Academic Censorship and Self-Censorship in Germany

Students at the University of Siegen, Germany

Students at the University of Siegen, Germany

“This is a subject that is very difficult for academics to discuss. In fact, I think academics steer way clear of this subject. I found in writing stories about the human genome, anything that touched on race, for example, just petrified the academics I would speak to. I thought it was very sad, that we would have intimidation in this country. So I thought there was an opportunity, maybe a duty to write this book and to break the ice and try to discuss some of these issues.”
Nicholas Wade in a discussion of his book, A Troublesome Inheritance in response to a question from Jason Richwine: “How confident were you that writing this book would not result in the loss of your livelihood?”

Sometimes bad news from the System can turn out to be good news for advocates of free speech. Especially when the System implicitly admits of having to backpedal on its own self-proclaimed canons of free speech, reject is its own much-lauded free academic inquiry, and resort instead to censorship and gagging orders. This was recently the case when I had been invited to give a lecture at the University of Siegen in Germany on the topic of the Der Untergang des Abendlandes, (“The Decline of the West).”

The invitation, as was to be expected, was promptly cancelled by the University Board of Directors. On May 13, 2014, the cancellation of the event was reported by the influential mainstream German daily Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ). Professor Jürgen Bellers, who had sent an invitation, is an old colleague of mine, a former visiting professor at Juniata College in Pennsylvania, where I taught in the early ‘90s as a full-time professor of political science.

The lines below are my translations of some paragraphs from the WAZ link. The WAZ piece carries the title in the German language: “The University of Siegen intervenes; A right-wing populist invited by the professor is not allowed to speak”.

The University of Siegen Professor Jürgen Bellers wanted to have a racial theorist speak at the University of Siegen. Following the strong intervention by the University Board of Directors, he had to cancel the event. The right-wing nationalist professor Tomislav Sunic was originally scheduled to give a lecture on June 27, at the invitation of the University of Siegen Professor Jürgen Bellers, on the subject of “the Decline of the West”. Incidentally, Sunic, who is a U.S. citizen, born in Zagreb, lectured in 2012 at the Summer University of the NPD, in the Saarland. …

According to Bellers, in Sunic’ speech on the topic of “Race and Gestalt,” published in the magazine Volk und Bewegung, Sunic provided an insight into his purely culture-determined worldview:

There are places in Berlin — let alone in Los Angeles — or down in the underworld of the Paris subway, where a White passenger late at night is  glad to spot a person of his racial kind, regardless whether he is a Pole, a Croat, a left-winger, or a right-winger. The fleeting eye contact between them two speaks volumes in terms of their suddenly retrieved common white racial identity. … It is critical, however, to tackle the impact of non-European immigration and the threat of a racially crossbred society in Europe. … Such a crossbred Europe is a genuine danger for all White Europeans, including also their former foes.”

My Comments on Academic Self-Censorship:  German “Berührungsängste”

Surprisingly, WAZ did insert this above quote of mine, which means that — just like in the former Soviet Union, or the former German Democratic Republic, or former Yugoslavia — an open-minded person must first learn how to decipher the message and the messenger between the lines.  Germans have a strong compound noun for “politically correct-self-censored-paranoid-anticipated-guilt-by-association-feelings,” a phenomenon nowadays quite prevalent among German academics and journalists. In the German academic milieu it is known under the name of  “Berührungsängste.”

Needless to say, the article also reports that Germany’s famed Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, i.e. the “Verfassungsschutz” (an internal state-run paralegal network, affiliated with the German Ministry of the Interior, in charge of spying on “radical individuals”), seems to be well informed on my speaking activities. The same WAZ article also reports that a similar state agency (Die Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (bpb), aka “The Federal Center for the Political Education,” whose task is to gauge the levels of the democratic process in Germany, commented that “there are suspicions of (Sunic’s) staunch right-wing sentiments.”

TOO contributors have written extensively about the origins of the ever-increasing surveillance of academics and intellectual repression by the so-called free and democratic West, the distortion of the English and the German languages, the use of the incomprehensible legalese by the System, the semantic shifts of words in different criminal codes, and the resulting intellectual repression against nonconformist intellectuals not only in the EU but throughout the West.

I might add, however, in contrast to some of our colleagues, that the repression by the System is never simply a top-down phenomenon. It is never simply a one-way street imposed from above. The attack on free speech by the System is also a logical result of the intellectual laziness, self-censorship, jealousy, and lack of solidarity between and among White citizens, be they conservatives, liberals, nationalists, or racialists. Above all it is the result of a lack of civic courage among the vast majority of professors, politicians, journalists, authors, and artists.

Dr. Tom Sunic ( is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Freedom Party ( His new book Chroniques des temps postmodernes  (Avatar, 2014) has just been released.


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