Germany succumbed to fascism once before; it’s happening again:

A couple appeared before a court to answer to charges of incitement because the man had established a Facebook group that was “hostile to refugees”. Peter M. founded a secret group called AFB (Anti Refugee Movement) about a year ago on Facebook. As a secret group, people who are not members of it would have been unable to see its content. He and his wife Melanie were administrators of the Facebook group, so both had to attend the court on charges of sedition. The offending Facebook page’s founding statement was read out in the courtroom. Written by Peter M. it read: “The war and economic refugees are flooding our country. They bring terror, fear, sorrow. They rape our women and put our children at risk. Bring an end to it!”.

It’s speech. Whether you like or agree with the speech or not, it’s still speech. If this were America, do you think it should be outlawed? On the premise that speech critical of Islam is “hate speech,” which is our current Attorney General’s premise, it should be.

Judge Lukas Neubeck, presiding over the case, said the fact the group had a picture of a German flag on its Facebook page confirmed for him that AFB is a right wing group. Facebook examined activity posted within the group and could find no problems with it. Unhappy with the fact that Facebook would take no further action, anonymous users turned to a police station in Lübeck. There, officers traced the internet activity to a computer in Vierkirchen in the Dachau district of Bavaria. Within the Dachau courtroom Peter M. said: “You cannot even express a little bit of criticism about refugees without getting called a Nazi. “I just wanted to create a discussion forum where people can speak their minds about the refugees.”

In a free country, his motive should not matter. All that should matter is that he’s not violating the individual rights of anyone else by saying it. He’s not — unless you consider speech with which you disagree, and therefore consider hateful, to be worthy of criminal prosecution, for those reasons alone.

Facebook, by the way, is a bastion of leftist, progressive, pro-Black Lives Matter, pro-Islam-under-any-conditions sentiment and politically correct self-righteousness. If Facebook does not find a problem with a post or a group, how rotten, narrow and fascist must a German judge be to threaten imprisonment for that group’s sponsors?

Scolding the pair, Judge Neubeck said: “The description of the group is a series of generalisations with a clear right-wing background.” The Judge sentenced Peter M. to serve a nine month suspended prison sentence, on probation. Melanie was ordered to pay a fine of €1,200.

In Germany, it appears that all you need to do to land in jail is be accused by a judge of having a “clear right-wing background.” Has Germany learned nothing from its prior experiences with fascism?

For that matter, has America? Our fragile First Amendment, sheltered only by a tattered (largely ignored) Constitution, in a culture where individual rights are almost no longer protected, is all that stands between us and this resurgent fascism now taking hold in Germany.

“I hope you are clear on the seriousness of the situation. If you sit again in front of me on the dock, you will go to jail,” Judge Neubeck warned.

According to the story, the trial came amid a nationwide crackdown on “verbal radicalisation” by the German Federal Police (BKA). This week police launched a nationwide raid on the homes of people suspected of posting xenophobic and anti-mass migration posts on the internet. Explaining why “hate” posts are a priority for the police, BKA President Holger Münch said attacks on migrant shelters were the result of “radicalisation” on social media. No, this is not a story from 1930s Germany. It’s 2016: The era of rising pro-Islamic fascism. It’s the new Nazism, and this time it’s on the political “left.” The guns and prisons are still the same. Hitler could have done the same thing, and did. People who “hated” his imprisonment and extermination of Jews could be jailed for “hatred” of the Nazi way.

Similarly, today’s left-wing totalitarians — who, not unlike Hitler’s right-wing totalitarians — in Germany and elsewhere hate the Jews, hate politically incorrect speech and consequently love Islam, to the point that they’ll do anything to shield it from criticism or even purely verbal rejection. Nothing has changed. The players have changed, but the underlying themes and principles have not. If, even in America, you cannot see this plainly, then all I can say is you deserve what you get when freedom takes it final curtain call.

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Dr Michael Hurd

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.