Appeal postponed again in Nazi Grandma Holocaust denial …

Posted By on January 8, 2018

A German court was due to make a decision on Thursdayin the appeal of an 89-year-old woman convicted of incitement to racial hatred on multiple occasions. Her appeal, however, has once more been postponed. Ursula Haverbeck challengedtwo verdicts handed down by a court in the western town of Detmold, after she denied that the genocide of Jews between 1941 and 1945 had taken place.

Under German law, denial of the Holocaust in which 6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis constitutes incitement ofracial hatred. Convictions can result in a prison sentence of up to five years.

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The villa on Berlin's Wannsee lake was pivotal in planning the Holocaust. 15 members of the Nazi government and the SS Schutzstaffel met here on January 20, 1942 to plan what became known as the "Final Solution," the deportation and extermination of all Jews in German-occupied territory. In 1992, the villa where the Wannsee Conference was held was turned into a memorial and museum.

The Nazi regime opened the first concentration camp in Dauchau not far from Munich. Just a few weeks after Adolf Hitler came to power it was used by the paramilitary SS "Schutzstaffel" to imprison, torture and kill political opponents to the regime. Dachau also served as a prototype and model for the other Nazi camps that followed.

Nuremberg hosted the biggest Nazi party propaganda rallies from 1933 until the start of the Second World War. The annual Nazi party congress as well as rallies with as many as 200,000 participants took place on the 11-km (4.25 square miles) area. Today, the unfinished Congress Hall building serves as a documentation center and a museum.

The Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Lower Saxony was initially established as a prisoner of war camp before becoming a concentration camp. Prisoners too sick to work were brought here from other concentration camps, so many also died of disease. One of the 50,000 killed here was Anne Frank, a Jewish girl who gained international fame posthumously after her diary was published.

The Bendlerblock building in Berlin was the headquarters of a military resistance group. On July 20, 1944, a group of Wehrmacht officers around Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg carried out an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler that failed. The leaders of the conspiracy were summarily shot the same night in the courtyard of the Bendlerblock, which is today the German Resistance Memorial Center.

From 1941 people with physical and mental disabilities were killed at a psychiatric hospital in Hadamar in Hesse. Declared "undesirables" by the Nazis, some 15,000 people were murdered here by asphyxiation with carbon monoxide or by being injected with lethal drug overdoses. Across Germany some 70,000 were killed as part of the Nazi-euthanasia program. Today Hadamar is a memorial to those victims.

Located next to the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin's Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was inaugurated sixty years after the end of World War II on May 10, 2005, and opened to the public two days later. Architect Peter Eisenman created a field with 2,711 concrete slabs. An attached underground "Place of Information" holds the names of all known Jewish Holocaust victims.

Not too far from the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, another concrete memorial honors the thousands of homosexuals persecuted by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945. The four-meter high monument, which has a window showing alternately a film of two men or two women kissing, was inaugurated in Berlin's Tiergarten on May 27, 2008.

Opposite the Reichstag parliament building in Berlin, a park inaugurated in 2012 serves as a memorial to the 500,000 Sinti and Roma people killed by the Nazi regime. Around a memorial pool the poem "Auschwitz" by Roma poet Santino Spinelli is written in English, Germany and Romani: "gaunt face, dead eyes, cold lips, quiet, a broken heart, out of breath, without words, no tears."

In the 1990s, the artist Gunther Demnig began a project to confront Germany's Nazi past. Brass-covered concrete cubes were placed in front of the former houses of Nazi victims, providing details on the person as well as the dates of deportation and death, if known. More than 45,000 "Stolpersteine" have been laid in 18 countries in Europe - it's the world's largest decentralized Holocaust memorial.

Right next to the "Fhrerbau" where Adolf Hitler had his office, the headquarters of the Nazi Party in Germany were based in the "Brown House" in Munich. A white cube now occupies its former location. A new "Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism" opened on April 30, 2015, 70 years after the liberation of the Nazi regime, uncovering further dark chapters of history.

Author: Max Zander, Ille Simon

The Detmold court initially sentenced Haverbeck to eight months imprisonmentin September2016, after she sent a letter to Detmold's mayor, Rainer Heller, claiming that Auschwitz was not a concentration camp.

After the trial, Haverbeck, from the western town of Vlotho, defiantly handed out a pamphlet to journalists as well as the judge and the prosecutor. In the document, entitled "Only the truth will set you free," she again denied the Nazi atrocities. For this, Haverbeck was sentenced to an additional 10 months.

Still to serve time

Haverbeck, who has been dubbed by the German press as "Nazi-Oma,"meaning "Nazi Grandma,"has been sentenced to jail five timesin total. The most recent occasion was in October, when a Berlin district court sentenced her to six months in jail for incitement to racial hatred.

So far, she has not served any prison time, having appealed the sentences on each occasion and with proceedings ongoing and repeatedly postponed in each case. Haverbeck claims she has been merely repeating an opinion.

Haverbeck fellfoul of the law in the German capital by speaking at a public event in January 2016, when she claimed that gas chambers and the Auschwitz concentration camp "were not real."

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Haverbeck and her late husband Werner Georg Haverbeck, who was an active NSDAP member in the run-up to and during World War II, founded a right-wing education center called Collegium Humanum, which has been banned since 2008. She wrote for the right-wing magazineStimme des Reiches(Voice of the Empire), in which she also denied that the Holocaust existed.

In August, Haverbeck was sentenced to two years in prison as a consequence. At that trial, she spoke of an "Auschwitz lie."

rc/rt (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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Appeal postponed again in Nazi Grandma Holocaust denial ...

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