Sourced from The Daily Archives
Imprisoned in Germany:
Canadian Woman on Trial in Munich for Questioning the Holocaust
If Albertan Monika Schaefer is convicted, she faces up to five years in prison.
Jasper, Alberta. A woman who denied the Holocaust in at least one video posted on YouTube is on trial at a criminal courthouse in Munich.
Monika Schaefer, 59, and her 63-year-old German-Canadian brother, Alfred Schaefer, who lives near Munich, are being tried together for Volksverhetzung, which officially translates in English from the German Criminal Code as “incitement to hatred,” said court spokesperson Florian Gliwitzky in an email to CBC News on Friday.
“Both are under suspicion, that they published video clips, in which they denied the genocide of Jews in the Holocaust during World War II,” Gliwitzky said.
The siblings’ trial began Monday this week and continued Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It is scheduled to continue July 12, 13 and 16. If found guilty, the German sentence for the crime ranges from a fine up to five years in prison.
CANADIAN CITIZENS MONIKA AND ALFRED SCHAEFER
Imprisoned in Germany
after being ‘snatched or ‘kidnapped’ by German police.
LD: A correspondent (in a round robin email) says he is “baffled” at Germany taking the law into its own hands. He writes:
It is my understanding that Ms. Schaefer is being prosecuted in Germany for statements made in Canada. I’m baffled. I don’t understand how a statement made in Canada can be prosecuted in a nation other than Canada. Do the Germans have worldwide criminal jurisdiction? I really doubt that.
If I committed a crime in Germany, the U.S. and Germany could extradite me and put me before a German court. But the U.S. court would not be able to prosecute me.
Do I have it wrong? Did some part of what is charged against the Schaefers occur in Germany? Or have the Germans declared themselves the cops of the world?
Monika Schaefer gained fame in July 2016 after appearing in a YouTube video in which she described the Holocaust as the “biggest and most pernicious and persistent lie in all of history.” She expressed her view that six million Jewish people did not die at the hands of Germany.
At least one hate speech complaint was filed against her with the Alberta and Canadian human rights commissions.
B’nai Brith, a Canadian Jewish supremacist group, alerted an intermediary in Germany who then went to police about the video, said Aidan Fishman, a director with the organization. He said that when Schaefer visited the country, she would have been on their radar.
German freelance photojournalist Anne Wild, who contracts with organizations that monitor patriotic organizations’ activity, recalled Monika Schaefer’s arrest in January at the trial of convicted German Holocaust revisionist, Sylvia Stolz. Since then, Monika Schaefer has been imprisoned in Germany.
‘An outrageous incident’
Wild, one of the accredited press representatives, attended the Schaefer siblings’ trial in a low-level criminal court for three days this week. She said it was the first time she has attended the trial of a foreigner for “incitement of hatred.”
Wild said the duo had about 15 supporters showing up on a regular basis.
“There was an incident right at the beginning that was really sort of horrible,” Wild said. “When Alfred Schaefer was brought into the room, and he was joined by his sister who was brought in, he showed the Nazi salute three times in a row. This is really an outrageous incident in the courtroom. His sister, she was laughing at it, she was laughing.”
Wild said Alfred Schaefer has been vocal throughout the trial so far, telling the court he appreciated sharing his views. Monika Schaefer has been quiet, only speaking when spoken to and smiling every so often at her supporters, she said.
Born in Canada of German heritage, Monika Schaefer described herself on her Facebook page as a self-employed violin instructor. She ran for the federal Green Party in Alberta’s Yellowhead riding in 2006, 2008 and 2011. She was ousted from the party after jewish outrcry over the video.
Sparse media coverage
Wild said there were only three journalists, including herself, in the courtroom. But these type of trials in Germany generally don’t get a lot of media attention, Wild said.
“Some of them think that if you cover it too much, you will just promote it. They don’t want to promote it,” she said. “It’s sort of a mixture. We have to talk about it, but we don’t want to talk too much about it.”
While Wild said denying the Holocaust in public is rare in Germany, it is a criminal offence.
She photographed a June 30 protest against the imprisonment of Holocaust revisionists.
“Still there’s a community of several thousand people who are more or less openly convinced that the Holocaust is a lie,” Wild said. But “there is a big discussion in Germany about what is opinion and what is a crime,” she added.
LD (Update) : The latest “news” — unless this is an unsubstantiated rumor — is that the Schaefers have now been set free. This is obviously good news. We have no precise details yet. We are awaiting confirmation from more reliable sources.