Ernst Zuendel, German Holocaust denier
Photo: AP

Germany jails Holocaust denier for 5 years

In closing statement, Ernst Zuendel said an international commission of experts should be set up to investigate whether Jews were gassed by Nazis

A German court sentenced a prominent Holocaust denier extradited from Canada to five years in prison on Thursday for inciting racial hatred and denying the Nazis killed six million Jews.


Ernst Zuendel, publisher of works such as "Did six million really die?", was handed the maximum sentence under German law for Holocaust denial.


Zuendel, 67, has been in custody in Germany since March 2005 after being deported from Canada. The court would not release him on bail because of the danger he would flee.


In his closing statement Zuendel said the court should set up an international commission of experts to examine the Holocaust. If the commission confirmed the gassing of Jews, he told the court he would convene a press conference to apologise to Jews and other victims.


The trial was suspended in late 2005 after the judge dismissed a publicly appointed defence lawyer when she produced written submissions that appeared to deny the Holocaust. It resumed just over a year ago.


Zuendel is a German citizen who has spent much of his life in Canada and whose name is sometimes spelled Zundel. He ran a Web site and distributed a publication called "Germania Rundbrief" denying the Holocaust took place.


There were posters of Zuendel and other prominent Holocaust deniers at last year's Holocaust conference in Tehran organised by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has doubted the Holocaust and called for Israel's destruction.


Meanwhile, German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said Thursday she was confident the European Union can agree on EU-wide rules that would impose jail terms for

incitement of hate crimes, Holocaust denial and racist violence.


Zypries, whose country holds the EU presidency, acknowledged that getting agreement on the sensitive issue would not be easy.


”Some countries have a problem one way or another but I am confident that when we negotiate in the next couple of months we will find a solution,” She told reporters after EU ministers had a first discussion on the issue. 


פרסום ראשון: 02.15.07, 14:45
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