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So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast takes an uncensored look at the world of free expression through personal stories and candid conversations.
New episodes post every other Thursday.

Feb 15, 2024

J Hopkins is an American playwright, novelist, and political satirist. He moved to Germany in 2004. He publishes a self-titled blog on Substack and is the editor of Consent Factory Publishing. 


CJ’s most recent book, “The Rise of the New Normal Reich,” draws a parallel between Nazi Germany and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In August 2022, it was banned on Amazon in Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. In the months that followed, CJ was charged by German authorities with violating a section of the German penal code that prohibits “disseminating information, the intention of which is to further the aims of a former National-Socialist organization [the Nazis].” He was recently acquitted, but the prosecutor chose to appeal the decision. 


In the coming months, CJ will stand trial — again — for a crime he claims he didn’t commit and for which he has already been acquitted.


**We are launching on Substack this week! Nothing will change for our listeners. It’s just another way to support the podcast and FIRE. Premium subscribers will receive a FIRE membership and access to our new monthly “Members Only” Zoom chats, where we will discuss free speech news and happenings at FIRE. Members will also be able to ask Nico and other FIRE staffers questions.**



0:00 Introduction

2:58 Who is CJ Hopkins?

9:35 CJ moves to Germany

15:02 CJ’s work since 2004

18:23 Berlin in 2020

27:18 “The Rise of the New Normal Reich”

34:01 CJ’s book banned in Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands

37:05 German investigation

47:26 German sensitivities to Nazism 

50:17 Why didn’t CJ just pay the fine? 

54:03 CJ goes to trial

1:03:29 Double-jeopardy / prosecutorial appeal

1:08:49 Does CJ have regrets?

1:12:50 Conclusion


Show Notes 

Atlantic profile by Jamie Kirchick 

Berlin Diary” by William L. Shirer 

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William L. Shirer

The Rise of the New Normal Reich” by CJ Hopkins

Consent Factory 

The Verdict” by CJ Hopkins, a Substack article about the conclusion of his first trial

The Rise of the New Normal Reich: Consent Factory Essays, Vol. III, banned in Germany, Austria, and The Netherlands!” by CJ Hopkins, a Substack article about his book being banned on Amazon