On January 6th 1934, famous Icelandic author Þórbergur Þórðarson wrote an article in the now defunct daily paper Alþýðublaðið. Its headline, “Kvalarlosti nazista,” roughly translates as “Nazi Sadism.” In the article, Þórbergur said many a negative thing about Hitler and his henchmen, such as the fact that just after Hitler and his party came to power, prison camps in Germany were rife with “suffering and torture, that even the Inquisition itself would be horrified by, if it could slide its eyes over these nearly 800 years of eternity which lie between Lucius III and the sadist in the German chancellor’s chair.”
The German Consul to Iceland sued Þórbergur for this statement on behalf of the German Reich, and on October 31st 1934, the Supreme Court of Iceland sentenced Þórbergur to pay a fine of 200 ISK—around 80,000 ISK at today’s rates. That day, the same daily paper printed that “The Supreme Court has valued Hitler’s reputation at 200 ISK.” It has since plummeted.
Back to the future
On January 31st 2017, Pirate Party MP Ásta Guðrún Helgadóttir said that “what the President of the USA has done in his first few days in office is fascist.” Interviewed on February 1st 2017, Independence Party MP Óli Björn Kárason said that although he disagreed with Donald Trump’s immigration and refugee policies, he thought it inappropriate for MPs to call Trump, a democratically elected head of state, a fascist (Ed: Do you know who else was a democratically elected head of state?). This time around, the US Embassy has yet to press charges.
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