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Jews Can Sue for Derogatory Use of Word “jew,” German Court Rules

The West German constitutional court here has ruled that any German Jew or Jewish organization may bring suit against a person who slanders the Jewish people as a group or uses the word “Jew” in a derogatory fashion.

The court ruling came in the case of a German who insulted the Jews as a people in a message on a postcard. He was prosecuted by the state of Hesse and the Association of Jewish Communities of Hesse and was convicted. On appeal, however, an intermediate court held he had not insulted the Jewish people as a whole, but subsequent legal steps led to the latest ruling.

The highest court in Germany said that: “Those human beings who were persecuted by National Socialism and now live in Germany form an unequivocally determinable group that is susceptible to insults.”

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