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Serial Holocaust denier sentenced to prison

October 16, 2017

A Berlin court has sentenced serial Holocaust denier Ursula Haverbeck to six months in jail for denying the Nazis' extermination of Jews. She has never spent time in prison despite several previous convictions.

Ursula Haverbeck in court
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/P. Zinken

The 88-year-old Ursula Haverbeck, who has several previous convictions all related to Holocaust denial, was on Monday found guilty of once again denying the mass murder of millions of Jews during the Nazi era in Germany, this time at an event in Berlin on January 30, 2016.

Read more: Holocaust deniers: negating history

Haverbeck will also stand trial in the western town of Detmold again on November 23. She had appealed two verdicts by a Detmold court, handed down for incitement to hatred after she sent a letter to Detmold's mayor and various media in which she refutes the genocide of Jews between 1941 and 1945.

She once said on television that the Holocaust was "the biggest and most sustainable lie in history." German media have dubbed her the "Nazi grandma."

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Defiant pamphlets

At the Detmold trial earlier this year, she defiantly handed out a pamphlet titled "Only the truth will set you free" to journalists as well as the judge and the prosecutor. In it, she again denies the Nazi atrocities.

Read more: Auschwitz: 4 out of 10 German students don't know what it was

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 has written for the right-wing magazine Stimme des Reiches (Voice of the Empire), in which she also denied the existence of the Holocaust.

Haverbeck: 'Auschwitz lie'

In August, she was sentenced to two years in prison as a consequence. At the trial, she spoke of an "Auschwitz lie," claiming it was not an extermination camp, but merely a labor camp.

She has also filed charges against Germany's Central Council of Jews for "prosecuting innocent people."

Read more: Hungary hands over Holocaust denier Horst Mahler

Under German law, incitement to hatred is a criminal offense often applied to individuals who deny or trivialize the Holocaust.

It carries a sentence of between three months to five years in prison. Haverbeck has not served her sentences as she has appealed all of the verdicts, with hearings ongoing.

ng,tj/rt (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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