German man to face charges for questioning Holocaust at concentration camp

The man has been accused of hate speech and "disturbing the peace of the dead."

By ALEX WINSTON
August 13, 2019 13:17
1 minute read.
An elderly couple lays a wreath in front of a memorial for the victims of Sachsenhausen

An elderly couple lays a wreath in front of a memorial for the victims of the Nazi concentration camp in Sachsenhausen. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A German man will face criminal charges for allegedly denying the Holocaust during a visit to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp memorial site near Berlin, German prosecutors announced on Monday.

In a report by German news agency Deutsche Welle, the man is from the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany and was part of a group that visited the camp in July 2018 from the Lake Constance constituency of Alice Weidel, leader of the right-wing Alternative for Germany Party (AfD), which has been in the German parliament since October 2017.

A spokesperson for AfD said Weidel was not aware of the group's visit.

The group reportedly visited the camp under a scheme funded by the German government to allow voters to visit MPs in Berlin. The visiting group was instructed to leave after some members began disputing the truth of the Holocaust.

Their guide reportedly asked the group to leave the camp after some denied the existence of gas chambers.

The man has been accused of hate speech and "disturbing the peace of the dead." Prosecutors initially wanted to charge a second person but the case was dropped due to lack of evidence.

Denying the Holocaust or crimes committed by the Nazis is a criminal offense in Germany.

Sachsenhausen was a Nazi concentration camp in Oranienburg, Germany, about 22 miles north of Berlin. It was used primarily for political prisoners from 1936 until May 1945. Recent research estimates that 30,000 to 50,000 people died at the camp due to exhaustion, disease, malnutrition or summary executions.


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