Fasia Jansen summoned for incitement of the people (1970)

The Black German singer-songwriter Fasia Jansen received a summons to a judicial hearing at the Oberhausen district court on March 17, 1970. She was accused of riot, sedition, incitement of the people, disturbance of assemblies, participation in a forbidden assembly because she had taken part in an anti-NPD demonstration on August 23, 1969. She was charged along with as many as 1,000 other citizens of Oberhausen, among them union members and members of the state parliament). The police commissioner had allowed the NPD assembly, but rejected the protest assembly.

Fasia Jansen used the summons as the front page of a leaflet (reproduced below) that drew attention to this abstruse accusation. On April 3, 1970, Jansen told the press: “The accusations made against me are so outrageous and at the same time biased in favour of the neo-fascist NPD, that I refuse to make a statement to the district court. The facts of the case of incitement of the people have been fulfilled only by the successor party to the NSDAP. It should be the task of the public prosecutor’s office to investigate against this party to which the accusations of the summons apply. As a “non-Aryan” I feel persecuted again.”

The trial and the protest were regularly reported in the press. Many of those involved in the counter-demonstration considered filing a voluntary disclosure as a protest against the trial. Several hundred defendants demonstratively burned their summonses on March 25 at Kennedyplatz in Essen.

The preliminary proceedings against Jansen were closed on July 3, 1970. The Ministry of Justice announced that there were no indications whatsoever that Fasia Jansen was guilty of sedition. The accusation in the summons for questioning was based on an oversight by the court’s office. Jansen was represented in this preliminary investigation by her friend, the lawyer and singer-songwriter Franz Josef Degenhardt.

Philipp Khabo Koepsell


Source: Fasia Jansen, Protest Leaflet (1970), J. Argilagos Private Collection, Each One Teach One (EOTO) Archive, Berlin. Special thanks to Philipp Khabo Koepsell and EOTO for generously providing access to their resources.

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