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Thread: Don't Call Me Schweinhund! Man Faces Charge for Insulting His German Neighbour in Her Own Language

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    Don't Call Me Schweinhund! Man Faces Charge for Insulting His German Neighbour in Her Own Language

    A man brought his German-born neighbour close to tears by twice calling her a schweinhund, a court heard yesterday.

    Clive Robinson is accused of racial harassment for deliberately using the insult, which translates as pig dog, against Christine Hurst because of her nationality.

    Mrs Hurst, a magistrate who moved to the UK as a student more than 20 years ago, said the word was 'extremely offensive' to a German and had left her so upset that her English husband had to call the police.

    She told a jury that the insult was connected to her nationality because 'otherwise he would have sworn at me in English'.

    Robinson, 45, later admitted to police that he had made the remark - which was once commonly used in war films and comics - but claimed he was referring to one of his Great Danes.

    The Hursts and the Robinsons live on neighbouring smallholdings in Weston Hills near Spalding, Lincolnshire, but relations between them broke down four years ago after Robinson was served with a noise abatement order, the jury was told.

    It followed complaints from Mrs Hurst and her husband Peter after Robinson's son and his friends staged banger races in old cars on nearby land.

    Giving evidence, Mrs Hurst said that in the past Robinson had delivered an obscene one-fingered salute while walking by her home.

    He had also once mounted a novelty plastic hand, similar to the type sometimes worn by fans at sports events, on the roof of his home with the middle finger pointing up in the air.

    Bavarian-born Mrs Hurst, who married in 1986 after her move to the UK, told the jury the gesture was Robinson's 'trademark'.

    Lincoln Crown Court heard that relations between the Hursts and Robinson and his wife Marlah had 'broken down completely' over the incidents.

    Mrs Hurst admitted: 'We are not on speaking terms. I have written to Mrs Robinson to try to sort it out, but I have never got a reply.'

    In January last year she said she had gone into her garden to bring in her washing when she encountered Robinson.

    'I saw his car parked on our verge. When he saw us he reversed into his property. He got out and basically shouted at us,' she said.

    'He looked at me and shouted "schweinhund!". Then a couple of seconds later he said it even louder.

    'Schweinhund is a German word. It means pig dog. For a German it is extremely offensive. My husband phoned the police straight away, because I was close to tears.'

    Mrs Hurst, who has been a magistrate in Spalding for four years, denied she was oversensitive, insisting: 'It was so offensive. I could not believe he had said that. I was so upset. It's the way I feel - I'm a German and I'm being sworn at with a German swear word.'

    Defence barrister Michael Rudd suggested to Mrs Hurst that schweinhund was incommon usage in the UK in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

    He added: 'People of a certain age in the UK might be familiar with that word from war movies and from comics and magazines.'

    Mrs Hurst replied: 'It's an extremely offensive word.'

    Earlier Catherine Chasemore, prosecuting, told how relations between the families fell apart after the noise abatement order was served in 2005.

    She told the jury: 'Those of us who get on with our neighbours are lucky. You are going to hear from Mrs Hurst that unfortunately she did not.

    'This defendant was well aware of her German heritage. He did not say what he said in English. He said it in German. Mrs Hurst was quite shocked. Schweinhund is an insult in German.'

    Robinson denies a charge of racially-aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress on January 24 last year.

    He also denies an alternative offence of using threatening words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

    The trial continues.

  2. #2
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    Schweinhund is not a word, so what's the fuss. The correct word would be Schweinehund.

    Since it was even incorrectly uttered, I suppose I would have just smiled and corrected them, making the insult backfire.

    But I'll keep that case in mind as a precedent, should anyone call me a "Nazi" again here in the UK.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    This guy seems like he might not be the best neighbour, but I do call our great danes Schweinehund as well :p.

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