Claus Nordbruch

Claus Nordbruch was born in 1961 and he grew up in West Germany and Austria. His father came from Thuringia and his mother from Vienna. He does not belong to any political party nor is he tied to any religious confession.

From 1982 to 1986 he served as infantryman (Panzergrenadier) in the German Bundeswehr, leaving the force as second-lieutenant. In 1986 he immigrated to South Africa.

Between 1987 and 1991 he studied German, History, Criminology and Biology at the University of Pretoria where he graduated with BA(Hons) and MA degrees. In 1995 he obtained a PhD from the University of South Africa. He wrote his thesis on the concept of duty, focussing in particular on Siegfried Lenz who is considered to be the leading proponent in post war Germany of the essential and complicated question on the possible combination of Humanity and Duty.

Since 1993 Nordbruch has worked as a lecturer, journalist and has written many academic and non-fiction books. Nordbruch's essays and articles are published both in academic and mainstream magazines and newspapers as well as in the alternate media. His books have been extensively reviewed in the German as well as in the international press.

In 1998 at the University of Bonn the prominent German culture organisation Stiftung Ostdeutscher Kulturrat (literally: Foundation of the East German Council of Culture) awarded Nordbruch an academic prize for his thesis Über die Pflicht - About Duty. Three years later, in 2001, he was honoured by the German National-Zeitung with the European Freedom Prize for his persistent and courageous fight for freedom of speech.

What is Dr. Nordbruch's primary concern? Intellectual liberty!

In his publications dealing with the history of Southern Africa Dr. Nordbruch has specialized in the Anglo-Boer War devastating South Africa in 1899-1902 as well as in the revolt of the Herero people in German South West Africa (today Namibia) in 1904, which allegedly ended in the intentional extermination of this proud African tribe. Regarding the latter, Dr Nordbruch is of the opinion that mainly Marxist historians of the former German Democratic Republic had created this accusation of genocide, which is regularly propagated by conformist historiography and opportunist journalism. Dr Nordbruch, however, rejects that exterminationist view. After years of research he offers proof that this genocidial accusation is based on uncritical German colonial publications of the German Imperial era as well as on the British war propaganda during World War I. Hence, the accusation that Germans exterminated Hereros should be regarded as an expression of Germanophobia, which itself is politically and financially motivated.

In his books dealing with freedom of speech he provides evidence that in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) censorship is extensive. He demonstrates how the political police, called the Verfassungsschutz, is used to slander political opponents, historical dissenters and individuals who do not share official opinions on fundamental historical and political matters. Most of these persons are labelled »extremists« thereby isolating them from social, cultural, political and economical life. Usually these individuals are legally prosecuted and then given large fines or sent to prison. These individuals have not committed any acts of violence or other crimes in the true sense of the term, but because they committed a »thought-crime«. Dr. Nordbruch regards the suppression of intellectual liberty - unilateral political legal decisions and the one-sided discrimination against freedom of speech, freedom of information, freedom of science, freedom of assembly - to be typical for a big brother government (Gesinnungsstaat). It is these concerns that he addresses in his books.

Dr Nordbruch states: A free and constitutional form of government can be identified by the degree to what extent both freedom of speech and freedom of information are granted to citizens and, furthermore, by the degree of protecting the rights and the dignity of the citizens. This appears to be a truism. Unfortunately this is not the case in the Federal Republic of Germany. In a truly free and constitutional state it is possible to have and to share opinions opposing state opinions without being threatened by prosecution and punishment. Of course it is assumed that such opinions are held in good faith and not with malicious intend that aims to character assassinate or even to commit violent acts. Hence any incitement to violence can never be considered to be an expression of opinion. It can not serve to protect intellectual liberty either.

Only in an open discussion and analysis of differing views will it be possible to find answers to fundamental questions. There is no other way for mental development. Both argument and counter-argument build the essential fulcrum point of mental development, especially if such arguments are vehemently defended.

Although the basic law (Grundgesetz) guarantees intellectual freedom, in practice it is not granted. The authorites use various methods to restrict and suppress unwanted opinions. The blacklisting and defaming of individuals is the most common form used by the establishment media to silence unwanted opinions, thereby creating public opinion. Also the political police, or rather literally the »Offices to protect the constitution« (Ämter für Verfassungsschutz) contribute to a climate where free intellectual development is no longer possible.

In fact at the moment some 10.000 people are persecuted and sentenced either to large fines or are sent to jail for many months, sometimes even years, just because they committed a »thought-crime«. According to different independent studies, there are more political prisoners in the FRG today than in the former communist German Democratic Republic. Under those circumstances intellectual liberty can neither fluctuate nor survive.

Calls for intellectual-political discussions are very common in the FRG. Unfortunately these calls also prove to be hypocritical. In September 2000 our webpage hosted in the FRG was deleted by the webmaster without notice. Only when we insisted to be given the reason why our website was deleted, we were told that on our webpage we defamed and libelled state organs of the FRG and criticized individuals. This is revealing, isn't it? Of course we never slandered anybody nor did we ever intend to do so. In fact, we only quoted excerpts of Dr. Nordbruch's books and essays. By far, most of the reviews on Dr. Nordbruch's books confirm his academic manner of research and the academic value of his conclusions. This, of course, also the oponents to intellectual liberty do know. Since there is no chance to disprove Dr. Nordbruch's work, the easiest way to get rid of him is to close down his webpage. Due to such a shabby attitude, we decided to shift the site to a country where freedom of speech and freedom of information are not merely theoretically upheld but put into practical effect.

We will never give up fighting for intellectual liberty. Nobody will ever tell us what we are allowed to read or what we are not allowed to read, whom we may criticize or whom we may not criticize. We will resist anyone who attempts to stifle our thinking processes.

Forward in the spirit of François-Marie Voltaire!


Documents by this author