Germany: pro-marriage activist wins injunction against playwright inciting to kill her

csm_Hedwig_von_Beverfoerde_2015_389e985096Hedwig von Beverfoerde, leader of the pro-family group Demo für alle, has won a preliminary injunction against the Berliner Schaubühne, a theater that had staged a play reminiscent of the Two-Minutes-Hate in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four, portraying her and other defenders of marriage and family as “zombies” which “must be shot in the face” and “put under the earth”– which can hardly be understood in any other may than as an incitement to hate and even murder. Just a few days after the premiere, unknown arsonists put Mrs. von Beverfoerde’s car and house on fire. The same happened to Beatrix von Storch, an MEP who also was featured as a target in the Schaubühne’s hate event. 

The Schaubühne and its director, playwright Falk Richter, are appealing the injunction, claiming that incitement to murder falls under the “freedom of the arts”, in particular if it is directed against the right targets.

The outcome of the case remainst thus to be seen, even if the granting of the injunction can be seen as indicative that the Court prima facie considers Mrs. von Beverfoerde’s interest in prohibiting the hate-incitement against herself to be well-founded. But in Germany law courts are often very lenient with regard to the misdeeds of the radical left, be it because they clandestinely sympathise withthem, or because they fear that otherwise they might themselves become the next victims.