The white nationalist National Democratic Party (NPD) had wanted to post newsletters in the former East German state of Saxony, where it has elected members, which Deutsche Post had objected to as "potentially racist".
"Freedom of the press under the constitution requires press publications to be delivered as cheaply as possible," the court said. "This is a victory for free speech," said Holger Apfel, leader of the NPD after the party won the injunction against the postal service in the Federal High Court. The NPD‘s legislators in Saxony wanted to distribute a newsletter entitled Klartext to some 200,000 households in the city of Leipzig.
The judges at the Karlsruhe court rejected arguments by the semi-public mail company that the party‘s mailout was likely to be "racist". The court said Deutsche Post was providing a public service and was not allowed to discriminate between publishers of periodicals.
"Freedom of the press under the constitution requires press publications to be delivered as cheaply as possible," the court said.
The appeal judges overturned previous verdicts, ruling that the NPD was entitled to be treated like any other publisher and to pay only the heavily-discounted rate at which newspapers and magazines are delivered. Judges said no proof had been given in court that the newsletter broke the law and rejected a contention that it was junk mail because it was to be unaddressed and go to every household.
Stay Connected with Us