Hamburg District Court, Nov. 11, 2015 — 87-year-old Ursula Haverbeck has been sentenced to imprisonment in Germany for doubting that people were “exterminated” by “gassing” in the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz.
The defendant, in good spirits, reiterated her doubts in the courtroom. She arrived without a lawyer, and defended herself. Some fifty of her supporters crowded the courtroom and the hall outside.
She was accused of giving an interview to the German magazine Panorama in which she stated that Auschwitz was not an extermination camp but a labor camp. The mass murder of Jews had not taken place, she said.
Haverbeck, former chairwoman of the now-banned freethought association, “Collegium Humanum,” told the judge,”Here, I stand.”
Turning to the prosecutor she asked, “How do you as a lawyer prove the accusation that Auschwitz was an extermination camp?” Her request for a revisionist historian to give evidence that at Auschwitz no one had been gassed, was rejected by Judge Jönsson who stated: “It is futile to argue with people who do not accept the facts.”
The German government prosecutor maintained that the defendant’s “fanatical delusion” had not abated and that, despite her advanced age, Ursula Haverbeck must be sentenced to 10 months in prison without parole. The judge agreed and the sentence was imposed.
In 2009, Haverbeck was fined thousands of dollars in the District Court of Bad Oeynhausen, for having given offense to Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Central Council of Jews.
Michael Hoffman is the author of The Great Holocaust Trial: The Landmark Battle for the Right to Doubt the West’s Most Sacred Relic, and the publisher of Johann Andreas Eisenmenger’s Entdecktes Judenthum.