- Australian wanted in Germany for website that disputes historical facts
A holocaust revisionist will appear before a British court on Friday after being arrested at the request of the German authorities.
Gerald Fredrick Töben was detained at Heathrow yesterday by officers from Scotland Yard’s extradition unit as he stepped off a plane from America. Last night, he was remanded in custody at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court to reappear on Friday.
The 64-year-old Australian is wanted in Germany, accused of publishing material on the internet “of an anti-Semitic and/or revisionist nature deliberately contrary to historical truth”, that denies, approves of or plays down the “mass murder of Jews planned and implemented by the Nationalist Socialist party”. He was detained yesterday under an EU arrest warrant issued by the German authorities, which accuses him of committing the offence in their country, his native land and others.
The former teacher, who was born in northern Germany in 1944 but emigrated to Australia as a 10-year-old, set up the Adelaide Institute in 1994, an internet site that questions the “story, legend, myth” behind the Holocaust. It also doubts whether HIV causes Aids.
While he denies being anti-Semitic or calling the Holocaust a lie, Dr Töben, a doctor of philosophy, has previously insisted killings took place on a much smaller scale. In 2006, he met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and dismissed as “mere puffery” evidence of the Nazis’ mass killings of Jews.
In 1999, his fellow revisionists declared him a “martyr” after he was sentenced to 10 months in prison for breaching Germany’s holocaust law. The Mannheim court cleared him of the more serious charge of incitement to racial hatred because the material was written outside Germany. In 2000, Germany’s Supreme Court made foreigners liable for internet crimes.
In 2002, a judge in the Federal Court of Australia found that his website “vilified Jewish people” and ordered him to remove offensive material from it. However, it did not enforce an earlier order made by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission that the site be closed down and that he issue a written apology to the Executive Council of the Australian Jewry.
On the website, Dr Töben lists the “victims imprisoned for refusing to believe in the Holocaust”. He adds: “If you wish to doubt the Holocaust-Shoah narrative, be prepared for sacrifice, marriage and family break-up, loss of career, and to go to prison. This is because Revisionists are … dismantling a massive multibillion dollar industry that the Holocaust-Shoah enforcers are defending, as well as the survival of Zionist-racist Israel.
By Terri Judd
Thursday, 2 October 2008
Comment and context from Art Butz
You have no doubt heard of the arrest on Oct. 1 of my friend Dr. Fredrick Töben at London’s Heathrow airport, on a German arrest warrant. The event was immediately and prominently reported, e.g.
Töben had just flown in from the USA and was only changing planes on his way to Dubai. He had no intention of visiting London itself.
This affair is a test of the new principle that a EU member is obligated to extradite persons on its territory to other member states for claimed offenses that may not be offenses in the extraditing country (the idea of the “European Arrest Warrant” or EAW). Töben has posted materials on his Australian web site that the German government considers in contravention of its “Auschwitz Lie” law, the infamous Paragraph 130 of its criminal code. Britain has no such law.
At present Töben sits in jail, having had two court hearings, with another coming up this Wednesday, Oct. 29. He seems to be represented by able counsel.
Some reflection reveals how crazy the EU provision is. Recently British academic Timothy Garton Ash wrote in the Los Angeles Times to condemn Europe’s “memory laws”:
Ash made an interesting point: “In Switzerland, you get prosecuted for saying that the terrible thing that happened to the Armenians in the last years of the Ottoman empire was not a genocide. In Turkey, you get prosecuted for saying it was.”
Switzerland is a semi-member of the EU, that relationship subject to flux, and Turkey is applying for full membership. When that day comes a Briton, or a person visiting Britain, can get extradited to Switzerland for saying, on the Internet, that there was no Armenian genocide, and to Turkey for saying there was!
The Brits not being fully brain-dead, there has been considerable controversy over this matter and there is hope that this crazy principle will be rejected, Töben being allowed to proceed. That is why I do not expect that Töben will be extradited immediately after the Oct. 29 court hearing, and do think there is a good possibility that this matter will go to the House of Lords which functions, like the US Supreme Court, as the highest appellate authority there.
There is precedent for defiance of the EAW. Belgium refuses to extradite people accused of contravening Poland’s relatively strict laws against abortion.
My specific reason for writing to you is to ask you to put pressure on the British government by writing to its diplomatic offices. In the USA, the addresses of British consulates can be learned at
A letter could stress the fear an American, or any other nationality, could have of visiting Britain under circumstances where arrest is possible for opinion offenses which are not even offenses in Britain.
Generally, an old-fashioned snail mail letter is better than fax, and fax is better than e-mail. Above all, a real name, street address, and phone number should be given. The worst possible format is e-mail that gives only an e-mail address and a screen name; that is effectively an anonymous note.
Now a confession: I have not written the sort of letter I am asking you to write, and do not intend to. The reason is my notoriety (“Oh him! We would expect him to say that!”). Rather, it should be emphasized to the British, by implicit but strong suggestion, that they are being asked to adopt a very dangerous precedent that will intimidate people far beyond the little circle of those pesky “Holocaust deniers”, people who at present have only good will toward their country.
Arthur R. Butz