This is an edited version from The Guardian (Africa)
German row over whitewashing the n-word from children's books:
Father delighted that racist words will be removed from bedtime storybook but decision generates hate mail from opponents
A German man whose letter to a publishing house prompted it to expunge the racist sentiment from a classic children's book has spoken of his relief that about the decision, despite the angry backlash and hate mail it has generated.
Mekonnen Mesghena wrote to one of Germany's oldest children's publishers urging it to revise the text of Die Kleine Hexe (The Little Witch) after stumbling across a passage in which two children dress up as "neger", which can be translated from German as both "nigger" and "negro". "I am hugely relieved to have been told that all the words to do with the skin colour will be abolished," he said.
Mesghena wrote to Thienemann Verlag after realising that he could not continue reading the book to his seven-year-old daughter, Timnit, one bedtime. "Suddenly it was full of racist language referring to little niggers and gypsies and basically a lot of labeling of people. I was not prepared,” he said.
Many of the country's intellectuals have accused Thienemann of censorship and of unnecessarily meddling with a beloved classic. Both Thienemann and Mesghena have been inundated with angry correspondence, even hate mail.
The publishers agreed to change it after consulting with the author, Otfried Preussler, who is 90.
"I told them what it means for a black girl to be confronted with that chapter and how exclusionary it is," Mesghena added.
Thienemann's director Klaus Willberg, said the decision was necessary to allow the publishing house to stay up to date with changes in language and politics." He added: "We will now be trawling through all our classics."
The full article can be found at - http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/29/germany-race