'Nazi Grandma' Sent to Prison for Denying Holocaust

87-year-old German woman insists Auschwitz wasn't proven to be death camp
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2015 1:23 PM CST
Updated Nov 15, 2015 2:49 PM CST

Ursula Haverbeck-Wetzel says there's no proof that Auschwitz was a death camp and that that's "only a belief." Those thoughts spoken in a Hamburg court Thursday—and others, such as the "Holocaust is the biggest and most sustainable lie in history" comment she made on TV in April——are what just earned her a 10-month stay in a German prison, the Local reports. Her crime: inciting hatred. The 87-year-old extremist who's been dubbed "Nazi-Oma" ("Nazi Grandma") has been steadfast for years in her conviction that the Holocaust is a sham. And Haverbeck-Wetzel, who used to run an ultra-conservative center that was shut down for spreading Nazi propaganda, has her share of supporters: The Telegraph notes that far-right activists filled the courtroom's benches, with others outside demanding to be let in.

They would have seen quite a spectacle. Haverbeck-Wetzel tried to goad the court into proving to her Auschwitz was a death camp, saying, per RT.com, "You know about it [Auschwitz] only through the grapevine—like me." This spurred Bjoern Joensson, the presiding judge, to retort, "It is pointless holding a debate with someone who can't accept any facts," adding: "Neither do I have to prove to you that the world is round." In Germany, the crime of incitement of hatred includes anyone who publicly "approves of, denies, or downplays" what the Nazis did during the Holocaust. "I will never accept this verdict!" Haverbeck-Wetzel told the court. (A California middle school decided to nix a Holocaust-denial lesson plan.)

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