec. 7, 2021)

Heinz Bude is not only a sociology professor, but co‐​author of the so‐​called panic paper of 2020 (»How we get CoViD‐​19 under control«, scenario paper of the Federal Ministry of the Interior) He knows what he is saying when he alludes to »Madagascar »and in which tradition he places the »Corona measures«.

The social exclusion, followed by the expropriation and murder of the Jews, like that of the Poles and Russians, the killing of people who could not be exploited (T4) and the forced labor of the peoples of Europe in an ever‐​increasing spiral, was not an outbreak of irrationality. Or rather, the irrationality (for example) of anti‐​Semitism had the clear purpose in the Third Reich of generating revenue and minimizing expenditures without raising taxes. The supply and thus the loyalty of the majority of the population was thereby ensured. (Götz Aly, Hitler’s Volksstaat. Robbery, Race War and National Socialism. Fischer Verlag 2005)

Those opponents of the measures who demonstrate today with a Jewish star and the inscription »Unvaccinated« are in no way trivializing National Socialism. Rather, they correctly characterize the pre‐​fascist character of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is a mistake for some democratic »lateral thinkers« to distance themselves from them.

The ban on the symbols of National Socialism that has long since been historically settled serves today to justify a modern form of fascism, the openly terrorist dictatorship over the wage‐​earners. History repeats itself here as a comedy: today’s compliant judges no longer pin the badge of the »NS‐​Rechtswahrerbund« to their coats, but tie a rag in front of their mouths as a sign of their loyalty.

It is therefore right, not »Volksverhetzung« to disregard this publishing ban. I also do not distance myself from Hitler’s racism, because it is your and your kind’s crimes, not mine. The carriers of modern, actually threatening fascism are not some Hitler admirers, »Reichsbürger«, military‐​boot‐​fetishists and proletarian‐​recreational‐​rambos, which are served to us in the media as neo‐​Nazis or »rights«. Fascism comes from above. The modern fascists are the democratic parties that dominate the Bundestag in their entirety.

At 68, I am no longer able to »discuss the questions of our social order by throwing stones in the street (Jérôme Blanqui, Letter to Proudhon11).«

But I can persuade people when I am convinced of a cause.

And I can sit.

I am therefore relaxed about my condemnation.

Bernhard Klevenz

I ask the court to communicate this admission to the person who has denounced me.

Subsequent Developments

Judge Nowak did not let me read out this statement. The »right to a fair hearing« (Art. 101 GG) does not apply to political persons. I said that I would not say anything except this statement. I was then allowed to read out individual sentences and the conclusion. I handed over this statement as well as my writing »Masked ball: Democracy unfolds to recognizability …« to the court and the »public«, which consisted of a young man at the very back of the hall. I then took off my mask and was excluded from the trial. I wore the same mask with holes as at the first trial. So what I wrote about the bending of the law by Judge Hintermayer applies just as much to Judge Nowak. Fourteen days later I received my sentence. Six months on probation. The condition of probation was the payment of 1500 Euro, which I necessarily have to violate (even if I were willing to pay). The deadline was January 15. There will be no further negotiations.


1 A motion was made to waive the mask requirement at the hearing pursuant to Section 176 of the GVG. The Chairwoman rejected this

Motion, citing her »Sitzungspolizei.« (Trans.: a concept in German law, the right and duty of a presiding judge in to maintain order in their courtroom)

I state:

(1) Judge Hintermayer invoked the Sitzungspolizei conferred upon her by the GVG (Gerichtsverfassungsgesetz) to override another provision of the GVG. An imminent danger to the health of the litigants that could justify such a measure never existed, and does not exist to this day. If this is not a violation of justice, what is it?

(2) The judge herself, of course, did not believe in such a danger: the defendant wore an FFP2 mask with holes punched in it, visible to all participants in the trial, which made the alleged purpose of the measure absurd. If the judge had really believed in a health hazard, she would have excluded the defendant or adjourned the proceedings.

2 That has since come to an end. Not because of a miracle cure, but because I know what the court will say, and because I get it sent to me anyway on behalf of the people. There is nothing worth hearing in court.

3 This is not an arbitrary offense like »drunk driving,« where you can settle for a lenient sentence, but a restriction on freedom of expression. The Corona measures have, of course, strengthened me in this.

4 Should mean »for the most part and at the most«, if I have interpreted the chairwoman correctly.

5 According to Wikipedia, a rat king is a rat colony whose members, living in filth and confinement, are indissolubly knotted and glued together by their tails. Rat kings are not able to move or live; however, they are fed by other rats. I do not want to insult the German judiciary unnecessarily, so I will spare myself a remark that is on the tip of my tongue.

6 »History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes,« someone once said.

Compared to the eve of World War II, social decay is more advanced; see »Zuwanderung als Projekt des Kapitals« und »Der Fleiß der andern.«

7 In full: »Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers SS«, i.e., the secret service of the SS, next to and in competition with the »Abwehr« of the Wehrmacht.

8 Oberführer: Highest staff officer rank of the SS.

9 Both the management of Aldi and the officers of the Bundeswehr were trained at this institute until the 1970s.

10 For a time, the Nazis planned to deport Jews to Madagascar.

11 Quoted from P. J. Proudhon, What is Property? quoted from »The Diligence of Others«, see my homepage undemokrat​.4lima​.de.

Image: Caricature »The little lady Justice is the obedient lap child of her capitalist daddy, from Wen meenten Sie denn? Proletarian Jokes and Caricatures 1919 – 1933, Dietz Verlag Berlin in August 1989

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