The merest peasant or beggar is just as much a man as the king. A judicial chamber that imposes injustices is more dangerous and more vile than a band of thieves. One can protect oneself against their like! But against knaves that wear the mantle of Justice in order to wreak oppression no man can defend himself. They are worse than the worst blackguard in the world and deserve double punishment.
Frederick the Great
German Court Order: Scientific Work Must Burn!
Trial Over Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte (English: Dissecting the Holocaust) Ends With a Book-burning
Since the 7th of May Judge Burkhardt Stein of the Municipal Court of Tübingen held court on the fates of the publisher, editor and authors of the foundational Revisionist work Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte (Az. 4 Ls 15 Js 1535/95; click here for the English version of this book: Dissecting the Holocaust). First the trials against the authors were separated on various grounds. Then the trial against the editor Ernst Gauss alias Germar Rudolf (Scheerer*) was separated since the accused was not present at the proceedings. For that reason Judge Stein issued an arrest warrant.
During the trial the States Attorney and the Judge reproached the publisher Wigbert Grabert that the incriminated book met the test for the crime of race persecution in that it used a number of Holocaust-denying adjectives such as "supposed", "presumed" and "so-called". In order to show that the book had scientific merit the defense attorney insisted that in reading certain passages in the book, one needed to consult the comprehensive and detailed footnotes that it contained, which made reference mostly to books of establishment sources. The judge merely turned toward Susanne Teschner, the States Attorney, and answered that the court would not think out loud during the trial. The court denied numerous motions of the defense for recourse to relevant expert reports or for access to court records that might show that the words "supposed", and so forth, did not per se constitute an intentional denying.
It also denied two motions of the defense to suspend the trial on grounds that in this trial there was theoretically no possibility that the judge would acquit the accused, because in such a case he might meet with social harassment or even criminal reprisal from the judicial system, as the case of Judge Orlet in the trial against Deckert has shown.
Several days after the beginning of the trial the expert witness Dr. Joachim Hoffmann was questioned as to whether the book Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte was scientific. Dr. Hoffmann, for decades a historian in the Military History Research Office of the Bundeswehr in Freiburg, wrote in his expert report to the following effect:
[...] The different articles [of the work Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte] are professionally sound and are written predominantly in an investigative manner. The footnote apparatus leaves little to be desired with respect to the extent or amount of detail and is quite helpful to the researcher in that it refers to the contrary literature without stint. [...]
The individual articles of the collection are well-reasoned and portray the material faithfully. [...] The scientific character of this collection cannot be denied, especially in comparison to many publications from the contrary viewpoint whose scientific qualifications are never questioned. [...]
The overall impression of this collection edited by Gauss is that its contents deserve to be studied - naturally with critical intelligence - just as is done with the "official" literature on the Holocaust which is never contested or impeded. Even in this case it should be that Audiatur et altera pars! To suppress this carefully supported research would be to work a powerful hindrance to legitimate striving for scientific understanding. The state of understanding never stands still. My experience is that misinterpretations and errors are part of the normal process of scientific controversy. One should not before the fact prohibit the critical capacity of the sovereign, free researcher and reader. The step from suppressing disapproved books to burning them is a short one. And thereby - although under a different pretext - we would have got back to where the whole mess began. [...]
Concepts such as "presumed" or "supposed" did not please the expert witness, yet he did not consider that they put the scientific merit of the book in question.
The States Attorney's pleading was next. The phrases in the book that offended her most - "supposed annihilation camp", "Auschwitz club", "Holocaust religion", "identity-forming group phantasies", "supposed genocide", "established Holocaust scene", "lead ad absurdum" -, although taken partly from established publications, deny the Nazi murder of Jews and therefore qualify as race persecution. According to the States Attorney, the expert witness Dr. Hoffmann was not as competent to judge whether the book was scientific as a jurist and his expert report should therefore be disregarded. The publisher Grabert should be sentenced to 9 months prison with possibility of parole.
On the last day of the trial, Saturday!, 15.6.1996, in his pleading the defense referred to the denunciations of the States Attorney, whereby the book was a pseudoscientific hack-job of the vilest sort, saying that this sort of speech was "pseudojuristic browbeating" without content or definition. The defense pointed to the high degree of scientific expertise that had been necessary to produce the book and also to the fact that the expert witness had unreservedly confirmed the book's scientific quality. He also pointed out that sec. 130 para. 3 of the Penal Code (StGB) (race persecution) was unconstitutional when it served to deliver proven scientific publications up to book-burning.
The judge sentenced the publisher Grabert to pay a fine of DM 30,000 and ordered the seizure - in effect, the burning - of all copies of Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte as well as the prepared copy needed to print it. In the basis for his decision he stated that although parts of the book had scientific merit, phrases such as "supposed", "presumed", "victim of the Jews", "imputed forethought", "furious phantasies", although partly drawn from citations of established personages, denied the Holocaust and therefore qualified as the crime of race persecution.
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