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Melbourne

Thursday, November 11, 1999  

Australian jailed for spreading Nazi propaganda

source: DPA (German Press Agency)

 Mannheim, Germany, Monday, November 8, 1999 -- An Australian accused of
spreading Nazi propaganda was sentenced to 10 months in prison today at his
trial in Mannheim.

German-born Fredrick Toben, 55, was found guilty of using printed material
and the Internet to deny that millions of Jews were murdered by the Nazis
during the Third Reich. The denial is an offence under German law.

But Toben may well not have to serve any time behind bars for the offences
since presiding judge Klaus Kern said he was willing to allow the Australian
out on bail of 6,000 marks ($A4,937.23) for the three months left of the
sentence after seven months on remand have been taken into consideration.

Toben used the web site of the Adelaide Institute to claim that the gas
chambers at Auschwitz had not been intended to gas people, public prosecutor
Heiko Klein told the court. Toben asserted that the concentration camp had
swimming baths, a brothel, a theatre, a post office and an orchestra for the
prisoners, Klein said.
The prosecution had urged a prison sentence of two years and four months but
judge Kern said Toben could not be punished in Germany for texts which
appeared on the Internet in English and were submitted from Australia. Only
the printed material in which Toben denied the existence of the gas chambers
was an offence under German law.

The Adelaide Institute, headed by Toben, is an Australian-based
international organisation which denies that the Holocaust ever happened.

Judge Kern said Toben had tried 'to present the extermination of European
Jewry in Nazi German death camps as having been invented by Jewish
circles'.

Toben told the court that the trial against him amounted to the
'state-orchestrated rape of me as a person'.

In February, Toben had begun a world tour, the court was told. In April he
arrived in Mannheim with the intention of discussing the holocaust with
Klein and was arrested. He had been in investigative custody ever since.
 

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