Further Legal Persecution of Revisionists
German University Professor Charged for Holocaust Remarks
A respected German university professor has been charged with "popular incitement" because he told some colleagues six years ago that the Holocaust story is not true.
Rainer Ballreich, who teaches "biomechanics" at the sports institute of the University of Frankfurt, reportedly told a few colleagues at a 1987 meeting of the German Sports League that the story of six million murdered Jews is a lie, and that most concentration camp deaths were due to disease and malnutrition. The alleged remarks were first made public last March in an open letter by one of those present. (Frankfurter Neue Presse, March 26, 1993 p. 18.)
Ballreich, 62, has a respected name in his profession. From 1974 to 1988 he was a member of the scholarly commission of the Federal Committee for Sports Achievement of the German Sports League. Until 1988 he was chairman of the "Movement and Training" section of the Federal Institute for Sports Science, which is supervised jointly the German Interior Ministry and the German Sports League. Until last year Professor Ballreich was a member of the credentials committee of the Federal Institute for Sports Science.
Ballreich denies the charge against him. The case is further complicated because there is a five year statute of limitations for the crime.
Teacher Faces Legal Action for Denial of Mass Gassings
A German teacher faces dismissal and legal action for his rejection of claims of mass killings in gas chambers during the Second World War.
Hans-Järgen Witzsch teaches German and history at the metropolitan school of economics in Nuremberg. The 53-year-old educator (Oberstudienrat) and former city council member, is also chairman of a local revisionist group.
In January he sent a letter to Bavarian Radio expressing support for the revisionist views of British historian David Irving. Witzsch wrote:
For me, along with many other historians, there is no longer any reasonable doubt that the claim of gas chambers as extermination facilities during the National Socialist period is an invention of wartime atrocity propaganda, and a claim for which there is no real proof.
Because of his revisionist views about the Second World War, Witzsch was suspended in 1981 from teaching at the city's metropolitan school of economics. However, the suspension was overturned on appeal to a court, and he resumed teaching at the school in the fall of 1991. (Närnberger Nachrichten, March 26, p. 11.)
Swiss Teacher Suspended For Holocaust Book
Because he wrote a book that disputes claims of wartime extermination gas chambers, a Swiss teacher has been summarily suspended from his position.
Jürgen Graf was suspended as a teacher of Latin and French at a secondary school in Therwil (near Basel) in late March shortly after the publication of his book, Der Holocaust auf dem Präfstand: Augenzeugenberichte versus Naturgesetze ("The Holocaust on the Test Stand: Eyewitness Reports versus the Laws of Nature"). The 112-page softcover work provides a well-organized introduction to the Holocaust issue from a revisionist perspective. (This book is also mentioned in the July-August 1993 Journal, p. 25.)
Graf distributed copies of his book, along with a four-page cover letter, to numerous history teachers, professors, journalists and political figures across Switzerland.
Graf says that he was very much aware of the likely repercussions of the publication of his book, and fully expected that official action of some kind would be taken against him. "I had to expect to be suspended from school service," he says. "De facto," this suspension is "a dismissal without notice."
Someone like Graf "obviously" cannot be a teacher, an official of the Swiss Federal Education and Cultural Affairs Authority has declared. Graf's book is "absolutely not open to discussion."
During the year and a half that he worked as a teacher in Therwil, Graf was well regarded by both colleagues and students as an "involved and competent teacher." He did not speak about the Holocaust issue in his classroom sessions. (Basellandschaftliche Zeitung, March 24.)
Graf, who was born in Switzerland in 1951, strongly rejects allegations that he is a neo-Nazi or an anti-Semite. "I respect the truth," he explains. "I can no longer live with the gas chamber lie."
Graf readily acknowledges that Europe's Jews suffered terribly under German rule during the war years. "Every decent person strongly condemns these brutal persecutions," he says.
It was only after intensive study -- including reading of more than 150 books -- that Graf came to the conclusion in 1991 that the generally accepted Holocaust story is a product of wartime propaganda. There were no extermination gas chambers, and no systematic extermination of Jews during the war years, he writes.
A second and much more detailed work by Graf appeared in June. Der Holocaust-Schwindel: Vom Werden and Vergehen des Jahrhundertbetrugs ("The Holocaust Swindle: The Development and Passing of the Hoax of the Century") is a copiously referenced 250-page softcover book. A letter by Dr. Robert Faurisson serves as a preface to the work.
Graf promises to openly defy a new Swiss "Anti-Racism" law that provides for heavy fines or imprisonment for those who "deny the genocide or the crimes against humanity."
As we go to press, Graf's two books are still available from: Guideon Burg Verlag, Postfach 52, CH-4009 Basel, Switzerland.
Doubts About Holocaust Story Permissible, German Judge Rules
In a remarkable verdict, a German court has found a key Revisionist activist innocent of the crime of "denying" the Holocaust extermination story.
On May 25, Munich court judge Florian Schenk declared defendant Ewald Althans innocent of charges arising from statements he made during a 1992 television interview expressing doubt about claims of systematic extermination of Jews during the Second World War.
In a vigorously delivered and evidently persuasive defense plea, made by Althans himself, the gifted 27-year-old cited the drastically divergent figures of Auschwitz victims, as well as the findings of Jewish American revisionist David Cole. (For more about Cole and his work, see the March-April 1993 Journal.)
While German law "of course" makes it a crime to deny mass extermination, said Judge Schenk, expressing doubt about extermination or mass gassings is not forbidden. Althans had "merely doubted" the Holocaust story, declared Schenk, who said that expressions of doubt are necessary in order to arrive at the truth. The German law that makes it a crime to "deny" the Holocaust story could be a dangerous restriction of freedom of expression, he added.
Schenk also criticized the behavior of the police during a demonstration by the "Ecological Left" on January 16 against Althans' Munich headquarters. Schenk expressed disgust with the behavior of the police, who escorted the leftist mob to the site, and then stood by while the hoodlums carried out their crimes of violence.
Althans is a major distributor of Revisionist writings in Germany. He works closely with German-Canadian publisher and publicist Ernst Zündel.
State prosecutors are appealing the verdict, which Althans called "phenomenal" and a "splendid victory."
Health Care Worker Sentenced for Distributing Revisionist Paper
A German court has sentenced a 30-year-old health care worker to four months imprisonment, suspended for three years, for distributing copies of a tabloid paper that rejects the Holocaust extermination story.
In March, a court in Hameln found the defendant, identified in newspaper reports only as "Rainer W.," guilty of defamation, popular incitement, and incitement to racial hatred.
The defendant, who works in the nearby town of Bad Pyrmont, freely acknowledging distributed 300 copies of an issue of Remer Depesche, a tabloid paper published by retired German general Otto Ernst Remer. Rainer W. expressed his support for the views of Remer's paper, and spoke in court of the "Six Million Lie." A newspaper report on the case expressed astonishment that he felt no sense of guilt for his "crime." (Bad Pyrmonter Nachrichten, March 19.)
Remer Depesche is considered particularly "incendiary," the local newspaper reported, because it claims that there was no systematic wartime extermination of Jews. (For more about Remer and his paper, see the March-April Journal, pp. 29-30.)
Citing the right of freedom of expression guaranteed in Germany's "Basic Law," Rainer W. told the court that he was legally entitled to distribute the Remer Depesche. State prosecuting attorney Nikolaus Borchers sharply rejected this argument, insisting that the right does not apply in this case. The right of freedom of expression, said Borchers, is not unlimited and cannot be abused to libel others. The "persecution of the Jews," he went on to explain, has been "historically proven," and is not open to discussion.
Calling Rainer W. a "criminal by conviction," the prosecuting attorney argued that the public must be protected from his activities. Borchers asked the court to punish him with a fine of 2,000 marks (about $1,200), and six months imprisonment, suspended for three years.
Rainer W. rejected an offer by Borchers to reduce the sentence if he promised to "improve." The defendant was encouraged by the presence of many friends and supporters, who filled the courtroom. He is appealing the sentence.
From The Journal of Historical Review, September/October 1993 (Vol. 13, No. 5), page 36.