Should we have killed Baby Hitler

"Kill Baby Hitler!": "Titanic" after a short satire in the sights of the judiciary

Vienna - The German satirical magazine "Titanic" is threatened with legal repercussions because of a subject on which Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) can be seen, then Austrian Foreign Minister, now Federal Chancellor: The Berlin public prosecutor is conducting investigations on suspicion of "public incitement to criminal offenses "one and because of possible insult. The authority confirmed this to the STANDARD. The maximum sentence if the request remains "unsuccessful": a prison sentence of up to five years.

On the subject, which was published on the "Titanic" website and via Twitter, for example, in October, Sebastian Kurz is in the crosshairs, with the words "Finally possible: Kill Baby Hitler!".

Vienna alarms Berlin

The picture called the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counter-Terrorism in Austria and landed at the Vienna Public Prosecutor's Office, which in turn asked the colleagues in Berlin to take over the prosecution. The fact that the ball is now in Germany has to do with the fact that Titanic Verlag is based in Berlin and therefore Vienna is not responsible for investigations.

The ÖVP also considered taking legal action against "Titanic" in October. But that did not happen, it is said.

Sebastian Kurz is one of the satirical magazine's favorite objects. Only last Wednesday did the medium step up and publish a photo with the message: "Baby Hitler is coming home to the Reich". Angela Merkel bends over Kurz's portrait in a montage. The German Chancellor was put into her mouth with the words "You can walk, boy." The occasion was the visit of the Austrian Federal Chancellor to Germany.

Such provocations are the business of "Titanic" editor-in-chief Tim Wolff. He looks forward to the investigation calmly, he says to STANDARD: "Until we have no indictment, I can say little concrete. But we are not worried here." Satirical addendum: "As long as the left-green-shoddy political correctness dictatorship of the Merkel regime prevails in Germany, we are not afraid of precocious baby Hitlerites."

Questions of factuality

Wolff and the like don't need to be afraid either, at least if two German lawyers believe it is possible. Norman Buse, attorney for media and press law at the Berlin law firm Buse Herz Grunst, states: "There shouldn't be any indictment or even a conviction", because: "For a criminal liability for publicly encouraging criminal offenses there should already be one According to this, it is necessary that an illegal act is requested publicly, in a meeting or by disseminating documents. I consider this to be remote. "

The context is decisive, he says of the STANDARD. Readers would not see a "serious call to commit attack or assassination," said Buse. And: "For reasons of freedom of art and satire, a criminal offense should also be ruled out." "Similar considerations could be made here as in the Böhmermann case against the Turkish President Erdoğan".

Allusion to "refugee problem"

When assessing the cause, it does not matter whether the designation "Baby Hitler" is particularly tasteful: "The question arises as to whether the specific presentation of the photo, when viewed as a whole, shows only disregard. This is all in my opinion by no means the case. " The satirical magazine "takes a critical look at the policy of the new Austrian Federal Chancellor". And: "The designation as 'Baby Hitler' is intended to express his right-wing policy in the opinion of the author of the photo with regard to the refugee problem."

No intent can be seen

Thomas Jakubczyk, Schürmann Wolschendorf Dreyer's lawyer in Berlin, does not believe that there will be an indictment. The photomontage must be assessed in a "satirical context". "You would have to create the intention of the recipient to commit a crime." That cannot be proven here: "The soup is too thin for that. Satire is allowed to do a lot." According to Thomas Jakubczyk about the STANDARD, the aim is not a request to commit a criminal offense, but to draw attention to a social aspect. He could not see any criminal offense either: "The fact that it is satire plays an important role here." (Oliver Mark, January 22, 2018)