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Holocaust denier Williamson to battle fine of up to €12,000

DDP/The Local · 26 Oct 2009, 17:02

Published: 26 Oct 2009 17:02 GMT+01:00

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The court in the Bavarian city of Regensburg sent notice to German lawyer Matthias Loßmann to say it was fining Williamson for incitement over his claim on Swedish television that fewer than 300,000 Jews died in Nazi death camps.

Loßmann told The Local that the court was giving Williamson the option to pay the fine or take the case further, which will mean facing trial.

“We just got the notice today, so it’s a bit early to say what case we will make, but I think we are going to fight it,” he said.

The exact fine would depend on Williamson’s income. He would need to pay 120 times his daily income, up to €12,000.

Williamson has two weeks to make his appeal.

Williamson, who is a member of an ultraconservative Society of St. Pius X, claimed a year ago the Nazis didn’t murder Jews in gas chambers and that only 200,000 to 300,000 Jewish people had been killed in concentration camps.

Because he made his comments to Swedish television while at a Pius brotherhood seminary in Zaitzkofen, Bavaria, he was liable for prosecution in Germany, where Holocaust-denial is outlawed.

Story continues below…

Williamson has previously said he did not intend for the interview to be broadcast in Germany and had specifically asked the Swedish producers not to post it on the internet, though the producers deny this.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:13 October 27, 2009 by Jibzy
Please dont take me as an anti-semite. Nor am i angry like Kamioner who apparently is going overboard with Christian hatred.

My question is: What about freedom of speech?

I dont deny the holocaust but i believe if one should be allowed to make disgracing caricatures of a person who is considered holy by a big population of the world, under Freedom of Speech, then why can't a person deny the holocaust?

He might be totally wrong but at least this is his right to say it. Are you too weak of mind to believe him..is that why you want to stop him?
09:13 October 27, 2009 by timewarpo
No Freedom of speach here in Germany. You get fined for something as menial as giving someone the middle finger. You have freedom to say what is allowed and nothing more. The governmnet determines what is allowed.
10:32 October 27, 2009 by nooraza
Jibzy, it depends on the intention of such freedom of speech. If such right has criminal intention such as obvious in this priest's declaration, then it is injustice. To deny the Holocaust, is usually to degrade the Jewish communities further, and cause more suffering which would not healed further. Human rights are supposed to promote justice; not injustice. Human rights contexts are relative to each other; within justice. For example, if cultural rights are selected to be defended, it still should not abuse the human rights of women/girls/gays. I really think, that the Jewish exile descendents should really be encouraged to come home to Germany - what happen to their former homes besides? And they should really be compensated to live comfortably here, even in their former houses. Further, to undermine the rise of Neo-Nazis further and the ignorance of many of the younger generation in Germany, including from migrant background, towards such important history, that should never be forgotten. That is justice! I visited an old Jewish cemetery in Wachenheim and can see many lonely graves there - as if no more relatives to take care of them.
10:32 October 27, 2009 by hkypuck
yeah, there is no "Bill Of Rights" here in Germany. That's what make the US so special.

Interesting how they determine the amount of the penalty for an offense like this.

Also, who cares if it was 'only' 200,000-300,000 Jews? Does it make it any less of an attrocity if it were 200-300 systematically executed people total? I wish there was a well known, independantly accepted and easily accessible source that we could point to and say "Here! Here's the exact number that has been accounted for! Read it! Know it! Never forget it!" That would be the end of this stupid debate.

G'head, doubt the moon landing or the JFK assasination that could be a conspiracy put together but a group of no more than about 50 people. But the holocaust? How can that be debated? We've all seen the films and photos. What do they think? that those are props that have been reused in different documentation?

I just don't understand...
11:14 October 27, 2009 by Jibzy
Nooraza. I understand your point of view but it is debatable. I wont say his intentions are obvious. I'm Muslim and for me, both the religions are the same. So i can say that i would view this situation neutrally (and not that you arent :) )

Some newspaper in Denmark made cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad. Honestly speaking, i found them funny but kind of offensive too. But those were permitted to be printed under freedom of speech. Now, to Muslims, the intentions behind printing of those cartoons were criminal. I think they were looking for popularity. Some might say he just wanted to raise a point so that people would think about it.

I know the holocaust happened but i do disagree to the extent it happened. e.g There were not 6 million Jews in this region in-total so i think the number is overly exaggerated. As i said before, i'm not anti-semite.

The holocaust was indeed an unfortunate event but i think Israel/Jewish lobbies use every opportunity to diplomatically and politically pressurize Germany into making laws that go 'more' in their favor and 'less' in a neutral stance.
13:36 October 27, 2009 by michael4096
I understand why the law was invented following the war. There was a distinct possibility of ex-nazis taking advantage of a power vacuum in the way some people are doing in e.g. Iraq. However, I cannot understand why it is still on the books: that threat has long since disappeared.

Telling people what they can or cannot believe implies that there is some unambiguous authority somewhere - a religious not a legal issue. And, as religions have shown for thousands of years, an implication that frequently leads to more suffering than allowing misguided individuals to think the 'wrong' thing.
16:29 October 27, 2009 by Scottrocks9
At the risk of being called Anti-semite once again, although I love Arabs, I find this is a question that just does not want to go away-the question of the number of jews killed in the Holocaust. Why are people so defensive when someone challenges the topic? Everything should be tested and tested again like a scientific fact and if it falls it's because it might not have been what people said it was. Also I have heard so much about the 6M jews that lost their lives in this war. Maybe true and maybe not. But I also heard that altogether another 54 millon souls(non Jews) lost their lives in this war too. I would like to hear about their life stories-even if for a change.
18:09 October 27, 2009 by Jibzy
Scottrocks: I have no particular good-feelings for arabs but i defintely agree with your idea of caring for the OTHER (non-jew) lives..54 million of them.
19:37 October 27, 2009 by -GD-
Truth does not need laws to support it. Laws that are required to enforce a particular belief are institutional religious dogmas that constitutes a tyrrany over a subjugated nation.

Sanctions by government, and prohibitions against research of the subject is the best clue to tell someone that the story is not what it is claimed to be and that the allegations are not only untrue, but an intentional, perpetual slander against an entire people.
19:53 October 27, 2009 by nooraza
@Jibzy" "Nooraza. I understand your point of view but it is debatable. I wont say his intentions are obvious. I'm Muslim and for me, both the religions are the same. So i can say that i would view this situation neutrally....I know the holocaust happened but i do disagree to the extent it happened. e.g There were not 6 million Jews in this region in-total so i think the number is overly exaggerated. As i said before, i'm not anti-semite."

Jizby, what's the problem with you and many Dark age Muslims - who forever, undermine the Holocaust?! The Jews were murdered so barbarically and in a genocide - such extreme brutality did happen! You'd better get it!
20:22 October 27, 2009 by Jibzy
Apparently, you are no less than the Dark age Muslims that you are refering to. They would lose their temper, like you, the minute you offer a different opinion. As i said, i'm not under-mining the holocaust. I know it happened. I better got it my friend. But what i'm saying is that Israel and/or Jews use this to pressurize Germany for forfeiting its own national interest.
22:13 October 27, 2009 by mid503
So, can someone provide a list of the other historical events about which expressing an unpopular opinion will get one fined or incarcerated in Germany? Or do those things only happen when one is skeptical about this topic? Never mind, I know the answer already.
16:53 October 28, 2009 by Scottrocks9
To put another perspective on numbers: If a burglar enetred your home and stole a few items from you, worth say e1000.00, and you filed a claim with an insurance company saying you had been robbed of e50,000, do you think you would have any credibilty with Insurance companies? If the numbers are correct and legitimate, there should be no qualms whatsoever about people questioning them. But in the case of the Holocaust , apparently there are. All that anybody really wants is to be as close to the truth of what happened as possible. So why is there such an uproar every time someone suggests otherwise. It seems as if someone has something to hide. Fortunately, truth will out...for all.
20:36 October 28, 2009 by Muldoon
This priest is clearly a fool, but that should be no reason to prosecuted him.
22:13 October 28, 2009 by -GD-
Exactly what makes him a fool?

Was it that he discovered that the facts don't support the story? Or that he talked about it?

This is not prosecution, it's persecution.
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