Rammstein is Suing Germany
Germany has a long history of censorship; for the longest time, you couldn’t get any Cannibal Corpse there, and if you did it was wrapped in butcher paper like a kilo of heroin to hide its obscene cover.
But now, Rammstein are taking a stand. They claim the censorship of their album 2009 album Liebe Is Für Alle Da (‘There’s Enough Love For Everyone’) forced them to destroy or store 85,000 copies of the album, and are suing the German government for €66,000, or about $75,000USD.
Germany’s censorship is enacted by a government agency known as the Federal Department For Media Harmful To Young Persons (ins Deutsch, it’s known as the mouthful of ‘Bundesprüfstelle Für Jugendgefährdende Medien,’ or just BPjM), which puts media that it considers harmful to youth on a list commonly known as the ‘index.’ Usually, the BPjM focuses on music promoting bigotry and national socialism, but they also focus on material they consider extremely pornographic. Once material is on the index, “distributors of that medium are then no longer permitted to sell, rent out, present it in public or broadcast it.” Advertising said media is also forbidden.
When Rammstein made the index seven years ago, the BPjM took offense at the song “Ich Tu Dir Weh”, or “I’ll Hurt You”, which they claim promotes sadomasochistic and unsafe sex with lines like, “Bites, kicks, heavy blows, nails, pincers, blunt saws — tell me what you want.” They also objected to images like the following:
When discussing the issue, Rammstein keyboardist Christian “Flake” Lorenz had this to say:
“There’s nothing on the album that could be more misinterpreted than on other Rammstein records. Why now and why this? One of the examiners presumably has a daughter who annoys him with Rammstein at full volume.”
Obviously, I side with Lorenz on this issue. Rammstein have always made music about violence, sexuality, and darkness. It sounds like the German government just finally decided they’d had enough and jumped on what was right in front of them.
Rammstein’s case will be heard this summer. Hopefully, the guys will win over the censorship of their art.