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Far-right protest for release of 'Nazi Grandma'

Louisa Wright with dpa
May 11, 2018

Hundreds of far-right protesters in northwest Germany have demonstrated for the "Nazi Grandma" to be released from jail. The demonstration was met with opposition from about 600 counterprotesters.

Ursula Haverbeck
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/B. Thissen

Several hundred right-wing sympathizers in the western German city of Bielefeld on Thursday demonstrated for the release of a notorious Holocaust denier who has been in prison since Monday.

Dubbed the "Nazi Grandma," 89-year-old Ursula Haverbeck is serving a two-year sentence for incitement relating to her multiple assertions that Auschwitz was a work camp and was never used for mass extermination.

Read more: Opinion: For a humane society, we must never forget

Police said about 450 protesters from the far-right Die Rechte party participated and some 600 counterprotesters also showed up.

Amid the demonstration, clashes broke out between police and left-wing activists with two people detained and charged for resisting an officer. Two police officers were slightly injured.

Time catches up with the 'Nazi Grandma'

Despite previous convictions for denying the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis between 1941 and 1945, it is the first time Haverbeck has been given prison time.

Haverbeck was convicted in October on eight counts of incitement and tried to appeal the sentence, but the court in the state of Lower Saxony ruled that the previous judgement was legally sound and should be implemented.

Read more: Opinion: A late confession

She later failed to report to prison to start her sentence by an April 23 deadline. Police found Haverbeck in her home and took her to jail on Monday.

Numerous German courts have heard cases against Haverbeck and her criminal record includes fines and other sentences for incitement.

During a trial in 2015, she insisted that Auschwitz was "not historically proven" to be a death camp. That is "only a belief," said Haverbeck then.

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