German Federal Election – end of Merkel era

Alice Weidel, co-leader of Germany’s anti-immigration party AfD

Results are being declared of today’s German election for the Bundestag (federal parliament). H&D‘s assistant editor Peter Rushton has been in Germany during the campaign and will report here and in the November issue of H&D on the results and their implications for the racial nationalist and broad pro-White movement in Europe. (click here to view detailed NPD results from this year’s election)

The German electoral system is a combination of constituencies (which elect members of the Bundestag on a similar basis to the UK Parliament, i.e. first-past-the-post) and a proportional ‘additional member’ system. This means that parties polling more than 5% nationwide are guaranteed Bundestag members.

The main outcome was a strong result for the social-democratic SPD, whose leader Olaf Scholz seems very likely to become Chancellor. Meanwhile the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) slightly slipped back from 12.6% in 2017 to 10.3% this year.

The constituency held for thirty years for the CDU by retiring Chancellor Angela Merkel was among those lost to the SPD, who won every directly elected seat in Merkel’s Mecklenburg region.

Despite its vote declining nationwide, AfD has gained numerous constituency seats across its strongholds of Saxony and Thuringia (regions of the old East Germany), though once the proportional element is allocated AfD ends up with 83 seats in the new Bundestag, down from 94 last time.

Of the sixteen constituencies in Saxony, AfD retained two, also regained the seat won four years ago by former leader Frauke Petry who had since quit the party, and gained another seven (from the collapsing CDU). This makes ten Saxon constituencies for the AfD, while just four were retained by CDU (including the two Dresden constituencies), one (Chemnitz) gained by SPD, and one (in southern Leipzig) retained by the Left Party.

AfD is now the largest party in Thuringia, with four of the eight directly elected Bundestag seats and 24% of the vote: a triumph for its regional leader Björn Höcke (above) who also leads AfD’s most explicitly nationalist faction

Of the eight constituencies in Thuringia four went to AfD, three for SPD, and just one for CDU. Moreover in a highly symbolic victory AfD took the largest vote share in Thuringia with 24%, ahead of SPD on 23.4% and CDU on 16.9%. This is all the more significant as AfD’s leader in Thuringia (Björn Höcke) heads the party’s most hardline nationalist faction.

Slightly to the north of Saxony and Thuringia, AfD gained two of the eight constituencies in the Saxony-Anhalt region. While it’s often assumed that the seats won by European racial nationalist parties are because of the proportional voting system, the fact is that today AfD has won sixteen seats in parts of the old East Germany under the “UK style” first-past-the-post system.

The CDU’s collapse means that in large parts of the old East Germany it will now be AfD that is the main voice of opposition to the likely new SPD-Green government. The great pity for AfD is that had they been able to continue concentrating on their popular policies on immigration and crime, these results could have been much better. It’s clear from today’s results that the party’s flirtation with Covid/vaccine conspiracy theory has been an electoral liability. Various candidates and parties focused entirely on anti-lockdown and/or anti-vaccine campaigning fared even worse, polling insignificant votes.

The big losers of this election seem to be both conservatives and the far left (with the ex-communist Left Party losing 30 seats, down to 39 in the new Bundestag): the big winners are Social-Democrats and Greens.

AfD polled 12.6% at the last federal election in 2017, winning 94 seats to become the third-largest party in the Bundestag, but their 10.3% vote this year left AfD in fifth place nationwide (overtaken by both the Greens and the liberal FDP).

More radical racial nationalist parties (of which by far the largest is the NPD) have been electorally eclipsed for the time being by AfD’s success and tend to concentrate more on local and regional elections where they stand a chance of winning seats. In the 2017 federal election the NPD polled just over 175,000 votes nationwide (0.4%). This fell to just under 65,000 votes (around 0.1%) this year.

The one certain result of this election is the retirement of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been in power since November 2005 (latterly leading a coalition government of conservatives and social democrats). Her successor as head of the conservative CDU/CSU – Armin Laschet – had a disastrous campaign and seems most unlikely to become Chancellor: his party polled a record low vote and will finish slightly behind the SPD. Merkel will remain in post until coalition talks have agreed a new government, probably involving three parties in the new Bundestag: the SPD, Greens and liberal ‘Free Democrats’ (FDP).

One consequence of this conservative disaster will be a bitter battle for control, with the more ‘right-wing’ leader of the CDU’s Bavarian sister party CSU – Markus Söder – likely to push his claim to lead the conservative alliance, and probably arguing that it should drop its traditional refusal to negotiate with the ‘far right’ AfD.

see also “Return of the Schleswig-Holstein Question!”

NPD results in detail – German nationalist vote shifts to AfD

NPD leader Frank Franz (above left) with his predecessor and former MEP Udo Voigt.

As expected the NPD – Germany’s main racial nationalist party – lost votes again this year to the civic nationalist anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD).

For the time being NPD activists and candidates will concentrate their efforts more on local and regional elections. The NPD’s best Bundestag vote was in 1969 when they polled 1.4 million votes (4.3%). In the 2004 and 2009 elections the NPD won seats in the regional parliament of Saxony, as they did in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in 2006 and 2011. In 2009 they were only a fraction short of winning regional parliamentary seats in Thuringia.

Even regional parliamentary gains are unlikely while AfD remains a powerful force, yet NPD campaigning remains important both to build a core of radical nationalist support, and to continue influencing the radical faction of the AfD, some of whose leaders have a great deal in common with the NPD even while most AfD leaders are closer to the right-wing of CDU/CSU.

At this year’s Bundestag election the NPD put up party lists in every part of Germany but not constituency candidates. Every German has two votes – one for an individual candidate, and a second vote for a regional party list. It is for these second votes that the NPD was competing.

In the two states where AfD was the largest party this year – Saxony and Thuringia – the NPD vote fell to 0.3%.

Thuringia NPD leader Thorsten Heise (above right) with Lady Michèle Renouf and fellow marchers at the 2020 Dresden Memorial.

The Thuringia NPD slate headed by Thorsten Heise polled 4,105 votes (0.3%), down from 1.2% in 2017. Bear in mind that AfD became the largest party in Thuringia this year, with a 0.6% lead over the SPD – so this AfD lead can be attributed to the transfer of previous NPD votes.

AfD was already narrowly the largest party in Saxony but consolidated its position this year with a 5.3% lead over the SPD (the conservative CDU having collapsed to third place). Here the Saxony NPD slate headed by Maik Müller polled 7,489 votes (0.3%), down from 1.1% in 2017. The smaller Dritte Weg party (Third Way – no connection to the NF splinter group once led by Patrick Harrington and Graham Williamson!) also stood in Saxony this year, taking 4,285 votes (0.2%).

In Mecklenburg – Western Pomerania (on the north-east border of today’s Federal Republic) the NPD vote didn’t fall quite so dramatically, perhaps because this region was less intensely targeted by AfD than Thuringia or Saxony. Here the NPD slate headed by Michael Andrejewski polled 6,399 votes (0.7%), down from 1.1% in 2017.

Michael Andrejewski, leader of the NPD in Mecklenburg – Western Pomerania, where the party achieved its highest vote share this year

These three remain the strongest racial nationalist areas of Germany. In remaining regional / city state results were as follows:

Brandenburg, the NPD slate headed by Klaus Beier polled 4,871 (0.3%), down from 0.9% in 2017

Saxony Anhalt, the NPD slate headed by Henry Lippold polled 3,003 votes (0.2%), down from 0.7% in 2017.

Saarland, the NPD slate headed by Otfried Best polled 1,375 votes (0.2%), down from 0.5% in 2017.

North Rhine-Westphalia, the NPD slate headed by Ariane Meise polled 8,959 votes (0.1%), down from 0.2% in 2017.

Baden-Württemberg, the NPD slate headed by Edda Schmidt polled 6,029 votes (0.1%), down from 0.3% in 2017.

Bavaria, the NPD slate headed by Sascha Roßmüller polled 5,768 votes (0.1%), down from 0.3% in 2017, with Third Way taking 3,545 votes (slightly under 0.1%).

Sascha Roßmüller, leader of the NPD slate in Bavaria

Hessen, the NPD slate headed by Stefan Jagsch polled 4,528 votes (0.1%), down from 0.3% in 2017.

Lower Saxony, the NPD slate headed by Manfred Dammann polled 4,374 votes (0.1%) down from 0.3% in 2017.

Rhineland Palatinate, the NPD slate headed by Udo Voigt polled 2,773 votes (0.1%), down from 0.3% in 2017.

Schleswig-Holstein, the NPD slate headed by Mark Proch polled 2,015 votes (0.1%), down from 0.2% in 2017

Berlin, the NPD slate headed by Andreas Käfer polled 1,979 votes (0.1%), having had no slate here in 2017.

Hamburg, the NPD slate headed by Lennart Schwarzbach polled 651 votes (0.1%), down from 0.2% in 2017.

Bremen, the NPD slate headed by Heinz Seeger polled 290 votes (0.1%), down from 0.3% in 2017.

Nationwide the NPD’s list votes totalled 64,608 (0.1%), down from 0.4% in 2017.

Return of the Schleswig-Holstein Question!

Stefan Seidler celebrates his election to the Bundestag

In addition to the main parties mentioned earlier, it looks as though just one tiny party will make it into the Bundestag.

This is the ‘South Schleswig Voters’ Association’ (SSW), whose leader Stefan Seidler has won a seat, according to the preliminary results. This is the first time since the second Bundestag election in 1953 that a regionalist or national minority party has won a Bundestag seat. In those days the national minorities concerned were Germans who had been expelled from their homes in what had become Czech, Polish or even Russian territory, and had their own party – the All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights.

By contrast the SSW represents a small Danish-speaking minority who have lived in Germany from the creation of a united German state in 1871.

Obviously they didn’t pass the 5% threshold – they are a tiny regional party – and neither did they win a constituency. This party hadn’t even contested a federal election since 1961.

Waldemar Kraft (above, front row, far right) as a member of Konrad Adenauer’s cabinet in 1953. Kraft was the last leader of a regionalist / national minority party to be elected to the Bundestag, until Stefan Seidler’s election this week. Kraft’s party represented German refugees from several regions that had been taken over postwar by Czechs, Poles or Russians, leading to the expulsion of 12-15 million Germans from their homes.

There are 28 MPs in total elected from Schleswig-Holstein this time, 11 constituencies and 17 from the list. The SSW list polled 3.2% across Schleswig-Holstein, so that was just enough to get them one of those 28 seats, because as a party representing a ‘national minority’ they are exempt from the 5% threshold requirement.

Ideologically they are leftish-green, so I assume their MP would back the likely SPD-Green-FDP coalition.

But the reason they exist is to represent the Danish speaking population in Schleswig-Holstein, and the reason that exists is rooted in one of the most complex diplomatic disputes of the 19th century – the infamous ‘Schleswig-Holstein Question’.

Until 1871 Germany was divided into many different states/principalities/etc. that were a relic of the medieval age and the Holy Roman Empire: a patchwork of princes, dukes and dynastic traditions.

For centuries the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein (either side of the Holy Roman Empire’s northern border) had both been ruled by the Danish king, but with semi-independence as the Holstein part was German (and part of the Holy Roman Empire) and the Schleswig part was semi-German, semi-Danish.

Eventually there were two mid-19th century wars between Denmark and Prussia, one (1848-51) effectively won by Denmark; the second (1864) won by Prussia and its Austrian allies.

Denmark’s defeat at the Battle of Dybbøl in 1864 led to Schleswig-Holstein’s absorption into the new German state in 1871.

After the First World War, Germany lost the northern part of Schleswig to Denmark, but the southern part of Schleswig has remained German to this day, and is part of the German region of Schleswig-Holstein.

As with all these border disputes, a substantial community was stuck on the wrong side of the border, and since there was no IRA-type situation many of them stayed put, hence the need for a party representing their particular interests.

The British statesman Lord Palmerston, who was Foreign Secretary during the First Schleswig War and Prime Minister during the Second, famously said:
“Only three people have ever really understood the Schleswig-Holstein business – the Prince Consort [i.e. Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert], who is dead – a German professor, who has gone mad – and I, who have forgotten all about it.”

More than 150 years later, the question has returned to contribute to the most divided German parliament since the Weimar Republic. But this time the Danes in Schleswig-Holstein are amongst the least troublesome of Germany’s ethnic minorities!

Henry Hafenmayer – champion of German freedom – dies aged 48

Henry Hafenmayer, 1972-2021

One of the foremost champions of free historical research and discussion – Henry Hafenmayer – died last Wednesday (11th August) in southern Germany, aged 48.

A former train driver who was dismissed for his political opinions, Henry became a prominent public champion of German historical revisionists, in a country where one can be jailed for questioning the official version of ‘Holocaust’ history. He was best known for his website Ende der Lüge (‘End of the Lie’) and associated social media accounts.

In this task he was especially closely associated with four jailed revisionists: former leftist lawyer and philosopher Horst Mahler (85); publisher and ecologist Ursula Haverbeck (92); lawyer Sylvia Stolz, first jailed for defending the late Ernst Zündel; and filmmaker / video blogger Alfred Schaefer. All four have served long prison sentences, and Mr Schaefer is still in jail.

Henry Hafenmayer, Alfred Schaefer, and Lady Michèle Renouf during Alfred’s trial in Munich, 2018.

Henry himself faced several criminal charges, and until his untimely death was very much in the sights of occupied Germany’s political and judicial system.

He was a regular and convivial guest at political and social gatherings in Germany with comrades including H&D‘s assistant editor Peter Rushton. We are shocked and saddened at losing this greatly valued friend, but are confident in the knowledge that Henry’s courage, honour and loyalty will not be in vain. Henry Hafenmayer’s name will live on in the annals of a future, better Europe.

During several months of serious illness this year, Henry was treated at clinics in Germany and Switzerland. As reported by our friends at Recht und Wahrheit, a close comrade had to pick up the entire bill for this treatment and for Henry’s funeral costs, so H&D encourages readers worldwide to donate if they possibly can to help defray these costs.

The German account for such donations is as follows:

Account name: S. U.
IBAN: DE13 8405 5050 1250 0169 63
BIC: HELADEF1WAK
Payment reference: 1108201

Horst Mahler has given Lady Renouf permission to send us this English translation of his tribute. Horst writes:

It is an honorary title they give us when they call us “Nazis”. That was what Henry Hafenmayer had understood. He lived his life so that he might earn this title through action. He did not fear death, and when he made up his mind to call the recognized enemy of the peoples by its name, he knew what to expect. Under the banner “End of the lie!” he finally moved from defence to attack and thus became a role model for those German youth who still want to be German. He held out when his well-paid job as a train driver was terminated. His answer was to multiply his efforts to make the invisible enemy visible. He laboriously scanned the Talmud (in twelve bulky volumes published in German by the official Jewish publishing house Jüdische Verlag) and placed it in the global electronic network. [Three sentences deleted and part of postscript deleted due to UK race laws.] With his web blog “The End of the Lie” lobbing intellectual grenades at the emplacements of the anti-German front in his own country, he has branded the Big Lie as an attempted genocide. He was one of the first to give the New National Socialism (NNS) a face. That makes him unforgettable. Hail Henry Hafenmayer!

Anti-immigration party runner-up in German regional election

The anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland – AfD) again finished runner-up in regional elections today for the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt, a Land that includes Martin Luther’s home town of Wittenberg as well as larger cities such as Magdeburg and Halle.

This was the last regional contest before Germany’s federal election in September, and was seen as an important test for Armin Laschet, the new leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party CDU. (Merkel will retire in September after sixteen years as Chancellor.)

Saxony-Anhalt has been one of AfD’s strongest regions as many eastern voters reacted strongly against Merkel’s pro-asylum seeker policies. At the previous state election in 2016, AfD polled 24.3% – only just behind the CDU’s 29.8% – and there had been speculation that this year they might even take first place.

However Sunday’s election showed that (as in several other regions) AfD has failed to make further advances, and in fact has slipped back slightly. The CDU massively extended its lead polling 37.1%, with AfD slightly down to 20.8%. AfD’s regional leader Oliver Kirchner lost the Magdeburg constituency that he had won in 2016, but for reasons related to the electoral system AfD has only one seat fewer in the new Landtag (which has 97 members rather than 87 in the old Landtag).

Election posters for Saxony-Anhalt’s regional president Reiner Haseloff (CDU) and his AfD rival Oliver Kirchner.

Up until last March every opinion poll (and several regional and European elections) showed AfD making further advances, but across the country they have been in decline (to a greater or lesser extent) for about fifteen months.

The reason seems to be that for more than a year AfD (in common with many other parties, movements and individuals in the broad pro-White movement nationwide) has allowed itself to be distracted by anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination campaigns.

While supported by a noisy minority, these have proved a turn-off for the vast majority of voters, including much of AfD’s natural support. There is already an obvious electoral home for those broadly libertarian voters whose political priority is resentment of lockdown: across Germany there have been modest increases in support for the socially and economically liberal Free Democrats (FDP), who fell below the 5% threshold in 2016 but returned to the Saxony-Anhalt Landtag this week with 6.4% (up 1.5%).

The good news is that the underlying issues relating to German nationhood and the threat of mass immigration/asylum (towards which the liberal FDP have precisely the wrong policies) have not gone away: AfD is the only major party that can represent millions of Germans concerned about these issues – and it should refocus as soon as possible on these core issues.

Ever since AfD’s rise it has taken more or less all of the votes previously won by the explicitly racial nationalist party NPD, which polled just 0.3% in today’s election, down from 1.9% in 2016, whereas back in 2011 with 4.6% the NPD were close to electing members to the Saxony-Anhalt regional parliament (Landtag), and did win Landtag seats in neighbouring Saxony in 2004 and 2009.

Setbacks for AfD in latest German elections

Jörg Meuthen of AfD, whose party lost ground in two important elections this weekend.

Regional elections in two areas of Germany yesterday resulted in setbacks for the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland – AfD).

For several years the party had seemed to be making steady advances in every area of Germany, especially after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision in August 2015 to admit more than a million ‘asylum seekers’.

Yet the Covid pandemic seems to have knocked AfD off course. At the start of the crisis there was a tendency for conservative German voters to rally behind Merkel and her centrist-conservative CDU. In recent weeks that support has begun to crumble, partly because of a perception that the German government had bungled vaccine procurement, and partly because of a couple of scandals involving pandemic-related contracts.

Yet none of this swing against the government has benefited AfD, whose leaders allowed the party to become associated with anti-lockdown protests. This seems to have distracted from the party’s core messages: far fewer German voters are radically sceptical about Covid than are radically anti-immigration.

Nigel Farage with (above right) AfD’s deputy leader Beatrix von Storch

For the past year AfD has failed to poll above 12% in any national opinion poll, where previously it was often reaching 15% or more. This decline took concrete form in both of yesterday’s elections.

In Baden-Württemberg (traditionally conservative but ruled by a Green-CDU coalition since 2016), AfD’s vote fell from 15.1% to 9.7%, losing six of their seventeen seats in the regional parliament or Landtag. This result will embarrass AfD’s national co-leader Jörg Meuthen, since Baden-Württemberg is his home state.

Yesterday’s other election in Rhineland-Palatinate, best known as the centre of German wine production, saw another sharp fall in AfD’s vote from 12.6% to 8.3%, losing five of their nine seats.

AfD has been distracted and possibly damaged by association with anti-lockdown protests.

In both of these regions the ‘centre-right’ CDU and the ‘far right’ AfD lost support, and in both the Greens were the big winners. In neither case were there any more radical nationalist parties standing, which isn’t surprising since neither region is a traditional stronghold for the racial nationalist NPD or for any of the smaller parties of similar outlook.

The only good news from these elections is that German mainstream parties are still struggling for credibility. Chancellor Merkel retires this year, and the federal election in September is likely to lead to some sort of CDU-Green coalition, further damaging Merkel’s party in the eyes of traditional conservatives. It’s not too late for AfD to get back on track and for German nationalists to escape from the cul-de-sac of pandemic politics.

The spy story that helped derail Lady Renouf’s Dresden trial

Sir Frank Renouf (above left) with his close friend and colleague for many years, Hermann Abs, widely accused of financial ‘war crimes’

H&D‘s assistant editor Peter Rushton today reveals an extraordinary Second World War spy story – previously unknown to military and intelligence historians.

This story was one of the reasons for Dresden prosecutors’ abandonment of their prosecution of Lady Michèle Renouf three months ago. It had taken two and a half years for this prosecution to come to court.

Lady Renouf was charged with having committed ‘holocaust denial’ during an impromptu speech at a public commemoration in Dresden in 2018. Part of her ‘crime’ was to state that it had not been “exceptionally cruel” for Germany to intern Jews, given the fact that organised Jewry had declared war on Germany and that its representatives were closely involved in various forms of overt and covert warfare on the British (and later Soviet and American) side.

Lady Michèle and Sir Frank Renouf

H&D‘s Peter Rushton was a research consultant to the Renouf defence, and today he releases part of a dossier that would have caused great embarrassment to the German and British authorities had the case come to trial.

This reveals the existence of a previously unreported spy at the heart of the Third Reich – half-Jewish banker Robi Mendelssohn, partner in his family bank Mendlessohn & Co., the largest private bank in 1930s Germany.

Mendelssohn was an MI6 agent in wartime Berlin, meeting with British intelligence officers during his business trips to neutral Stockholm.

The case raises numerous previously unreported questions about the state of British intelligence regarding wartime Germany, including the so-called ‘Holocaust’.

Robi Mendelssohn: half-Jewish banker and MI6 spy in wartime Berlin

And it is of special relevance to the Renouf case because for complex reasons it turns out that MI6 spy Robi Mendelssohn was the man who convinced British occupation authorities to reinstal accused ‘war criminal’ Hermann Abs at the centre of reconstructing Germany’s postwar banking system.

Abs went on to be the closest colleague and friend of Lady Renouf’s former husband Sir Frank Renouf, who was awarded the Verdienstkreuz (Germany’s highest civilian honour) for his work with Abs in transforming German investment banking.

Click here to read today’s extraordinary story at the Renouf trial blog: modeltrial.blogspot.com

Further details will appear in the March edition of H&D.

Ursula Haverbeck again given jail sentence at 92

Ursula Haverbeck (above left) with fellow campaigner Dr Rigolf Hennig and Lady Michèle Renouf, who was recently acquitted of Volksverhetzung charges.

The indefatigable campaigner for truth and justice Ursula Haverbeck – who celebrated her 92nd birthday on November 8th – was yet again sentenced by a German court last Friday, under the Federal Republic’s notorious Volksverhetzung law that prohibits discussion of certain historical subjects.
Frau Haverbeck, a writer and publisher, for many years ran the educational institute Collegium Humanum with her late husband Werner Haverbeck (1909-1999). The Collegium hosted prominent intellectuals, including the pioneering ecological author and activist Ernst Friedrich Schumacher.

In 2004 Ursula Haverbeck was fined for Volksverhetzung, and has been convicted several times for further offences, in particular for “denying” that the Auschwitz internment camp was used for the homicidal gassing of Jews. In reality many of her offences consisted simply of asking precise questions of a series of German and Jewish officials – seeking to pin down the exact allegations that are made against wartime German authorities.

Instead of answering these questions in the normal manner, these officials chose to drag Ursula Haverbeck into court, where she has several times been sentenced to prison terms. From May 2018 until last month she was imprisoned in Bielefeld, in the north-west German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Just a month later, another jail sentence – this time 12 months, though appeals will follow. Ursula Haverbeck already has pending appeals against two sentences (one of ten months, the other six) for similar ‘crimes’. The ‘offence’ for which she was sentenced last Friday was a YouTube video interview with former schoolteacher Nikolai Nerling, known as Der Volkslehrer (“People’s Teacher”).

Monika and Alfred Schaefer

Many Germans are prosecuted every year for Volksverhetzung. The highest profile prisoner still incarcerated is the German-Canadian Alfred Schaefer, whose sister Monika was also imprisoned for her part in ‘Holocaust denial’ videos. No-one has yet calculated how much the Federal Republic spends on detection and prosecution of such ‘crimes’. 84-year-old attorney and author Horst Mahler was imprisoned until last month despite having had both legs amputated during his sentence.

Retired Supreme Court judges Winfried Hassemer and Wolfgang Hoffmann-Riem are among those who have called for the repeal of this monstrous debate-denying law.

Note: This article first appeared at the Role Model on Trial blog

Thought criminals released from jail sentences in Germany

Today the German attorney Sylvia Stolz was due for release having served an 18 month prison sentence in Germany for the ‘crime’ of having made a speech about German history and the principles underlying the search for historical truth.

(above left to right) Sylvia Stolz at the Schaefer trial in Munich in 2018 with Wolfram Nahrath (attorney for Monika Schaefer and later for Lady Renouf); Frank Miksch (attorney for Alfred Schaefer); Alfred Schaefer; and Lady Michèle Renouf.

First jailed in 2008 (and banned from legal practice) for her words in defence of German-Canadian publisher Ernst Zündel, Sylvia Stolz spoke at a conference of the Anti-Censorship Coalition, held in the Swiss town of Chur in 2012.

Background on this story is at the blog recently set up by H&D Assistant Editor Peter Rushton to report on the trial of Lady Michèle Renouf on similar charges of volksverhetzung – the German equivalent of our race laws, which unlike our law criminalises historical and scientific research into the alleged ‘holocaust’ of European Jewry during the Second World War.

Horst Mahler and Ursula Haverbeck celebrate their release from German jails last week

The release of Sylvia Stolz follows last week’s release of two of Germany’s veteran campaigners for historical truth and justice, 84-year-old Horst Mahler and 92-year-old Ursula Haverbeck.

The outside world finds it incredible that people of this age should be jailed for anything – still more incredible that their ‘crimes’ were political: daring to question orthodox versions of mid-20th century European history.

Horst Mahler had been prosecuted for several political offences since 2003, and had been in a Brandenburg prison since June 2017, having earlier been jailed from 2009 to 2015. During his sentence he has suffered increasing ill health including the amputation of both legs.

Ursula Haverbeck had been imprisoned for two and a half years since May 2018 and has faced repeated trials after daring to ask questions of the German authorities about what she terms “the biggest and most persistent lie in history” – the alleged ‘holocaust’ of European Jewry.

Alfred Schaefer remains incarcerated for similar offences following his conviction in 2018 for having posted online videos ‘denying the Holocaust’.

The outside world continues to wonder what sort of historical truth gets turned into an unchallengeable theological dogma and has to be defended by an edifice of laws criminalising those who dare challenge it.

Dresden Court Victory! Lady Michèle Renouf Acquitted

Attorney Wolfram Nahrath and his client Lady Michèle Renouf celebrate victory

In a last minute reversal, German prosecutors and a district court judge in Dresden have ended their criminal case against Lady Michèle Renouf, terminating a 32-month process, days before it was to come to trial.

Having arrested and charged Lady Renouf in 2018 immediately after her impromptu speech at a commemoration in Dresden, German prosecutors opened proceedings a year later under Germany’s notorious §130 Volksverhetzung law alleging “public incitement”, but the case has now ended without Lady Renouf being found guilty of any offence. (She has had to pay only a modest fee for the costs of a translator.)

“This decision was extraordinary – almost sensational”, says Wolfram Nahrath (Lady Renouf’s German attorney) who points out that such an ACQUITTAL of the charges in a ‘Holocaust’-related trial is a first in Germany. The German authorities did not want to take the risk of putting Lady Renouf on trial, given her background and the German constitutional issues that would inevitably be highlighted.

The §130 Volksverhetzung law has been used to jail German scientists, authors and even lawyers in recent years. ‘Holocaust’-related offences of ‘public incitement’ almost inevitably lead to long prison sentences.

Yet the unique circumstances of Lady Renouf and her 2018 Dresden speech led prosecutors to withdraw.

H&D, the Renouf trial blog and related social media accounts will examine the extraordinary fabric of the Renouf case and explain why the German state chose to throw in the towel.

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