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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/d/deckert.gunther/press/ap.062294



Archive/File: fascism/germany deckert.004
Last-Modified: 1994/06/25

AP  06/22/94 1324  Germany-Auschwitz Lie

Copyright, 1994. The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

   By TERRENCE PETTY
   Associated Press Writer

   BONN, Germany (AP) -- A leading figure in Germany's radical-right
   movement was convicted again Wednesday of insulting Jews by denying
   the Holocaust happened.  The verdict against Guenter Deckert in
   Mannheim state court reconfirmed an earlier finding that was
   overturned when an appeals court order a retrial.  Judge Wolfgang
   Mueller gave Deckert a one-year suspended sentence and fined him
   $6,000, the same penalty imposed after his November 1992
   conviction.  That ruling was overturned March 15 by the Federal
   Appeals Court, which said more proof was needed that Deckert
   intended to slander Jews by insisting the Nazis did not kill 6
   million Jews during World War II.

   The contention, called the "Auschwitz Lie," is propagated by
   neo-Nazis across Europe and in the United States.

   During the new trial, prosecutors delved more deeply into Deckert's
   background and extremist thoughts.

   The case rested on a 1991 rally by his National-Democratic Party of
   Germany, an anti-foreigner group with about 5,000 members.  Deckert
   appeared at the rally with Fred Leuchter, an American inventor of
   execution devices who is idolized by neo-Nazis because he insists
   Jews were not exterminated at death camps.

   Leuchter, of Malden, Mass., repeated that message at the rally, and
   his words were translated into German by Deckert, who told the
   crowd he agreed with Leuchter.

   "Deckert is an enemy of the federal constitution who has proven his
   affinity to Nazi thoughts," prosecutor Heiko Klein told the
   Mannheim court.  "Deckert understands that when he denies the
   systematic mass murder of Jews during the Nazi dictatorship, he is
   insulting Jews."

   The judge said Deckert and his kind "fan the flames" of
   anti-Semitism.  He convicted Deckert of inciting racial hatred,
   defaming Jews and disparaging the memory of those who died in the
   Holocaust.

   Deckert told the court he "stands by everything he said" about the
   Holocaust.

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