German High Court Backs Conviction of Holocaust Denier

Germany’s top appeals court upheld the conviction of Ernst Zündel for denying the Holocaust and inciting hatred of Jews. Mr. Zündel’s appeal was baseless, the Karlsruhe-based Federal Court of Justice said in a statement yesterday.

A trial court convicted Mr. Zündel, 68, for incitement, defamation, and slander February 15, and sentenced him to five years in prison, the maximum allowed under German law.

Officials are seeking to prosecute people who post denials of the Holocaust on Internet sites available in Germany. It is a crime in Germany to deny the killing of 6 million Jews by the Nazis.

Jürgen Rieger, Mr. Zündel’s attorney, called yesterday’s decision a “scandal” because it didn’t remedy what he called flaws during the trial. He said he will ask the German Constitutional Court to overturn the decision. Mr. Zündel published the “Germania Newsletter,” and sent anti-Semitic publications from Canada to people in Germany, the court said. He also ran a Web site with his wife, the court said. Mr. Zündel left the country as a 19-year-old and lived in Canada, from where he was extradited to stand trial in Germany.

Bloomberg News
September 18, 2007