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Germany: University professors fear for freedom of expression

BERLIN. Numerous university professors in Germany have complained about the restriction of freedom of expression in everyday professional life. According to a survey by the Institute for Demoscopy Allensbach on behalf of the CDU-affiliated Konrad-Adenauer Foundation and the German University Association, a third of the 1,106 respondents felt constrained by formal or informal guidelines on political correctness, Die Welt reported.

According to this, doctors (40 percent) felt particularly badly affected by such constraints. Among the humanities scholars, 36 percent saw themselves restricted primarily in teaching through prohibitions on thinking and speaking.

Many of the respondents felt an intolerant atmosphere of opinion at their facilities. 74 percent believed that inviting a right-wing politician to a panel discussion would provoke considerable resistance from students and the university management. However, 79 percent emphasized that such an invitation should be allowed.

Left-wing extremist students protest against unwanted professors
The lecturers also expected headwinds in the areas of gender-neutral language and climate change. 40 percent suspect that rejection of altered formulations will provoke resistance. At the same time, 72 percent were in favor of being allowed to reject these language regulations. According to the survey, 43 percent wanted to allow the denial of man-made climate change. However, 63 percent assumed that this would lead to protests.

In recent months, left-wing extremist student groups at Hamburg and Vienna Universities have demonstrated against unwelcome professors. In the northern German city, the disruptive actions were directed against AfD co-founder Bernd Lucke, who could only give his lecture under police protection . The course of the Viennese historian Lothar Höbelt had repeatedly been the target of left-wing extremist rallies since the end of last year.

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