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In October 1993 Fred Leuchter was invited to appear on a Cologne, Germany, television talk show, Schreinemachers. As he entered the studio, German police arrived to arrest him, and he was held in jail for the next four weeks before being bailed to appear on charges of breaking Germany’s new laws for the suppression of free speech. Advised that he would not be given a fair trial by American standards by the German courts, he returned to the United States at once. His escape chagrined the German media, and on September 23 1994 The Week in Germany, the newsletter of the German Information Center in Washington issued this gloating release: 

GermanyThe Week in Germany
September 23, 1994

 

Politics

Germans Want to Try Leuchter – If He Would Only Let Them

 

On September 14, a court in Mannheim (Baden-Württemberg) called off the trial of Fred A. Leuchter, an American Holocaust “revisionist” widely admired in neo-Nazi circles, on charges of incitement. Leuchter was arrested in October 1993 after delivering a speech in Weinheim (Baden-Württemberg) under the sponsorship of the right-wing extremist German National Democratic Party (NPD: Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands). In the speech, Leuchter summarized the arguments of the so-called “Leuchter Report,” his claim of “proof” that the genocidal crimes perpetrated in the Auschwitz concentration camp were technically infeasible. Leuchter spent four weeks behind bars following his arrest; freed on DM 20,000 (U.S.$ 12,600) bail, he immediately left Germany for the United States. His trial was called off last week after he failed to appear. Charges against Leuchter were not dismissed, however, and it is possible that a new trial date will be set.

Leuchter’s German lawyer claimed that his client broke his promise to appear before the court because he did not believe that he would receive a fair trial. Public prosecutor Hans-Heiko Klein, meanwhile, ruled out the possibility of extradition, noting that Leuchter’s inflammatory pronouncements denying the Holocaust are not illegal in the United States. Earlier this year, Germany’s constitutional court, the Bundesverfassungsgericht, explicitly recognized denial of the Holocaust as anti-constitutional and hence as punishable under law (cf. TWIG 4/29/94, p. 2). square

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