Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Purging the alphabet: Germany cracks down on the letter ‘Z’


Ukraine Z Germany censorship alphabet war Russia Nazi symbol

The sign on the vehicles and uniforms of Russian forces in the Ukrainian operation has become a rallying point for pro-Kremlin supporters. The ban on the symbol however, signals concern in Berlin that such supporters may be numerous.

In response to this, German politicians have reverted to satirical mode: After Bavaria and Lower Saxony, other federal states – Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia notably – now want to criminalize the public display of the letter “Z”.

Against the background of the ongoing Ukraine hysteria, politicians believe the “Z” is unwelcome support for Russian military action in Ukraine. The Russian units operating in Ukraine are marked with the “Z”. Although there has been some speculation, the exact meaning of the marking is not yet known.

“Anyone who uses the ‘Z’ symbol to publicly express their approval of Russian President Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine must expect criminal consequences in Lower Saxony,” Lower Saxony’s Interior Minister Pistorius (SPD) said on Friday. Pistorius added: “It is absolutely incomprehensible to me how the stylized ‘Z’ can be used even here to condone these crimes.”

According to the Ministry of the Interior in Hanover, the public use of the letter “Z” during demonstrations could now be a criminal offense and be considered a disturbance of the public peace. In justified cases of suspicion, perpetrators would be prosecuted. The result will be up to three years in prison or a fine.  (more...)

Purging the alphabet: Germany cracks down on the letter ‘Z’

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