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Germany: 14 month sentence for Holocaust denial just the latest conviction of 89-year-old

30.11.2017 8:53
A drawing from the Auschwitz death camp. (PHOTO: Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum,
A drawing from the Auschwitz death camp. (PHOTO: Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum,

On 29 November an appeals court in Detmold in the German state of North Rnine-Westphalia sentenced Ursula Haverbeck to 14 months in prison for denying the existence of the Holocaust. The 89-year-old woman was found guilty of inciting hatred.

Haverbeck's lawyers want to ask the High State Court in Hamm to review the verdict. The indictment sought a sentence of 18 months for Haverbeck having denied the Holocaust last year in letters and other writings undertaken in connection with the trial of a former guard at Auschwitz, Reinhold Hanning.

The defense sought acquittal for their client, but the judge eventually favored the prosecutor's case. Haverbeck, whose husband was in the leadership of the NSDAP (the Nazi party) at the beginning of Hitler's regime, has been indicted for other instances of this same offense in different parts of Germany in recent years.

Last month a court in Berlin sentenced Haverbeck to six months in prison for inciting hatred, while in August a sentence of two years in prison was handed down against her by a court in the Lower Saxon town of Verden for denying the crimes of the Nazi regime. Those verdicts have yet to take effect because the right-wing extremist has appealed them.

The Nazis and their allies murdered six million Jewish people, predominantly from Europe, during the Second World War as part of the so-called "Final Solution to the Jewish Question". Holocaust denial is a criminal offense in Germany.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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