he following statement was made in court to the judge, prosecutor and the gallery during the author’s trial, at which he was acquitted last month. However, the prosecutor has appealed to overturn the acquittal, meaning the author is facing a second trial in an appeals court.
My name is C.J. Hopkins. I am an American playwright, author and political satirist. My plays have been produced and received critical acclaim internationally. My political satire and commentary is read by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. 20 years ago, I left my own country because of the fascistic atmosphere that had taken hold of the USA at that time, the time of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a war of aggression based on my Government’s lies. I emigrated to Germany and made a new life here in Berlin, because I believed that Germany, given its history, would be the last place on Earth to ever have anything to do with any form of totalitarianism again.
The gods have a strange sense of humor. This past week, thousands of people have been out in the streets all over Germany protesting against fascism, chanting “never again is now”. Many of these people spent the past three years, 2020 to 2023, unquestioningly obeying orders, parroting official propaganda and demonising anyone who dared to question the Government’s unconstitutional and authoritarian actions during the so-called Covid pandemic. Many of these same people, those who support Palestinian rights, are now shocked that the new form of totalitarianism they helped usher into existence is being turned against them.
And here I am, in criminal court in Berlin, accused of disseminating pro-Nazi propaganda in two Tweets about mask mandates. The German authorities have had my speech censored on the internet, and have damaged my reputation and income as an author. One of my books has been banned by Amazon in Germany. All this because I criticised the German authorities, because I mocked one of their decrees, because I pointed out one of their lies.
This turn of events would be absurdly comical if it were not so infuriating. I cannot adequately express how insulting it is to be forced to sit here and affirm my opposition to fascism. For over 30 years, I have written and spoken out against fascism, authoritarianism, totalitarianism etc. Anyone can do an internet search, find my books, read the reviews of my plays, read my essays, and discover who I am and what my political views are in two or three minutes. And yet I am accused by the German authorities of disseminating pro-Nazi propaganda. I am accused of doing this because I posted two tweets challenging the official Covid narrative and comparing the new, nascent form of totalitarianism that it has brought into being — i.e., the so-called ‘New Normal’ — to Nazi Germany.
Let me be very clear. In those two tweets, and in my essays throughout 2020 to 2022, and in my current essays, I have indeed compared the rise of this new form of totalitarianism to the rise of the best-known 20th-Century form of totalitarianism, i.e., Nazi Germany. I have made this comparison, and analysed the similarities and differences between these two forms of totalitarianism, over and over again. And I will continue to do so. I will continue to analyse and attempt to explain this new, emerging form of totalitarianism, and to oppose it, and warn my readers about it.
The two tweets at issue here feature a swastika covered by one of the medical masks that everyone was forced to wear in public during 2020 to 2022. That is the cover art of my book. The message conveyed by this artwork is clear. In Nazi Germany, the swastika was the symbol of conformity to the official ideology. During 2020 to 2022, the masks functioned as the symbol of conformity to a new official ideology. That was their purpose. Their purpose was to enforce people’s compliance with Government decrees and conformity to the official Covid-pandemic narrative, most of which has now been proven to have been propaganda and lies.