36-Year-Old Sentenced for Holocaust Denial
July 31, 2017
A 36-year-old Vorarlberg resident on Monday was sentenced by a Feldkirch court to one a one-year suspended prison term and a 1,440 Euro fine for violation of the Prohibition Law [Verbotsgesetz; a law outlawing the praising of the NS regime] and incitement to hatred. The defendant, a carpenter, had denied the Holocaust on Facebook and called Muslims "vermin" [Gesindel], among other things. The verdict is still open to appeal.
"Adolf Hitler did not gas any Jews, but Jews have gassed many non-Jews!" The father of three children had shared this and other messages on the social media platform with other Facebook users.
Translated from the German section here at CODOH-Forum [Original].After at first admitting his guilt before the court, the defendant began to vehemently justify and make excuses for his posts. The defendant denied harboring any anti-foreign feelings. He himself has worked abroad and is married to a foreigner, he argued in his defense. At the time of the posts he acted foolishly, he claimed. In school he hardly learned anything about the Second World War. ..."My client does not have a particularly high level of education," his defense counsel asserted in the same vein.
The good news:
(1) The jail term is suspended pending good behavior.
(2) The verdict is subject to appeal.
The bad news:
(1) He completely caved in and started begging for mercy. (Note: I cannot blame him with three young children...)
(2) No international human rights and free speech advocacy groups ever bother bringing this kind of case up.