BERLIN – A popular German radio host is slated to return to his program on
Sunday, after being temporarily pulled from his post for writing an email
denying the Holocaust and spreading conspiracy theories against the US to a
listener earlier this month.
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Ken Jebsen, who is a host at the publicly
funded “Jugendwelle” music program aired by Radio Fritz, wrote, “I know who
invented the Holocaust as PR.”
In his crude e-mail, Jebsen said Hitler’s
propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels implemented the public relations plan of the
Holocaust and the Americans provided fuel for the entire Nazi bombing campaign,
citing Standard Oil and John D. Rockefeller, the American businessman. The
rambling e-mail is filled with grammatical and spelling errors.
separate comment, which was voiced before the published e-mail, Jebsen termed
the destruction of the twin towers on 9/11 a “warm demolition.”
listener sent Jebsen’s email to journalist Henryk M. Broder who published
Jebsen’s convoluted diatribes against Jews and the United States on his
Broder, who writes for the daily Die Welt
paper and has
testified as an expert on modern expressions of Jew-hatred in a Bundestag
hearing, told Bild newspaper on Friday, “This is clear
After the scandal surfaced in early November, Jebsen was
removed from the program but will now return to his large youth
attempts to reach the 45-year-old Jebsen were
Jebsen denied that his email was anti-Semitic, and he
wrote on Fritz’s website that “my biography and my background obligate me to
advocate for international understanding, peace and democracy.”
Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB), Fritz radio’s parent company, defended Jebsen’s
“The accusations against the moderator that he
spreads anti-Semitic ideas and denies the Holocaust are unfounded,” wrote the
RBB management on Fritz’s website.
In a phone conversation with the Post
on Saturday, Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal center’s director
for international relations, said Jebsen’s statements are “unadulterated
anti-Semitism. The program has to be defunded.”
Paris, Samuels said Jebsen and the radio’s management has “to understand their
legal responsibility,” adding that Jebsen is “not competent to run a youth
He called on the authorities to “take legal steps against” the
Holocaust revisionism of Jebsen.
Germany has a hate-crimes law barring
incitement against Jews and Holocaust denial. It is unclear at this stage if a
criminal complaint has been filed against Jebsen or RBB.
specialist on contemporary anti-Semitism from the International Human Rights
Group, said the radio station’s credibility as well as Germany’s reputation are
at stake because of Jebsen, whose comments “amount to incitement, hate and
The Fritz radio station studio is located in Potsdam, a city
just outside of Berlin, in the state of Brandenburg.
Lala Süsskind, the
president of the Berlin Jewish community, issued a statement to the Post on
Saturday, welcoming RBB’s announcement that Jebsen would no longer issue
Süsskind, who heads Germany’s largest regional
Jewish community with a membership of over 10,000, said it is “strange” that a
music moderator is spreading political commentary.
In a sign that
Berlin’s Jewish community is upset with RBB’s decision to retain Jebsen as an
employee, Süsskind said in other countries highprofile people would have lost
their jobs. She cited the case of John Galliano, the former top fashion designer
for Christian Dior, who was fired after an anti-Semitic rant earlier this
Galliano praised Hitler at a Paris cafe.
In a phone interview
with the Post
on Saturday, Volker Schreck, a spokesman for RBB, said the station
“regrets the formulation” of Jebsen, but does not believe he is anti-Semitic.
Schreck said the station would not continue his program if his remarks were
grounded in anti-Semitism.
When asked if RBB chose to prioritize its
listener numbers over combating hatred of Jews, Schreck said “it would be
cynical to speak of quotas” of listeners as the reason to retain
Selin Güngör, an employee at Fritz, said on Saturday that Jebsen
will host his regularly scheduled 2 p.m. program on Sunday.