Lutz Bachmann is one of the founders of PEGIDA Dresden, the original source of the PEGIDA movement in Germany. In a case that has strong parallels with that of Tommy Robinson, Mr. Bachmann has been put on trial for political reasons. Unlike Tommy, however, Mr. Bachmann has been tried and convicted for political speech — his statements about immigrants made in a closed group on Facebook.
A double standard is in evidence in the case, because Vice President Sigmar Gabriel of the German Federal Republic has used even harsher and more insulting words against right-wingers, yet he faces no legal sanctions, because he is a lefty and his targets are not members of a protected group.
Below are three videos and an article related to the case. Many thanks to Egri Nök for these translations, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling. The first video is a brief news report about the first day of Lutz Bachmann’s trial:
A news report on the second and final day in court:
District Court Dresden
Pegida Founder Bachmann convicted for incitement of the people/hate speech (“Volksverhetzung”)
Lutz Bachmann, a co-founder of Pegida, was sentenced to a fine of €9,600 ($11,500) for “Volksverhetzung” (incitement of the people/hate speech) by the district court Dresden on Tuesday May 3.
The co-founder of Pegida Lutz Bachmann has been sentenced by the district court Dresden for “Volksverhetzung” (incitement of the people/hate speech) to a fine of €9,600o (or 120 daily fines of €80 in lieu of jail time). The head of the Islam- and refugee-critical association is said to have denigrated refugees, and to have incited hatred towards them, in his comments on Facebook.
The 43-year-old, who has a criminal record for theft and drug distribution, denied that these comments were made by him. The prosecution demanded a jail sentence of seven months; the defense pleaded not guilty. Tuesday’s verdict is not final yet.
On Facebook, Pegida asks everyone to read an article at Epoch Times which, Pegida said, had the facts. But it is a bit disappointing.
All the article on Epoch Times said was that Bachmann was accused of having made comments in a closed Facebook group, before he became the front man for Pegida, calling refugees “Vieh” (cattle) and “Gelump”. The epoch times article left it that vague. When precisely? what group? what was the context and who reported him, etc. — all these things one might like to know, they don’t say.
Maybe because the verdict isn’t final yet?
My English dictionary says “rubbish” for “Gelump”. But that is not a literal translation. The word Bachmann used literally means something like “old stuff that lies around collecting dust in an attic”, and it is certainly condescending, but really more old-fashioned than actually offensive.
It is interesting in contrast that recently the vice president of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel (Social Democrats) famously called people who are against refugees “Pack” (low life/vermin).
The official German dictionary “Duden” says “Gelump” (Bachmann’s expression) is a synonym for “Pack” (our vice president’s expression).
Bit of a double standard there.
The following video, also translated by Egri Nök, shows Vice President Gabriel referring to people with whom he disagrees politically as “vermin”:
Transcript of video #1:
|00:00||PEGIDA Founder Lutz Bachmann has been convicted of inciting the people.|
|00:04||The fine: €9600. The District Court in Dresden considered it evident|
|00:09||that Bachmann denigrated refugees in his Facebook comments, and incited hatred towards them.|
|00:16||He denied in the proceedings that those comments were made by him.|
|00:19||The 43-year-old has a criminal record for other offenses: theft and drug trafficking.
Transcript of video #2:
|00:00||Lutz Bachmann at his second, and for now final, day of hearings.|
|00:04||The PEGIDA co-founder is accused of “incitement of the people”.|
|00:08||Chief prosecutor Haase demanded seven months in jail.|
|00:12||His reasoning: at the time of the offence, Bachmann was still under probation.|
|00:17||The defence pleaded not guilty: nothing was proven against the defendant.|
|00:23||According to the prosecution, in September 2014, Bachmann insulted refugees|
|00:27||in Facebook comments as “cattle”, “rubbish” and “lowlifes”.|
|00:32||The 43-year-old denied that the comments were made by him.|
|00:37||Besides, his attorney pointed out that her client had been chatting in a closed account.|
|00:42||The judge left no room for doubt that he deems the 43-year-old the author of the Facebook comments.|
|00:50||The judge has come to believe that that the issue has been proven as laid in the charge.|
|00:59||Moreover, he has come to believe that the whole thing is to be legally acknowledged|
|01:03||as “incitement of the people” (Volksverhetzung).|
|01:06||The prosecution is not finished with Bachmann.|
|01:10||We can not be quite satisfied, according to our request, with the imposed fine.|
|01:17||We have requested a jail term of seven months without probation.|
|01:21||Therefore, we will consider filing for appeal or revision of the sentence.|
|01:26||Neither Lutz Bachmann nor his lawyer wanted to give interviews after the trial.|
|01:30||Bachmann and his wife left the court in silence.|
|01:36||Oh, well, but outside of the court, there was a reaction after all.|
|01:39||Ines Klein, how did Lutz Bachmann present himself to his followers after the verdict?|
|01:44||One thing was very obvious: Lutz Bachmann clearly presents himself as victim of the judiciary.|
|01:49||About an hour ago, he and his lawyer together approached his supporters,|
|01:55||who were gathered in front of the court, and the first thing he said was:|
|01:58||“Tell people what happened here.”|
|02:01||And he even complained that the only witness that the defense brought was not heard at all.|
|02:08||The lawyer also commented to the supporters, and clearly announced an appeal.|
|02:14||And with that we know that this trial will go into the next round.|
|02:19||Information by Ines Klein, many thanks!
Transcript of video #3
|02:38||Not a millimeter for the right extremist mob.|
|02:41||Back home, we would say, there are vermin that were hanging around here.|
|02:46||That is the expression we would choose. Maybe it’s not as distinguished as we usually talk in politics.|
|02:53||But that’s what it’s about. These are people who have no dealings with Germany.|
|02:57||That is not the kind of Germany that we want in this country.|
|03:01||They think they are the representatives of the true Germany.|
|03:06||But in fact they are the most un-German specimens I could imagine. There is just one answer for them:|
|03:13||police, prosecution, and whenever possible, for every single one that we get hold of, jail.|
|03:18||And I also think among our friends, acquaintances, at work, in the sports club,|
|03:23||we shouldn’t look away when such specimens walk around.|
|03:27||They aren’t here on a Sunday night, because they go to work on Monday.|
|03:31||Or maybe they want to do some sports on the weekend.|
|03:34||And I think, there, one must tell them: you do not belong among us.|
|03:38||Whoever comes here and shouts, throws incendiaries, throws stones,|
|03:44||calls on the internet for people to be killed, or be physically hurt —|
|03:49||those deserve just one answer, and I mean from every single one of us:|
|03:53||You do not belong among us. We do not want you here.|
|03:57||And whenever we get you, we will punish you, and put you behind bars.|
|04:01||This is everything, the only answer that these people deserve.
For links to previous articles about PEGIDA (Patriotische Europäer Gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes, Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) and related movements, see the PEGIDA Archives.