Rightwinger jailed, told Jewish interviewer "Heil Hitler"

29th April 2008, Comments 1 comment

A court in the outer Munich suburb of Erding convicted him of sedition, using gestures of an anti-constitutional organization and criminal insult during the interview at a Munich airport hotel.

Erding, Germany -- A German who has already served a prison sentence for neo-Nazi offences was jailed Monday for 10 months after he had welcomed Germany's leading Jewish television personality to an interview with the words "Heil Hitler, Mr Friedman."

Horst Mahler, 72, a lawyer who began on the hard left in the 1970s as a founder of the terrorist Red Army Faction and later transferred his intellectual abilities to the hard right, said he would appeal the sentence.

A court in the outer Munich suburb of Erding convicted him of sedition, using gestures of an anti-constitutional organization and criminal insult during the interview at a Munich airport hotel.

Michel Friedman, 52, whose previous posts include deputy chairman of Germany's national Jewish body, justified the abrasive interview last October for a print magazine as his journalistic duty, saying he would never have given Mahler time for a private chat.

Vanity Fair's German edition contends that its publication of the interview in a 10-page spread revealed the absurdity of Holocaust denial. Friedman, who is also a lawyer, filed a police complaint against Mahler after their talk.

Mahler was ejected from the courtroom for misbehavior after alleging that the Holocaust had not happened. Mahler confirmed saying "Heil Hitler." The judge said she found him incorrigible.

In 2006, he arrived at jail to serve a sentence and did the stiff- armed Heil Hitler salute at the gate. Nazi symbols are illegal in Germany.

He has also been active in and worked as lawyer for the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD). German authorities have confiscated Mahler's passport to stop him attending Holocaust denial events abroad.

Since 1945, the Nazis' murder of an estimated 6 million Jews has been exhaustively documented by prosecutors and historians using eyewitness testimony, archival records and recovery of human remains, but some admirers of Hitler claim the Holocaust never happened.

The crime of sedition in Germany expressly includes Holocaust denial because of the insult to Jews as an ethnic group.

Friedman, whose vice-presidency of the Central Council of Jews ended in 2003 amid evidence of cocaine use, is well-known in Germany as a straight-talking television host whose parents were saved from the Auschwitz death camp by German businessman Oskar Schindler.

Although Mahler, who ended his last jail term last August, has a six-month term for his Heil Hitler salute pending, plus 10 months on Monday, he is free because appeals are still open.

DPA

1 Comment To This Article

  • doh posted:

    on 29th April 2008, 17:24:15 - Reply

    Nazi news are great. Really.