Come on folks, keep looking.
Turns out, in the New, Improved, Sensitive New Age We Would Never Incinerate So Many Jews It Would Compromise The Air Quality Germany, the delicate sensibilities of convicted murderers are a precious, precious orchid that we must protect.
Read it first in The Register
Attorneys took the action on behalf of Wolfgang Werlé, one of two men to receive a life sentence for the 1990 murder of Walter Sedlmayr. In a letter sent late last month to Wikipedia officials, they didn't dispute their client was found guilty, but they nonetheless demanded Wikipedia's English language biography of the Bavarian star suppress the convicted murder's name because he is considered a private individual under German law.
Werlé's "rehabilitation and his future life outside the prison system is severely impacted by your unwillingness to anonymize any articles dealing with the murder of Mr. Walter Sedlmayr with regard to our client's involvement," they wrote. "As your article deals with a local German public figure (such as the actor Walter Sedlmayr), we expect you are aware that you have to comply with applicable German law."
Apparently the German-language Wikipedia has pussied out and engaged in a little small-scale denial, which if it had been about six million Jews instead of one gay actor, would itself be a crime in the Heimat.
Will Murderer Werle's solicitous solicitors bring suit against the German newspapers next, requiring them to hire an army of Winston Smiths to revise the microfiche archives?
If everyone cannot report the name of a convicted felon -- much less the facts of the crime as determined by a court of law -- then no one is shielded from lies and atrocity. From being stabbed in the neck and kidneys and then beaten to death with a hammer, say.
I don't suppose anything can be done for German citizens if the German government decides to shut down the internet in order to help a hammer-murderer get all self-actualized 'n stuff. It would be up to them, whether to, you know, follow orders.
But I certainly hope, as Professor Chaos just noted, that the US Government supports its Constitution -- as protecting ourselves from foreign oppressors is kind of the whole point. The appropriate response to a foreign court attempting to extract money or silence from an American citizen engaged in lawful speech is "Why don't you try to come and get it?"
As for Herr Werle the hammer-murderer and his deep need to buy carpentry tools in privacy -- shame about that Streisand Effect.