Friday, January 05, 2007

Freedom of Expression

With their way of life collapsing around them, the common folk of Nazi Germany still had a sense of humor, although at a cost. This was a joke circulating in 1944:

Hitler and Goering are standing on top of Berlin's radio tower. Hitler says he wants to do something to cheer up the people of Berlin. "Why don't you just jump?" suggests Goering.

Sadly, I read that a Berlin woman, who worked in a munitions factory, was executed for telling this joke in 1944. How different it is today in the USA where anyone can express their opposition to the government's involvement of troops in Iraq and this is seen as normal and acceptable. People at the execution of Saddam Hussein certainly had opinions. They were expressed at a socially inappropriate time, but they had the freedom to do so and I don't think they should be punished. Having bad timing like this should not be illegal.

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