Weimar Germany was deeply conflicted about the value of free speech. On the one hand, freedom of expression was constitutionally protected. On the other hand, the constitution allowed censorship of cinema and “trash and filth” in literature.

When the Nazis finally assumed power, they not only used terror and violence, but also turned the laws and principles supposed to protect the democratic order in to weapons against democracy, paving the way for totalitarianism, war, and genocide.

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