“She Is A Lost Cause”: 87-Year-Old German Grandmother Jailed For Denying Auschwitz Was A Death Camp

220px-Auschwitz_entrancehaverbeck-panoramaWe have been following the rapid decline of free speech rights in Europe and Canada. Germany has long been the subject of criticism from the free speech movement. The country has long criminalized speech dealing with World War II and the Nazis. While the real benefit of those laws has been questioned given the long existence of a neo-Nazi groups in the country, prosecutors continue to bring troubling charges against those who voice unpopular or obnoxious beliefs in prohibited areas. The latest is Ursula Haverbeck, an 87-year-old German Neo-Nazi grandmother who has been sentenced to 10 months in prison after being found guilty of denying the Holocaust. She does not believe that the Holocaust was real but, rather than leaving the matter to open debate, the Germans are imprisoning her for either not changing her mind or not staying silent about her views.

Haverbeck was charged earlier this year after giving an interview outside the trial of former SS Sgt. Oskar Groening claiming Auschwitz wasn’t a death camp. She challenged the presiding judge in Hamburg to prove that Auschwitz was a death camp. However, the judge responded that he said he wouldn’t debate someone who “can’t accept any facts.” Magistrate Bjoern Joensson added “Neither do I have to prove to you the world is round,”That would seem a fine response and the matter should have been closed.

However, the government then proceeded to arrest her. I have little sympathy for Haverbeck who appears and ardent Nazi. However, free speech often requires us to fight for the rights of people who we dislike or even despise.

While I am certainly sympathetic to the Germans in seeking to end the scourge of fascism, I have long been a critic of the German laws prohibiting certain symbols and phrases, I view it as not just a violation of free speech but a futile effort to stamp but extremism by barring certain symbols. Instead, extremists have rallied around an underground culture and embraced symbols that closely resemble those banned by the government. I fail to see how arresting a man for a Hitler ringtone or forcing companies to remove the number “88” from products is achieving a meaningful level of deterrence, even if you ignore the free speech implications. What it does do is given people like Haverbeck the status of victims. It allows Holocaust deniers to argue that the government will not allow people to utter what they claim is the “truth.” History can take care of itself as can free speech. The criminalization of unpopular views only fuels the ignorance and claims of persecution by this small minority.

Judge Joensson said in the most recent case “It is deplorable that this woman, who is still so active given her age, uses her energy to spread such hair-raising nonsense . . . She is a lost cause.” It is nonsense but the government has made it a serious matter by criminalizing views deemed nonsensical. That is more than nonsense it is dangerous. It is free speech that seems the lost cause in Germany.

78 thoughts on ““She Is A Lost Cause”: 87-Year-Old German Grandmother Jailed For Denying Auschwitz Was A Death Camp”

  1. In the case of Germany, I think that it is a reasonable law given their historical past. My regret is that the UN did not purge Germany enough of people like this after the war. I think that such laws in the UK for example would be superfluous since they had so few Nazis and they had no power. At the very least, if you are concerned about freedom of speech, she should do some jail time for inciting to riot or disorderly conduct. Too bad she did not do some hard time after the war, like about 20 years at hard labor for being a Nazi. Then we could dispense with such laws.

  2. I wonder if the young American Jewish fellow who did this documentary is in danger of holocaust denial if he travels to western Europe. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHzWo79dCHs

    He touches on various interesting facts in here, but hey, don’t watch this. It’s the front end of a long dark rabbit hole that most of you don’t want to try.

  3. She was about 16 when we invaded Normandy so she was probably not old enough to have worked in a death camp or for the government. Her daddy might have worked in some concentration camp. Maybe it was like Gitmo and a concentration camp but not a death camp. So maybe she is just trying to defend pa or grandpa. For those of you who say that Gitmo is not a concentration camp beware. And be wary in years down the road. And for those of you who say Gitmo is a concentration camp beware and be careful out there. Lindsey Graham Kraker runs the Nazi Party here in AmeriKa.

  4. You guys are all assuming she is totally wrong. Take some time out and look into it if you dare.

    Not to say there weren’t concentration camps or mass executions or inhuman conditions or millions dead from all causes.

    But dare historians ask how many dead; or the causes; or the details? We could do so for any other historical crime besides this one which gets you thrown in jail. So let’s not bother that any serious inquiry is possible.

    Here is a blast from the past, a moment of intellectual courage in a life many such moments, where Jewish Noam Chomsky defends the right of Professor Robert Faurisson to question history.


    As Chomsky says, “As Faye predicted, many showed themselves incapable of distinguishing between defense of the right of free expression and defense of the views expressed — and not only in France.”

  5. Obama sent Kerry and James Taylor after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. After the Paris massacre, he will need to send Biden and Springsteen.

  6. The depth of some peoples understanding of free speech is like a child’s wading pool, long and shallow.

  7. The issue of free speech and other freedoms being suspended and/or edited during moments of extreme duress reminds me of the 100+ detainees America has kept locked up for over 14 years without charges. If they were dangerous or weren’t dangerous there is a fairly good chance that they are dangerous now.

    The championing of ideals should be more closely designed to the expression of those ideals. Anybody, in Germany, after what Germany did, who promotes Nazi ideals fits the Guantanamo paradigm more so than the quasi religious perspective of inalienable, natural, or other bestowed laws and freedoms.

  8. Yelling ‘Fire’ in a crowded cinema could be, if taken to an extreme an example of free speech. Yelling anything in a crowded place could cause panic. When ‘Free Speech’ is perceived as an incitement to support evil or incite people to evil and/or unlawful acts then, perhaps, just perhaps, the society has to step in. In context one should be able to understand that the support/incitement that these statements give to evil and unlawful acts render them as dangerous to society, in the same category as yelling in a crowded place. Given the place, the time, and referring to the history, locking up her and others who support Nazi ideals seems like the thing to do.

    JT, even you, as vigilant as ever, should understand that nothing is absolute and sometimes a society’s responsibilities infringe on the ideal models. The model Germans are going for might just demand attention at both ends of the stick, education and understanding as well as prohibition.

    1. Yelling fire in a theatre, if people are needlessly harmed, because the action created an imminent danger through fraudulent intent, therefore is a crime. Similar to reckless driving that could cause an accident.

      Words don’t incite people to do evil and if it does that is just a lousy excuse and should not be tolerated. This women’s “right” to free speech could not possibly be construed to create an imminent danger. That’s means I should not be able to be a 9/11 denier and tell others why I am? There are many people who do not believe the official story of the Holocaust. That doesn’t mean they don’t think it necessarily happened, they think it did not happen as the main stream historians have written and presented and more importantly why. Most are being demonized by the main stream media for perhaps a number of potential reasons.

      1. Coverup of the Central banksters manipulations of the war. The BIS funded both sides of the war but have kept that fairly secret.
      2. How badly the central banking and other socialistic policies have failed. Milton Friedman in his book “Free To Choose” points out that all the various platforms of the American Socialist Party Platforms of both 1928 and 1932 have all been enacted, interestingly enough, without any of their members being elected to public office.

      These are just two reasons for covering up some aspects of the Holocaust. The socialistic policies of not only Germany but of the entire industrialized world had failed, and were causing many social problems. The central bankers used the war to stimulate the economies to get them jump started, instead of decentralizing the governments and reducing their ability to manipulate commerce which put the world into the economic slump in the first place. It was a power move and the central bankers clearly won.

      Sadly, it appears we may be at this point again and the middle east is the next intended target. Instead of getting rid of the central banksters and all the multitude of socialistic polices that are draining our economy and majority, let’s go to war.

      Good luck Jonathan with the bansters and their anti-money laundering. You know they are really trying to maintain their suffocating income tax policies, there suffocation trade tariffs and maintain their war on drugs profits. They have set up a world pay to play system where entrepreneurs must pay off the political system in each country to participate. It keeps the poor riffraff off the field. Less competition that way.

    2. issacbasonkavich – what she was yelling was historically factually. Why is she being imprisoned for that? Auschwitz was a series of labor camps and Birkenau was the extermination camp that was near there.

  9. ninianpeckitt – Do you understand that the central bankers who operate out of Basil Switzerland funded both sides of WWII. That propaganda was staged on both sides of the war and that for the most part war is a racket. What you see as self-evident may not be the truth.

    I’m not trying to suggest to you what is true, I’m trying to suggest that what you have been led to believe may not be true. I have found from previous comments you appear to believe a number of things that most likely are not true, that then gives you rationale for the wrong conclusions. Your gun policy as an example. Even though the governments of the world killed 170,000,000 of their “own” Citizens, in just the 20th century, mostly without weapons for self defense, because of gun controls, excluding another 39,000,000 military combatants killed in wars, you think the Citizens are safe enough under the governments gun control policies to including a total ban and should just lay down their weapons. It is amazing how many police and military personnel from around the world, historically have been willing to murder their own people in the name of the public good and yet you want me to support gun controls. Oh that’s right that could never happen here but it is, not yet in huge numbers, put the police murders of innocent people are surely increasing at a rate that is disturbing many. This is how atrocities begin.

    1. It is a fact that the BIS funded both sides of WWII. It is a fact the Warburg family (three brother and their father) and other banking interests funded WWI prior to the establishment of the BIS. This means that yes, elements of WWI and WWII were staged. The sinking of the Lusitania was purposely set up to get the US into the war just as 9/11, self evident – was set up to get us in to Iraq and Afghanistan. There are a number of books that give you the facts. My favorite is the Creature From Jekyll Island. This is about the true story of a secretive meeting between banking interests and government officials, held on the hunting estate of JP Morgan at Jekyll Island Georgia in 1911 to plan the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and probably the passage of the 16th Amendment. The word got out of the train ride from New York, with a number of the prominent folks on board, to Georgia. They know who was there and parts of the agenda.

    You can remain under the constant brainwashing from the main stream media and military industrial complex, but I see no reason for you to continue to do this.

  10. Sounds like the Mizzou Police asking for any offensive speech to be reported. You know, the controls on speech in France just don’t seem to be enough in France. I think Europe needs to exert much more government control on speech in order to stop another massacre. Then, we here in the US can follow our enlightened allies across the pond. Appeasement always works.

  11. If hate speech is punished then that should include words spoken by national leaders, military leaders, and political candidates who demonize groups like Al Qaeda, ISIS, the Mafia, Nazis, Viet Cong, Communists, etc. The idea of putting people in groups and labeling the group as “bad” is an effort to justify heinous atrocities against those people based on group membership. There is no universal agreement on which groups are evil and which are good. Humans are all capable of both.

  12. If someone wants to believe in fairy tales, how is it a crime?

    Expressing those beliefs in fairy tales?

    WTF cares what an 87 year old woman believes in?

  13. Islam’s holy book libels Christians and Jews. When will Germany prosecute the publishers of the Quran?

  14. Remember Britain released the Lockerbie bomber from prison on “compassionate release” because he was old and supposedly near death. This woman is 87 and goes to jail for being a loon.

    Western civilization has screwed up priorities.

  15. Professor Turley talks about leaving the matter of the Holocaust open for debate.

    Are you trying to suggest the whole thing was staged?

    All i would say is that “we hold these truths to be self evident” on the basis of irrefutable evidence. The Allies were right to record the history so these issues could not be denied.

    Humans have no freedom to lie. They are incarcerated for such acts in courts of law.

    Paul C. Schulte makes a very interesting observation that it was Birkenau that served as the death camp. I suppose this could be the basis of an appeal?

    My understanding is that the Holocaust was not denied bby tjis woman but that Auschwitz was described as a labour camp by her and not a death camp.

    It is a mute point….. but maybe relevant in law?

  16. The Nazis were so deeply embedded that it required deep methods to dig them out. The Krauts understand this. They know how bad their relatives can be. Angela cannot now get on the anti ISIS coalition for fear of being called a Nazi. France will have to lead. The end of Europe, as we knew it after WWII, is here. Var in German means War. There are other words similar to English. When the refugees got onto the boats the end was near. When they got off the boats, the end is here. The first German statement that they say is this: Ich mochter ein double zimmer fur ein nacht. And in France they ask: Ou se trouve une toilet, suile vous plait? Then they go in and strap on the bomb. Soon, the refugees will wash up on our shores. Bye bye Miz American pie.

  17. Technically, she is correct. Auschwitz is a labor camp, actual several labor camps. The extermination camp near Auschwitz is called Birkenau.

  18. I’m not comfortable with prosecutions of this type but I’m always amazed that Muslims and others are allowed to say and do hateful things and their religion and their “status” as victims excuses both their actions and their “offensive” speech. Talk about double standards.

  19. Mr. Jones,

    Maybe the hypocrisy has something to do with the action the Nazis actually took to implement their hateful ideology. So far, at least, it seems Jews have not acted upon some of those awful Talmudic exhortations or prayers of “gratitude.”

  20. What you can not criticize (or in this case, “deny”) is your god. Behold the “thought crime” of disagreeing with the government-sponsored version of “truth.”

    Orwell’s “pigs” of Animal Farm would be proud, as would be 1984’s “Big Brother.”

    And yet, in the same Germany, the Rabbis are protected to read from their holiest of all holy books the Talmud, with the following vs.” “Even the best of the goyim deserve only death” and “Pantera (Jesus), son of the whore Mary, boils in excrement for eternity.”

    And this daily prayer of Orthodox Judaic males: “Thank you _od you did not make me a slave, a gentile, nor a woman.”

    In France, every form of hatred, bigotry, and evil heaped on Christ and Islam is protected speech. Yet, if you deny the holocaust, go straight to prison.

    I’m curious to see the twisted forms of “logic” used to explain away and justify the hypocrisy.

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