Talk:Human rights in Germany

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Military Service[edit]

As of July 1st 2011 there is no mandatory military or alternative service for male citizens of Germany anymore. KreeBlumeKreeBlume (talk) 14:25, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Value of Human Rights and Constitutional Rights in Germany[edit]

The Link Evaluation of Human Rights and Constitutional Rights in Germany was removed a short time ago. So I'm sorry to suggest, this agenda of Wikipedias is not really to be found by people who'd like to participate but people that are either bored or notorious. Too bad it's about Human Rights. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:13, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

The linked page does not even remotely fit the requirements of Wikipedia:External_links. For starters, it does not contain any information whatsoever on the lemma, and it is not in English. --Mellum (talk) 20:48, 2 February 2008 (UTC)


From TFA:

"Under a new law, the courts may order that a person be detained indefinitely if convicted of particularly serious crimes and has completed his sentence but is judged, after expert testimony, to be a danger to the public."

I'm not sure about the "new" part here. The German Wikipedia entry does not really say anything about it, but AFAIK (which isn't very far, admittedly), it's not a new law. Someone with more knowledge of these things should look into this. -- Schnee (cheeks clone) 02:34, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

No it'not now, it has been in effect for more than 60 years now, I'll change it. Laca 11:50, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Actually, there is something new about this: Previously, this could only be decided on in the original trial of the actual crime. Now, in very specific cases, it can still be imposed later on i.e. when rehabilitation during the prison term has been found to have failed with very dangerous individuals. This was not the least due to pressure after some violently pedophile convicts had been released only to immediately prey upon and kill more kids. Authorities back then had no choice but to release the convict when he had served his time, even when they knew fully well that he was dangerous. Now, the alternative of retroactive decision on Sicherungsverwahrung allows them to keep the convict behind bars. This provision was added in 2004. --OliverH 10:59, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

The Holocaust[edit]

Restricting discussion of Germany's human rights record to the last half century is, to put it mildly, not precisely NPOV; especially when the human rights record of the United States discussed in the parallel article goes back two hundreds years. --Cultural Freedom talk 19:32, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

This article is about human rights in the Federal Republic of Germany, not about the war crimes and genocide of the Third Reich. While the United States is a country that had existed in its borders and under its constitution more or less continually (excluding, for instance, the Confederate States of America that are - rightly - not mentioned in the Human rights in the United States article), the current Germany is a different country. According to a Bundesverfassungsgericht (that's the supreme constitutional court of Germany) ruling, the Federal Republic of Germany is a country that occupies some territory of the Third Reich but is not its successor state.
Here is the text of the court ruling (2 BvF 1/73 - pdf), although I don't think you'll have much fun with it, as it is in (German). I'll translate part of the ruling to give you a better insight into the matter:
(German) Das Deutsche Reich existiert fort, besitzt nach wie vor Rechtsfähigkeit, ist allerdings als Gesamtstaat mangels Organisation, insbesondere mangels institutionalisierter Organe selbst nicht handlungsfähig.
Mit der Errichtung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland wurde nicht ein neuer westdeutscher Staat gegründet, sondern ein Teil Deutschlands neu organisiert […]. Die Bundesrepublik Deutschland ist also nicht „Rechtsnachfolger“ des Deutschen Reiches, sondern als Staat identisch mit dem Staat „Deutsches Reich“, – in bezug auf seine räumliche Ausdehnung allerdings „teilidentisch“, so daß insoweit die Identität keine Ausschließlichkeit beansprucht. […] Sie beschränkt staatsrechtlich ihre Hoheitsgewalt auf den „Geltungsbereich des Grundgesetzes“.
(English) The German Empire subsists, it still has legal capacity; however, as a state it is in no capacity to act, lacking organisation and institutionalised bodies.
The foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany was not the foundation of a new western German state, but a reorganisation of a part of Germany [...]. Therefore, the Federal Republic of Germany is not [legal] "successor" to the German Empire, but as a state identical with the state "German Reich", - concerning its geographical extent only "semi-identical", so that the identity does not imply exclusivity. [...] It [the Federal Republic of Germany] limits its authority only to the "ambit of the Basic Law".
Note: The German Empire in the court texts refers to the state usually - but wrongly - called the Third Reich. German Empire was the offical name of three distinct states: the "second" German Empire that existed from 1871 to 1918, the Weimar Republic from 1919 to 1933 and of the afore-mentioned Third Reich, in (de facto) existence from 1933 to 1945.
I suppose it's pretty difficult to understand for someone not well-versed in German history and the difficult language of German law. Just as a note, this ruling was made on the occassion of the Basic Treaty of 1972 that defined the relations between East Germany and West Germany and that was one of the most important achievments of Chancellor Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik. Ultimately, the treaty was one of the first important steps towards German reunification.
I hope I could clarify some things here. Cheers, Something Wicked 23:09, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

You clarified some things, yes, thanks. (I read German and am actually familiar with the issues you bring up, but others here might not be.) But here's the thing. You write: "This article is about human rights in the Federal Republic of Germany." That is precisely the problem to which I'm pointing. All other WP articles about "Germany" and things German are not restricted to the last half century -- this, for a very good reason: it would be absurd. Borders change, the name changes, and Germany is "reconstituted" even, but WP regards, in almost every other context, "Germany" as an entity that is older than 50 years. US borders have changed dramatically over the last hundred years. If, when the Bush period ends, the US "reconstituted" itself, and renamed itself to "The United States of North America," would it make sense for a WP article about "Human rights in the United States" only to deal with the post-2009 US human rights record? Of course not. But if you want to rename this article "Human Rights in Federal Republic of Germany", you could post the request at Requested Moves (or just be bold and do it), and then I, or someone else, could restart "Human rights in Germany", and address the Holocaust and earlier problems. But this seems like a bad solution. --Cultural Freedom talk 2006-06-20 07:36 (UTC)

I have no problem with including the Holocaust into the account of human rights in Germany. However, much has been written about the Holocaust (See the template Holocaust for a comprehensive summary) and I don't think it needs to be talked about at length. The focus should stay on the current issues, as with Racism and Slavery in the United States that are included, but not talked about at length, in the article Human rights in the United States. We could use the structuring of this article as example for the German human rights article. As I said, we could as well include a section about it but it should not be the focus of the article. If we talk at length about the Holocaust, we also would have to include at length human rights abuses during the Thirty Year War, the Seven Year War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Franco-Prussian War and so on. I don't think that would be the sensible thing to do - the article would literally burst. ;-) besides, information is, unfortunately, scarce about these matters.
I must respectfully disagree that "all other articles about 'Germany'" [...] are not restricted to the last half century". There are numerous articles that only concern the current state of things, like Communications in Germany, Law enforcement in Germany, Scouting in Germany or Taxation in Germany. That, however, may as well be the fault of indadequate expansion.
I suggest a compromise: we include a section about "History of human rights in Germany" where we can include all the afore-mentioned as well as the "Final Solution" and the Holocaust. The focus, however, as I've said before, should stay on current issues (Federal Republic issues or issues from the Third Reich and the GDR that are still present today, such as redress for Nazi and Stasi victims, prosecution of criminals and the like).
Finally, I apologise if I in any way insulted you with my extensive approach to German history. It is my sad experience that most people do not know a great deal about the country's history. Consequently, I tread rather carefully when it comes to discussing it. :-) Cheers, Something Wicked 10:27, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree with essentially all of the above, and think that your compromise sounds excellent! I'm in the middle of an unexpected work crunch, so I might not be able to get started on this right away, but I can certainly contribute later, if you get things going. Even just a few short sentences, with ("See main article ...") would be fine. Oh, and by the way, about possibly insulting me: kein Problem! It's good to be thorough, and lots of other people are probably reading this (or will read it, in the future). So details are very useful! --Cultural Freedom talk 2006-06-20 21:30 (UTC)

NPOV dispute[edit]

The freedom of speech is also not held in as high regard as many other western countries. Certain political and/or historical viewpoints are suppressed with state force most of them concerning glorification of the nazi regime. Persecution of people, both extreme right and left-wing, for political reasons, including jailing and other sanctions, regularly occur.

This passage is clearly not written from a neutral point-of-view. "Persecution of people" suggests persistent mistreatment of an individual or group by another group. (from the WP article about persecution. That it "regularly occurs" implies that Germany's judicial control mechanisms do not work properly. The article also cites suppression "with state force" of "certain political and/or historical viewpoints". This, again, implies unlawfulness and implies that Holocaust denial, which is a crime in Germany, is a "historical viewpoint". I suppose that here at Wikipedia it is generally accepted that the Holocaust DID happen and that it was caused by Germany. Consequently, denying it is not a valid historical viewpoint.

Also, claiming that "the freedom of speech is [...] not held in as high regard as many other western countries [...]" is a definite personal point-of-view. Freedom in the World 2006 rates Germany 1 in civil liberties as well as political liberties.

However, there, indeed, are violations. When - if - my Amnesty International report that I ordered two months ago arrives, I'll be sure to list them with the appropiate sourcing.

I will take care to clean up the article and make it NPOV (insofar it lies within my abilities). Ther are also some sections that could need some fleshing-out. Cheers for now, Something Wicked 23:38, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

These practices were criticized by the U.S. department of State report, but are generally accepted in Germany as part of the streitbare Demokratie.

This is seen as a problem by the U.S. department of State report, but rarely draws criticism in Germany

Don't know if these parts are exactly neutral. To me, they somehow suggest that the U.S. DoS has the one and only right opinion about freedom,

I certainly didn't mean it that way (in fact I think these criticisms have no merit).

but there is no more information about the DoS given in the article.

I've fixed the link.

I think referring to international organisations (like it already happened with Amnesty International) is far more reliable under the aspect of neutrality.

Certainly. I just thought this might still be worth mentioning. And I don't think the report is there only to support some agenda.

Can one mark these as maybe-not-neutral, move them to a separate "criticism" section, or -- even better -- supply other points of view from different countries? 15:24, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

More material would be great, but I don't have any... Judging the neutrality of sources is a can of worms I'd rather not open. Instead, you could point to possible reasons for biases in criticisms. --Mellum 17:34, 21 September 2006 (UTC)


The article was in a horrible state, with irrelevant information on the political structure, weird biased factlets, and downright wrong information (Mein Kampf is not illegal to sell). I've basically rewritten it. The following omissions might be debatable:

  • I don't see how racist attacks or trafficking in human beings is a human rights issue (unless the government fails to combat it), while other crimes aren't.
  • I have removed allegations without reference (such as "discrimination against minority religious groups" or the discrimination by the three-tier education system; they are worse than useless IMHO.
  • The section on police brutality and treatment of refugees are too short. I just didn't get around to it...
  • I removed many irrelevant links.

Still, I think it is an improvement :-) I have removed the cleanup boxes for now. --Mellum 16:07, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Human trafficking[edit]

I've removed the following paragraph, since I still fail to see how this is a human rights issue, as opposed to just a crime issue (unless there's evidence that German legislative, judicial, or executive practice does not deal with the problem properly, but I don't see that here.). It might be useful for a Crime in Germany article or something, though. --Mellum 09:40, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

===Human trafficking===
There has been a growing awareness of human trafficking as a human rights issue in Europe (see main article: trafficking in human beings). The end of communism and collapse of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia has contributed to an increase in human trafficking, with the majority of victims being women forced into prostitution. [1] [2] Germany is a transit and destination country for persons, primarily women, trafficked mainly from Central and Eastern Europe and from Africa for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Russia alone accounted for one-quarter of the 1,235 identified victims reported in 2003, the latest year for which statistics are available. For the first time, Germany’s statistics included German nationals who numbered 127. [3] [4]
I have replaced it as most organisations, including the Council of Europe and the State Department, see human trafficking as a violation of a persons human rights ([5] [6] [7]etc). Most human rights organisations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch discuss human trafficking, so they clearly see human trafficking as a human rights issue. Although it is debatable, human rights are not solely defined as a person’s relationship to the state.
I can understand the anomaly, why is human trafficking a human rights issue, and not robbery or car crime? However, human trafficking is widely discussed as a human rights issue, by human rights organisations, so should have a brief mention. As a compromise, I think keeping it brief is fair enough. Chwyatt 09:03, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
The reason that many human rights organizations deal with human trafficking is that in some states, legislative, judicial, or executive practice does in fact not deal with the problem properly. Is this the case in Germany? The paragraph does not answer this question, which is much more central to the lemma than links to "Ivana from Ukraine" or statistics of very doubtful relevance. These things could maybe be added as an extra to the main point, but not standing alone. But since we seem to disagree, maybe somebody else can comment... --Mellum 20:40, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
The Council of Europe and human rights organisations see human trafficking as a problem where a person’s human rights are violated by the act of trafficking itself AND in some cases by the action and inactions of governments. Germany has a human trafficking problem, which is why some human rights organisations talk about Germany (Germany not alone of course) and why I think it should have a (brief) mention here, whilst its record on dealing with human trafficking is better than most countries. As for the US State Department statistics, they are both relevant in showing that trafficking is not an insignificant problem and come from the German Federal Office for Criminal Investigation. Chwyatt 12:43, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

The Jugendamt Wesel case[edit]

I deleted the section "Forced Germanisation, minority discrimination and child-kidnapping" for being POV. All sources are linked to the CEED /, which is private, of rather questinable quality, and in this context very much POV-oriented. While trying to find actual court rulings regarding the mentioned case, I came up with [8], which paints a much different picture (the parent having been court-ordered to speak German during accompanied meetings with the child, because there is no Polish-speaking county official available to control what is being said).

I don't argue that such cases of human right violation don't exist, but unless they can be verified by a more neutral source than website content (partially) created by an involved party, I don't think they belong here. Especially not with the thinly-veiled insult of the Jugendamt having been "established during Nazi rule". -- DevSolar (talk) 13:43, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Followup. I dug deeper into the subject and found [9][10]. I admit there has been some wrong being done - on both sides, mind you - but the article section was still very much POV, and I still don't think this case warrants a seperate mention. -- DevSolar (talk) 16:57, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Followfollowup. With your strong language skills and quest for less POV in Wikipedia I strongly advise you to translate this this Wikipedia article / paragraph for our English - speaking friends. I'm just too tired to do so since years of German Wikipedia's POV - brainwash washed away my brains... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:31, 29 August 2014 (UTC)