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September 4, 2016 6:55 am

Notorious ‘Nazi Grandma’ Sentenced to Prison for Claiming Jews Weren’t Exterminated at Auschwitz

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The entrance to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The entrance to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A notorious Holocaust denier in Germany was sentenced to eight months in jail on Friday, after claiming Jews were never exterminated in the Auschwitz concentration camp, the local media outlet Deutsche Welle reported.

Ursula Haverbeck said it was “clearly recognizable” that Auschwitz was nothing more than a labor camp. The 87-year-old — who has been dubbed the “Nazi grandma” by German media — made the claim in a letter she wrote in February to the mayor of Detmold, Germany, when the local court was trying former Auschwitz guard Reinhold Hanning, who was sentenced in June to five years in prison for being an accessory to the murder of more than 170,000 people, most of whom were Jewish. Haverbeck also said in her letter that she believes witnesses in Hanning’s trial were set up to prove Auschwitz was a concentration camp.

Germany has a law according to which anyone who publicly denies, endorses or downplays the extermination of Jews during Adolf Hitler’s rule can face a maximum of five years in jail and a minimum of a fine, according to South Africa’s IOL News. 

A court in Detmold charged Haverbeck on Friday with sedition and ruled out the possibility of parole. The presiding judge said Haverbeck lacked “any kind of respect” during proceedings and that she made offensive comments in the courtroom. The Holocaust denier said she plans to appeal the sentencing.

Haverbeck is known for her right-wing extremist views, according to Deutsche Welle. Her criminal record includes a 10-month jail sentence, which she is currently appealing, and two fines. She was on trial last year for saying on television that the Holocaust was “the biggest and longest-lasting lie in history,” and the UK’s Daily Mail reported that she is friends with Gudrun Burwitz, the eldest daughter of SS chief Heinrich Himmler.

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