Skip to main content

French authorities charge Bob Dylan over Nazi remarks in interview

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A 2012 interview in Rolling Stone magazine is coming back to haunt Minnesota music icon Bob Dylan.

The Associated Press reported that French authorities have filed preliminary charges of “public insult and inciting hate” against the Hibbing native following statements he made in the Sept. 27, 2012, interview.

The charges, confirmed by a Paris prosecutor's spokeswoman, stem from a lawsuit filed by a French-based Croatian group. The group claims Dylan's statements violated the country's racial hatred laws.

In the Rolling Stone piece, Dylan compares Croatians to Nazis in reference to the ethnic warfare between the Serbs and Croatians in the Balkan conflict the 1990s.

"Blacks know that some whites didn't want to give up slavery — that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can't pretend they don't know that," Dylan said in the interview. "If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood."

France's racial hatred law "criminalizes incitement to racial discrimination, hatred, or violence on the basis of one's origin or membership (or non-membership) in an ethic, national, racial, or religious group," according to The Legal Project.

The AP said Dylan was charged last month while he was in Paris to accept France's Legion d'Honneur award, but weren't publicly confirmed by officials until this week.

If he loses the lawsuit, Dylan may face fines, the Huffington Post said.

Slate reported that the Croatian group is only seeking an apology in the matter.

France is home to about 30,000 Croatians, the AP said.

Next Up

Baby owl

The Raptor Center says downward trend holding for avian influenza

A "baby shower" fundraising campaign hopes to help return young raptors to the wild.


Commemorative street name for Prince approved in Minneapolis

The block next to the First Avenue nightclub will be named Prince Rogers Nelson Way.

storm, radar, severe weather

Monitoring severe storm threat Saturday-Tuesday in Minnesota

The holiday weekend won't be a washout, but multiple rounds of strong and severe storms are possible.

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 4.45.15 PM

Charges: St. Cloud meth dealer had numerous weapons. body armor

Shawn Lawrence Jacobs, 38, faces 12 felony-level charges.

3100 Bloomington Ave.

South Minneapolis tenants declare rent strike; allege unsafe conditions

A group of Powderhorn Park residents say they'll withhold May rent due to health and safety concerns.

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 3.11.26 PM

Threats involving 2 students at West St. Paul middle school

Police said there is no reason to be concerned for the safety of the rest of the student body at Heritage E-Stem Magnet Middle School.

North Shore Mayor Chris Swanson.

Controversial Two Harbors mayor told: Resign or face recall election

The mayor has come under scrutiny for unusual behavior this year.

Lakeville Minnesota Solar Installation - All Energy Solar

Tips for selecting a reputable solar installer

Installing solar panels is a major investment. The solar solution provider you choose should be stable and trustworthy.

3M Maplewood

3M fined $2.8M for hazardous waste violations in Cottage Grove

The company's violations spanned more than two decades.

Christopher Payne and Kaley Wethern

Couple charged after $75k worth of fentanyl pills seized during traffic stop

Christopher James Payne and Kaley Maria Wethern have been charged in the seizure.