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From werner@cs.utexas.edu Tue Aug 29 10:15:26 PDT 1995
Article: 57058 of soc.culture.german
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From: werner@cs.utexas.edu (Werner Uhrig)
Newsgroups: soc.culture.german
Subject: Neo-Nazi Althans jailed for 3-1/2 years
Date: 29 Aug 1995 10:08:30 -0500
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Reuter reports today, that a Berlin court has sentenced German
neo-Nazi Bela Ewald Althans, 29, on yesterday to 3 1/2 years in
jail for denying the Third Reich had killed six million Jews.
The court found that said Althans had spread racial hatred and
denigrated the state by telling shocked Jewish tourists in a gas
chamber at Auschwitz that the Holocaust was a myth.

This confrontation was used as a key scene in a 1993 documentary
about Althans called ``Profession: Neo-Nazi'' (which was banned
because it spread the ``Auschwitz lie.'' as the far right calls it)
In the film, which claims to be "a critical look at the neo-Nazi
scene," Althans tells the tourists: ``What is happening here is a
giant farce.''

Often, dubbed the ``yuppie Nazi'' (because of his blond hair and
stylish clothes), Althans had already been sentenced to 18 months
by a Munich court for incitement to racial hatred.

At the trial opening in July, he denied he denied being a neo-Nazi
or that he  had ever cast doubt on whether the Holocaust happened
and said he had broken off all links to far-right groups.

German law declares "denying the Holocaust" punishable by
up to five years in jail; the Berlin court gave a higher (by six
months) sentence than the prosecutor had asked for.
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Subject: Neo-Nazi Head Jailed For Film
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 95 3:50:44 PDT

	BERLIN (AP) -- A German neo-Nazi leader was convicted Tuesday of
denying the Holocaust occurred and sentenced to 3 1/2 years in
prison, six months more than prosecutors requested.
	In a documentary film called ``Profession: Neo-Nazi,'' Bela
Ewald Althans maintained it was a lie that 6 million Jews were
killed during World War II by the Nazis.
	The Berlin State Court convicted Althans of incitement.
	Althans, 29, claimed during his trial that his statements in the
film were merely an act and that he had sworn off right-wing
extremism.

Subject: German court jails neo-Nazi for race hatred
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 95 9:10:59 PDT

	 BERLIN (Reuter) - Once a smartly-dressed figure in the
German far right, Bela Ewald Althans was sentenced to 3 1/2 years'
imprisonment Tuesday for publicly denying the Nazis' wartime
slaughter of Jews.
	 A Berlin court said Althans, 29, had spread racial hatred
and denigrated the state by telling an American visitor to the
former Auschwitz death camp that the Holocaust was a myth.
	 The confrontation was shown in a 1992 documentary about
Althans called ``Profession: Neo-Nazi'' that was banned because
it spread the far right's view of the Third Reich and publicized
its criticism of what it calls the ``Auschwitz lie.''
	 ``The accused is not a violent man but he is still just as
dangerous to the community,'' Judge Hans-Juergen Bruening said
when he announced the verdict.
	 ``Judicial officials in Germany have been astonishingly
reluctant to prosecute agitation like this,'' the judge said.
Courts can jail anyone denying the Holocaust for up to five
years.
	 ``Through his agitation, he has prepared the ground for
violent acts such as those in Moelln and Hoyerswerda,'' the
judge said, referring to far-right attacks on foreigners in 1991
and 1992.
	 Three people were killed when right-wing extremists
firebombed two houses occupied by Turkish immigrants in the town
of Moelln, near Hamburg, in November 1992.
	 In the eastern city of Hoyerswerda, neo-Nazi thugs laid
siege for nearly a week in September 1991 to an apartment
building housing foreign asylum-seekers.
	 Althans, visibly upset, cried out, ``Incredible!'' when
Bruening drew the link to those attacks.
	 When the trial opened in July, he denied being a neo-Nazi
and said he had left the far-right scene. He also said his views
had been twisted and taken out of context in the film.
	 The prison term, on top of 18 months already imposed on
Althans by a Munich court in a separate trial for denying the
Holocaust, went beyond the three years sought by the
prosecution. He can serve the sentences concurrently.
	 German courts have been taking a tougher line with neo-Nazis
after several years of handing down light sentences.
	 In April, a Karlsruhe court sentenced Guenter Deckert,
leader of the far-right National Democratic Party, to two years
in jail in a retrial after an outcry over a one-year suspended
sentence imposed by another court for denying the Holocaust.
	 The film, meant to be a critical look at the neo-Nazi scene,
shows Althans telling tourists at Auschwitz, ``This was not a
death camp. It was a concentration camp like the Jews have built
for the Palestinians in Israel.''
	 Calling the murder of the Jews ``a giant farce,'' he said,
``We didn't kill them, they all survived and now they're taking
money from Germany.''
	 ``Profession: Neo-Nazi'' was banned in Germany after a court
ruled that its absence of any direct criticism of Althans made
the film a platform for unfiltered Nazi propaganda.
	 The outcry surprised the film's director Wilfried Bonengel,
who meant it as a stark portrait of a neo-Nazi which would lead
viewers to draw their own conclusions.
	 Althans, a dedicated self-promoter, conducted most of his
defense himself in long monologues.
	 Althans' lawyer, Axel Krause, said his client would probably
appeal.


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