The Role of the Press in the Case of Germar Rudolf
The Object of Zeal
When in spring 1992 Germar Rudolf sent out the first draft of his "Expert Report on the Formation and Detectability of Cyanide Compounds in the ‘Gas Chambers’ of Auschwitz" to a narrow circle of recipients in science and politics, several historians responded with interest. The media, however, received no notice of the existence of the report. Only in spring 1993, when retired Major General Otto Ernst Remer took a later draft of the expert report, provided it with a peppery political preface, and then sent some 1,000 to 2,000 copies to the media, public attorneys, politicians, and scientists, did a certain circle of the Establishment learn of the existence of this report.
The press was quiet, except for two short articles that appeared on May 8/9 and 13, 1993, in the Wiesbadener Kurier reporting on the embarrassment the expert report had caused to the chemical analysis Institute Fresenius hired by Rudolf, located in Taunusstein near Wiesbaden, and an announcement in the Märkische Allgemeinen of May 14, 1993, that a certain Prof. L. Bisky had filed a criminal complaint. Finally, in spring 1994, when the Labor Court heard the case between Rudolf and his former employer, the Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research at Stuttgart, which ended with a compromise, the dpa (German Press Agency) issued a press release that appeared in many newspapers and even on the radio. That prompted the ARD (German Public Broadcasting) television program Report to make a witch-hunt broadcast.
In the regional press of the Stuttgart area, where Rudolf resided at that time, there appeared mostly factual police notices, reporting that the State Security Department of the Criminal Police of Baden-Württemberg for various reasons had ordered house-searches (September 30, 1993, August 18, 1994, and March 27, 1995). However, the headlines were occasionally ridiculous. For example, the headline "Nazi book depot in Steinenbronn" appeared in the Böblinger Boten of March 29, 1995. In fact, there were neither Nazis, Nazi material nor a book depot in Rudolf’s home.
The authorized version of the expert report was published in summer 1993 in Great Britain with the title Das Rudolf Gutachten and has been distributed and sold in Germany since then. There has been no echo about this version in the media.
The media showed increased interest, when the 17th State Security Chamber of the Stuttgart District Court began the criminal investigation against me on account of suspicion of participation in the preparation and distribution of Remer’s commented version of my report. However, they were not interested in the Expert Report nor in me, but merely in the question, whether there should be made an example "to punish the right-wing" for reasons of public instruction.
The trial proceedings did not center upon the actual contents of my expert report, but on Remer’s political commentary and my (alleged) political views. This was despite the fact that prosecutions for dissenting political views are forbidden according to the German constitution (cf. article 3.3. of the German Basic law). They have a strong tendency to turn into show-trials, and this is exactly what happened in this case.
Later on, several of the media reports that were published in the course of the hubbub over the Rudolf expert report and its author attempted to critically evaluate how true-or rather how false-this expert report was.
On March 28, 1994, the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG, M.-P.-Corporation), umbrella organization of some 200 Max-Planck-Institutes all over Germany and Austria-I had been a PhD student at one of them-issued a press release on my expert report. They reported on internal measures taken by my former employer, the Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, against me. The MPG made it clear that since they agreed with the German Federal Constitutional Court and the Federal Supreme Court as to the commonly known fact of the Holocaust, they would not involve themselves in the discussion of the issues raised by my expert report.
The Expert Opinion of the dpa - Invented from Whole Cloth
The news release of the dpa Press Bureau Stuttgart which appeared the following day in almost all German newspapers and also on the radio contained the following passage:
"According to their spokesman, the Max-Planck-Corporation has no proof that the samples are really from Auschwitz. Even if they are from there, according to expert opinion, it is certainly no wonder that no traces of hydrogen cyanide were found, because cyanide compounds disintegrate quickly. In earth this takes six to eight weeks and in stone they can only be preserved by "absolute conservation conditions, including complete exclusion of air and bacteria".
Of course, the Max-Planck-Corporation had no evidence about the origin of the samples, since they did not ask me for any and I had no reason to give them any without having been asked. This is nothing else but a clumsy diversion from the main question. And by the way: if this topic is important to anybody, no one is prevented from verifying the results of my expert report and the test results of others as discussed in chapter 8.
On inquiry about the supposed expert opinion about the instability of cyanide compounds, Albert Meinecke, the person at dpa apparently responsible for the notice, referred first to the press statement from the MPG. After it was shown to Meinecke that the statement contained no comment on the factual content of the expert report, nor any comment on the stability or presence of cyanide compounds, he made various claims, depending on the caller and the time of the call:
The connection between the MPG and the unnamed expert opinion created by the phraseology of the dpa notice would suggest to the reader that the expert opinion was that of the MPG. The latter declared by fax on April 12, 1994, that this was not the case and that the claim in the dpa notice was mistaken.
After two weeks of silence, on April 13, 1994, dpa Editor-in-Chief D. Ebeling of Hamburg, speaking for the agency, announced in a fax message to me that the unnamed expert would remain unnamed to protect his privacy. Two days later, in an unsigned faxed notice, A. Meinecke denied my accusation of falsehood and referred me to the Editor-in-Chief in Hamburg.
The Technical Issues
Among others, the dpa notice contained the following assertion:
"Even if they [the samples] are from there [Auschwitz], according to expert opinion, it is certainly no wonder that no traces of hydrogen cyanide were found, because cyanide compounds disintegrate quickly."
Evidently the writer of these lines does not know the difference between hydrogen cyanide and cyanide compounds. If he should wish to subsume cyanide compounds under hydrogen cyanide, which might make it easier for the layman to understand, then it is clear: This sentence and the following one discuss the stability of cyanide compounds, the only thing that makes sense with respect to the Rudolf Report. The question as to the stability of hydrogen cyanide itself, as raised by Ebeling in his fax to me, is of no concern to anyone-the question is a useless diversion from the subject.
The supposed statements of the unknown expert assert that cyanide compounds disintegrate quickly. This blanket claim is and will always be untenable and shameful for any expert to make. As proof for this, the reader may simply go back to chapter 6.6. of this book (The Rudolf Report), and there in particular to chapter 6.6.5.
Ebeling’s assertions that stable compounds may form but do not necessarily form needs no confirmation from competent authority, since the fact that every acid in the world forms stable as well as unstable compounds is as trivial as an ‘Amen’ in church.
In the dpa notice it was stated that cyanide compounds will last in stone only under "absolute conservation conditions", but in contrast to that, in the masonry of the cases of interest here and investigated in detail in this report, the disinfestation chambers of Auschwitz, hydrogen cyanide formed extremely long-lasting iron cyanide compounds of the Iron Blue type. See the arguments given above for proof of this.
Wrong is therefore not only the claim of the dpa press release that this statement stemmed from an expert, but the actual content of this release is absolutely untenable. No expert would have endorsed such a embarrassingly absurd statement. It is not hard to see why the person responsible for having released this article did not want to be named, as Herr Ebeling said.
ReportPortrait: Incitement to Hatred
One of the main incidents of the witch-hunt against Germar Rudolf was the left-wing Report broadcast of the German public TV station ARD on April 11, 1994. In the footage by Stefan Rocker, everyone from Conservative to neo-Nazi personalities, including Germar Rudolf, were thrown all together into one pot. By this sort of undifferentiated reporting, one can produce in certain sectors of the German population a pogrom mood against everything which is or might be right-wing. Report showed pictures of a synagogue in Lübeck which had been fire-bombed just a few months before, using the words, that as soon as Auschwitz denial would boom again, synagogues would be burning. The next picture shown in this footage was that of Germar Rudolf on his way to the Labor Court in Stuttgart. Thereby, Herr Rudolf was made into a sort of paper accomplice of the Lübeck arson. This was strengthened by the commentator’s choice of words, when he mentioned the title of the well-known play Biedermann und die Brandstifter (Everyman and the Arsonist).
If that does not constitute criminal incitement of the German television-viewing audience against Germar Rudolf, what would? It goes without saying that reports of this kind are loaded with pictures of concentration camps, deported Jews, and a sea of corpses in order to ridicule the supposed denial claim of a Germar Rudolf. This is the way the left-wing Report works.
But which viewer would know that Rudolf had not only not denied, but had actually denounced the frequent injustices that did occurred at that time? And who would notice that the pictures proved nothing except that thousands in the concentration camps died from sickness and malnutrition? Who noticed that no TV program ever showed a film or a picture of a ‘gas chamber’ either in operation or capable of being put into operation-the only point in which Germar Rudolf holds a different viewpoint from media outfits such as Report?
Report spewed falsehoods and lies into the world. One of them was seized upon by Franziska Hundseder in her book Rechte machen Kasse (Righ-wingers Cash In) and will be dealt with in the next section. Here I will discuss another:
In the appendix of his expert report under the heading Danksagung (Acknowledgements), Rudolf had thanked a number of persons and institutions who had helped him in many ways in the collection of data or sources, the recovery and analysis of samples, or for any assistance in the production of the report. Among these were the firms DEGUSSA AG and Institute Fresenius, since the first had supplied important technical data on the stability of Iron Blue and the second had analyzed most of the samples in Rudolf’s presence and initially with his help. Such acknowledgements are usual in scientific publications-also they are polite.
In their commentary, Report reproached Rudolf that he had used the names of well-known institutes and firms to give his report the appearance of competence. In view of the facts just given, this reproach is both malevolent and ridiculous. Report’s additional assertion that a criminal complaint for fraud had been filed against Rudolf due to this misuse of well-known names, was pure invention. Up to today, January 2003, there have been no criminal complaints from any of the persons or institutions directly or indirectly involved in the production of the report. Report’s false accusation was a direct smear.
Stefan Rocker also participated in an ARD-Tagesthemen news broadcast on June 6, 1996, covering the book-burning trial of the book Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte, edited by Rudolf, then before the County Court of Tübingen. A written version of this piece appeared in FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) of June 10, 1996, p. 14. It began with the following sentence:
"Everyman and the Arsonist: diplom chemist German Rudolf, 31, was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment by the Stuttgart District Court a year ago for incitement to racial hatred and denial of the holocaust."
Rudolf was also accused of having published a "pseudo-scientific" "hack-job" titled Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte, whereby he had proven himself a repetitious right-wing extremist offender. It was stated he had left the country and was sought by the police.
The fact that 100 academics had placed an advertisement in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung during the book-burning trial which criticized the use of censorship and the violation of civil rights by German courts was termed a "frontal assault on the Federal German justice system" in this commentary. Throughout that piece, the authors threw everyone who was politically right-of-center into one big brown bucket.
In mid-May 1995, the left-wing political TV show Panorama (again from the German public station ARD) reported on several medium-size businesses that had become known as supporters of right-wing circles. This broadcast was a cinematic presentation of the book Rechte machen Kasse, (Right-Wingers Cash In) written by the journalist who produced the broadcast, Franziska Hundseder. In the book, the author discusses Germar Rudolf or his expert report twice. Both times her discussion is full of errors and falsehoods.
For example, in referring to the invented dpa press release about the alleged instability of cyanide compounds, Frau Hundseder concludes:
"Therefore, this so-called expert report of Herr Rudolf-like the expert report of Frederick A. Leuchter, which similarly found no traces of cyanide in the walls of Auschwitz-Birkenau crematoria 1 and 2-contains no proof of anything other than the methods by which right-wing extremists conduct historical research."
Though notified in writing about the falsity of the dpa press release she was relying upon, Frau Hundseder never changed her position on this. The same is true for a passage on page 212 of her book, where she claims I had tried to collect several tens of thousands of deutschmarks in order to buy copies of the death books of the Auschwitz camp. She gives the impression that I was trying to get the money. But this is not true. The letter quoted by her had already been distortedly quoted by the above mentioned Report journalists who must have illegally received a complete copy of this letter from the trial record. However, if read completely, the letter reveals that I did not want any money, but was asking several personalities to donate money to a third person I had no personal connection with.
The Verdict a Foregone Conclusion
As the trial against Germar Rudolf in the State Security Chamber of the District Court of Stuttgart began at the end of November 1994, there were several media individuals who distinguished themselves by their painful ignorance of the subject matter of the trial. The cause for this seemed to be that no journalist deemed it necessary to ask for information from anyone involved in the trial. So it happened that repeatedly items were misunderstood or misreported. One might not attribute purposeful distortion to the journalists if it were not for the fact that these misunderstandings were always decidedly unfavorable to Rudolf.
The partisan orientation of the Süddeutscher Rundfunk, SDR, another public broadcasting station (almost all German public broadcasting stations are left-wing oriented) was exposed when it decided to report only one side of the story, namely that of the investigating police officer.
Since his statements were apparently not critical enough for the SDR, soon items were invented. The SDR took the only two statements from the several hundred pages of correspondence in which Rudolf had mentioned two Jewish personalities in a disapproving way, which were cited by the police officer. SDR then asserted falsely, the officer had characterized the rest of my correspondence "as the vilest incitement and defamation". The SDR also attributed to the police officer that he had understood Rudolf to have said he wanted to "rewrite the history of Germany from 1871 onward, without the Holocaust or World War II", which in view of the absurdity of the statement may cause doubt about the sanity of the journalists involved. And of course, the SDR was silent on the substantial mitigating evidence presented by the defense in the following months.
With a few exceptions, the entire media was silent until the end of the trial. It could be seen from the behavior of the journalists present that they were not looking for the real story, but were intent on bringing in a sacrifice for the Zeitgeist: all but one of them-a new person from Südwestfunk radio-resorted only to the prosecuting attorneys and judges in their search for information.
The Stuttgarter Zeitung (StZ) provides a clear example of the tendentious method of reporting used by the media. Since not enough incriminating material turned up in the several thousand pages of Rudolf’s correspondence that were found in the first house search in September 1993, on January 27, 1995, the StZ conjured up "writing in the hand of the accused with indisputable [...] xenophobic content". However, in the whole trial there was never any talk of xenophobia or racism, because there was never any basis for same. At the end of a piece of the Landesschau of Südwest 3 TV station on December 27, 1994, the Christian-Conservative Rudolf mutated into a neo-Nazi: the trial against Rudolf was characterized as another case of a neo-Nazi in the Stuttgart District Court, following a real trial against several National Socialists that had taken place in the same court a short time before.
That the verdict was assumed to have been decided before the fact became more and more noticeable as the question was raised whether there would be difficulties in convicting Rudolf of the crime he was accused of, as if it were not the task of the court to determine the truth without respect to party, but rather that it should find guilt whether or not the crime had been committed.
The Böblinger Kreiszeitung reported in this vein on May 10, 1995, as the trial was nearing its end. There, on page 13 under the headline "Sentence Before Pentecost", one found:
"He [the presiding judge] believes that the prosecuting attorney will conclude her case at the next session on May 18 of this year, and that the sentence against the chemist will be handed down before Pentecost unless something unforeseen happens."
How can it be that, according to this press report, the presiding judge can announce before the end of the trial (it ended on June 23, 1995) that the expected judgment will be against the accused, that it will be decided to his disadvantage? It would have made sense to state that the judgment will be given in a case or about the accused. If the journalist here reported the presiding judge’s words correctly, the choice of words shows the partisanship of the judge; otherwise it shows that of the journalist.
It is worthwhile to note the relative emphasis the media gave to the pleadings of the prosecution as opposed to that of the defense. On June 13, 1995, the StZ reported the arguments of the public attorney in a detailed 3-column story on page 2, while the defense appearance was covered the following day in a small single-column story which merely recapitulated the events of the trial and did not report any of the arguments of the accused.
To be fair, it should be mentioned that after the sentence came down on June 24, 1995, Sonnhild Maier, the journalist for the StZ, mentioned some of the defense arguments:
"The court ruled that the expert report and the preface were a single work and were to be seen as a ‘common production’ of Rudolf and Remer.
This is what the accused chemist vehemently disputed. He is a practicing Catholic, believes in the political order of the Federal Republic and would never have entered into an association with Remer, whom he took to be a ‘living political fossil’. In the chemist’s words: ‘I would not have been so stupid-this would have undermined me in the final phase of my doctoral program’. At the time he was preparing his doctoral thesis at the Max-Planck-Institute in Stuttgart. When his expert report became publicly known, he lost his job."
In a 3-column story on June 14, 1995, the Stuttgarter Nachrichten summarized the prosecution case. The story gave the defense’s claims responding to the prosecution’s points, but not a single argument supporting these claims. Instead of this, the defense arguments were superficially refuted by the journalist Frank Schwaibold using somewhat erroneous counterarguments.
Against the assertion of the prosecution that Rudolf had revealed himself as a politically motivated criminal by his work under the pseudonym Ernst Gauss and therefore deserved no probation, the defense objected that the Gauss case could not be applied. It was hidden from the reader that in a state under the rule of law an accused can not be disadvantaged through a court case that had not even started. In response to the defense counterargument to the prosecution charge that Rudolf cooperated with Remer, journalist Frank Schwaibold asserted falsely that Rudolf had met and talked with Remer three times. The truth is that Rudolf and Remer met only by chance in the course of Rudolf’s work as expert witness for Remer’s defense attorney. During these accidental encounters, there was no conversation between them, which even the court acknowledged.
Against the defense assertion that the accused was no neo-Nazi, the journalist cited a letter absurdly out of context in which Rudolf "referred to the ‘Jew Republic Germany’ in context with the person Ignatz Bubis". In that letter, Rudolf criticized a proposal made in spring 1993 that Ignatz Bubis be elected Federal German President. Taking into consideration that Bubis had almost no political experience at that time but had a criminal past, Rudolf commented that the proposal reflected the immense importance that was given to him as the leader of a diminishing minority in the German state (the late Ignatz Bubis was head of the Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland, Central Council of Jews in Germany, at that time). For that reason, Rudolf stated that it was appropriate to rename the name of the German nation, using this minority as a prefix: Judenrepublik Deutschland (Jew Republic of Germany). The Jewish witness Horst Lummert, who testified on behalf of Germar Rudolf, confirmed before the court on January 9, 1995, that this reasoning was justified.
Given these facts, it remains for Frank Schwaibold to explain to us where neo-Nazism is hidden in Rudolf’s remarks.
Execution by Media
Naturally, after the announcement of the sentence of the District Court of Stuttgart, according to which Rudolf was to be punished with 14 months imprisonment without probation, the media found it easy to drag Germar Rudolf through the mud. The first was the Süddeutscher Rundfunk. Following the imperative of the Zeitgeist, without making use of the decision of the court or any other evidence, it labeled Rudolf a "neo-Nazi". It also attempted to make the Rudolf expert report ridiculous by resurrecting the dpa notice from a year before. SDR 3 simply claimed that it was known to competent chemists that cyanide compounds disintegrate within a few weeks in rocks.
The program Landesschau of the regional television station Südwest 3 made comments similar to those of SDR 3, but piled even further on the defamation by misrepresenting an article that appeared in the Stuttgarter Nachrichten the week before. This article of June 14, 1995, was entitled "Only a Victim of the ‘Father-figure of Neo-Nazism’?". Under the Word "Neo-Nazism," a picture of the accused was shown. The question raised by this newspaper headline was whether Rudolf had been a victim of O. E. Remer, who was identified as the "Father-figure of Neo-Nazism".
In filming a copy of this article, the Südwestfunk bent the paper so that the viewer would see only the words "Father-figure of Neo-Nazism" over the photograph of Rudolf. The viewer would unavoidably receive the impression that the harsh sentence on Rudolf was a judicial determination that with Rudolf one was dealing with the father-figure of Neo-Nazism. It is difficult to imagine how media distortion could get any worse.
Many media sources considered the sentence handed down by the court as an insufficient condemnation of Rudolf, as can be seen from several examples. On June 24, 1995, the Böblinger Bote wrote that Rudolf could be linked to National Socialist race doctrine. This complete fabrication is so absurd and so far from any reality that it was never an issue during the course of the trial, nor was it mentioned in the court’s spoken opinion giving the basis for the written verdict. Unfortunately, this did not hinder the court from inserting this unfounded assertion into the written verdict for the sentence.
On the same day, and despite Rudolf’s personal appeal, Frank Schwaibold of the Stuttgarter Nachrichten could not help but once again misconstrue the contacts between Rudolf and Remer, in that he wrote, Rudolf had been "provably in personal contact with Remer three times", where the word "personal" imputed a relationship between the two that had never existed.
On June 24, 1995, the Süddeutsche Zeitung outdid itself in manipulating the news. It wrote that Rudolf had occasionally been a member of the right-wing extremist Republican Party. But, in fact, Rudolf had been a member of the party at a time when it was not considered "right-wing extremist" and even important members of the semi-conservative Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) maintained contacts with members of the party. Whatever opinion the media and the German internal secret service, the Office for the Defense of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz) had after Rudolf left the party in summer 1991 cannot be taken as a criterion for the evaluation of Rudolf’s political views. Also, Rudolf was not on trial for his political beliefs, which, according to Article 3, Para. 3 of the German Basic Law can never be cause for deprivation of rights. Finally, it is absurd to try to associate the patriotic-conservative views of the Republicans with the National Socialist views of Remer, which was clearly the intention of the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung also was the only one of Germany’s bigger daily newspapers that again trotted out the fable of the supposedly long-ago refuted Rudolf expert report, based on the dpa notice:
"According to information from competent chemists, hydrogen cyanide compounds disintegrate within a few months from the effects of weather and are no longer detectable."
With this perpetual falsehood, the point was made to every uninitiated reader that the Rudolf expert report was the technically worthless hack-job of an incompetent chemist. At the beginning of the trial on November 23, 1994, the Böblinger Bote had spread the same nonsense:
"According to expert opinion, no traces of cyanide can be found after 50 years since they disintegrate quickly."
In their report of 1997, p. 64, even the Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bayerisches Amt für Verfassungsschutz) has the nerve to repeat that nonsense.
In view of the supposedly proven pseudo-science in the Rudolf expert report, the newspapers avoided the words "expert report" or printed them in quotation marks and also characterized it as a "hack-job" (StZ, November 23, 1994). However, on that date, November 23, 1994, the court declared that it did not consider itself competent to decide to what extent the expert report satisfied scientific criteria. It avoided the issue of scientific evidence by attributing to Rudolf the preface and epilogue written by Remer’s friend in Remer’s version and sentenced Rudolf on that basis.
In a wider context, Hans Westra, Director of the Anne Frank Foundation in the Netherlands, has commented on the technical correctness of the Rudolf expert report. The Anne Frank Foundation is one of the most well-known of the institutions world-wide that occupy themselves with uncovering and documenting proofs of the Holocaust. In response to the question of a journalist as to whether the scientific conclusions of the Rudolf expert report were correct, Hans Westra replied:
"These scientific analyses are perfect. What one cannot determine is how this Rudolf got them, how he obtained the samples."
Certainly Mr. Westra could not restrain himself from casting doubt on the authenticity of the samples, since established researchers seem to be able to find no other loop-hole in the scheme of arguments in the Rudolf expert report.
News for Public Instruction
The day of the announcement of the sentence in the case of Germar Rudolf may be the only one in which the media outside the local region reported on it. As mentioned above, the Süddeutsche Zeitung devoted an extensive story to the sentence.
Also, on June 23, 1995, the nationwide TV news show heute of the ZDF (German public Television 2) felt called on to write a short story reporting that the diplom chemist Germar Rudolf had been sentenced to 14 months imprisonment without probation on account of an expert report on the gas chambers of Auschwitz. Since as the media outside the local region had reported almost nothing on the case previous to this, the normal television viewer would hardly know what to do with this very brief piece of information. Therefore, the report can have had only one purpose: It should be made clear to every potential technical witness Republic-wide that those who voice views about the Holocaust complex that deviate from those officially allowed-however factually correct, reputable, scientific and perhaps even professionally correct-will be thrown in jail without probation.
The news reports of the local press on May 6, 1996, ran in the same direction after my application for a revision of the verdict was turned down by the German Federal Supreme Court. They hinted to the reader that the scientist Rudolf had been sentenced because of his expert report, which had come to an incorrect conclusion and thereby denied the Holocaust. It apparently did not interest anyone that the expert report had not been an issue at the trial. Naturally, the Böblinger Bote could not restrain itself from digging up the dpa lie again:
"In opposition to competent scientific authorities, the Jettingen chemist asserted that mass-killing of humans with hydrogen cyanide would leave traces of cyanide in the masonry of the remaining buildings in the camp, but no such traces can be found."
That the extremely harsh sentence against Rudolf was due to reasons of public instruction, and thus for the purpose of frightening any scientist who might play with the idea of publishing a deviating opinion (general prevention), was also the opinion of the Böblinger Bote on June 27, 1996:
"No probation was granted for the sentence of 14 months imprisonment handed down in June last year on grounds of general prevention."
In March of 1996, Germar Rudolf went into exile. The press initially lost track of him and for the time being, lost interest as well. This changed in the fall of 1999, when British journalist Chris Hastings (34) set about tracking him down in England. Since Rudolf had registered, as required by law, and residency records are open to the public, it was not difficult to establish that Rudolf was residing in England. In addition, Rudolf had listed his post office address on his website (PO Box 118, Hastings TN34 3ZQ.) Chris Hastings succeeded in locating the apartment in which Rudolf was registered. He left a note requesting an interview. Rudolf granted his request by allowing him a two hour interview at Victoria station in London. The content of this interview concerned primarily the present state of human rights in Germany as well as the official persecution of Rudolf. But as Rudolf suspected, Hastings was not interested in the present state of human rights in Germany. In Hastings’ article in the Sunday Telegraph of Oct. 17, 1999, the subject was not even mentioned. Instead, under a subtitle demagogically slandering Rudolf as a "neo-nazi", Hastings wrote:
"He [Rudolf] confirms that, during his stay in Britain, he has forged links with far-Right extremists including members of the National Front and the British National Party.[...]
‘In Britain I work as an Holocaust revisionist 24 hours a day. My work has brought me into contact with people on the far Right. I have met leading members of the National Front and the British National Party while I have been in England.’"
In the worst tradition of yellow journalism, Hastings took individual words and phrases totally out of context and rearranged them to suit his sensationalistic purposes. Rudolf never uttered such sentences, with the exception of the sentence about working 24 hours a day for revisionism. It is a fact that, in the spring of 1999, Rudolf met with Nick Griffin and discussed Griffin’s experiences with the British justice system. The year before, Griffin was, among other things, accused of having published an article with revisionist statements in a small right-wing periodical edited by himself, but he had been acquitted. Because of Rudolf’s own exposed position, and because he had extensively reported on official censorship in his publication Vierteljahreshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung (VffG) before, Rudolf was naturally very interested in Griffin’s story, but he was not interested in Griffin’s organizational memberships or functions. Before this meeting, Rudolf was not aware that Griffin held a leading position in the nationalist British National Party. However, during the meeting, Griffin informed him that he aspired to chairmanship of the party, to which position he was subsequently elected. When asked by Hastings whether he was in contact with members of the political right, Rudolf straightforwardly told him of the conversation with Griffin. Hastings used this to suggest to his readers that Rudolf had forged contacts with the organizational leadership of the leading rightwing extremist parties of England. But to the best of his knowledge, Rudolf has never made contact with any member of the National Front.
Hastings went so far as to interview Rudolf’s former landlady, whom he absurdly quoted as follows:
"Sheila Evans, Rudolf’s former landlady, said: ‘I remember he said he was a writer working for journals in Germany. I was struck by how clean he left the house when he left. He stripped it bare. I think he was trying to cover his tracks.’"
In fact, when he negotiated the tenancy contract in July 1996, Rudolf had told his landlady that he will write for a German periodical. (VffG first appeared in spring of 1997, published by the Flemish organization Vrij Historisch Onderzoek). Mrs. Evans was the most ferocious house-dragon that Rudolf ever met. When Rudolf moved out, he had to repair and repaint every little scratch on the skirting boards, every bit of chipped enamel on door frames and heaters, every tiny dent in the walls before she would return his deposit. Surely it was normal behavior for Rudolf to take his belongings with him when he moved out. It seems that when people read about their neighbors in the newspapers, they see ghosts and goblins everywhere.
Chris Hastings continued to make Rudolf’s presence and activities known to a very large number of nosy and peculiar people. He prompted them to agree that England needs a law to protect holocaust lore against scientific examination. And he prompted them to agree that Rudolf should be extradited to Germany immediately.
The results were not long in coming. The established media in Germany ground out another sensationalistic story. "Indicted Neo-nazi in Great Britain", blared the dpa (German Press Agency) on October 18, 1999 (it was printed on the 19th in Rheinpfalz and other places.) "Holocaust denier hiding out in England" announced the leftwing Stuttgarter Nachrichten on October 21, page 4. On October 31, Chris Hastings jubilantly announced in the Sunday Telegraph that Germany would now seriously pursue Rudolf’s extradition. He predicted that England would comply because Rudolf had not been convicted for holocaust denial, but for incitement to racial hatred, which is a violation of English law, too. On October 22, the local press in Hastings, where Rudolf resided, chimed in with "Fleeing neo-nazi uses base in Hastings" (The Hastings and St. Leonards Observer). The monthly English manhunter tabloid Searchlight joined the hunt in December with "Auschwitz liar hides out in Britain" on page 13. Chris Hastings added more wood to the flames in his update of January 16, 2000: "Neo-nazi accused of ‘racial hatred’ goes on the run [...] Germany has issued an international arrest warrant for Germar Rudolf, who fled to England to escape a prison sentence for inciting racial hatred."
The manhunt turned completely into hysteria with a BBC report about Rudolf on March 28, 2000, which was repeated the day after by the south English regional TV station ITV. Six or seven photographs of Rudolf were shown during the report which had been taken from Rudolf’s website www.vho.org. The public was warned to beware of this "nazi sympathizer". The audience must have gained the impression that Rudolf was so dangerous that he was running around murdering people. Mr. Michael Whine of the British Jewish Board of Deputies was pleased to appear before the cameras and announce that regarding Rudolf, England was dealing with a "new breed of dangerous nazis". The local press chimed in once more with "Escaped Neo-nazi still hiding in Hastings [...] he [...] was still being hunted." (The Hastings and St. Leonards Observer, March 31, 2000). Obviously, the powers that be are striving to familiarize the local populace with Rudolf’s likeness and condition them to be afraid of him. It wants them to complain to the police about the desperado in their midst.
On May 27, 2000, Günther Hoerbst of the Hamburger Abendblatt reported on a report of the Israeli university of Tel Aviv entitled "Anti-Semitism Worldwide 1998/99":
"Twelve pages of the report are dedicated to Germany. The report complains about the growing acceptance of the holocaust lie, primarily by means of the internet and rightwing extremist groups. The report acknowledges that present German legislation provides the most ‘advanced and effective attempts at combating the holocaust lie’, but ‘it nevertheless is a growing phenomenon’. For instance, the leading German holocaust liar Rudolf continues to disseminate his writings over the internet from foreign countries, even though he has been convicted and sentenced in Germany."
What a pity that is!
So far, the only more or less impartial article about Rudolf has appeared on January 7, 2000, in the Los Angeles Times, in connection with the Irving vs. Lipstadt trial. It was written by Kim Murphy.
Freedom of the Press = A Truthful Press?
Against several of the above-mentioned media pieces, namely those where the person of Germar Rudolf himself had been attacked, it would have been possible to demand a right of reply in the press. However, with respect to factually false assertions such as the fabricated dpa notice which did not touch Rudolf personally, there can be no recourse under current law.
The District Court of Stuttgart sentenced Germar Rudolf to 14 months imprisonment without probation for the reasons that Rudolf was deeply marked with anti-Semitism, that he was entangled in a revisionist and right-wing extremist environment, and that he was obviously a fanatical, politically motivated criminal. In that moment, the court gave the media license to vilify and malign Germar Rudolf without let or hindrance, since in the Federal Republic of Germany, anyone labeled as an anti-Semite or right-wing extremist is a de facto outlaw. That the court did not find that Rudolf was a right-wing extremist, merely that he had had dealings with supposedly "right-wing extremist" persons, was of secondary importance and in view of the media practice of imputing guilt by association no cause to hold back. Rudolf’s applications for rebuttal in the press were denied out-of-hand, since in the meantime the version of the story spread by the press had been confirmed by the courts.
In a democracy, the people are the sovereign. Should the voice of the people become the voice of God not only with respect to power, but also partly with respect to infallibility, care must be taken that the people are comprehensively and truthfully informed. In this modern information age, the media play the central role in forming the public will. For this reason, it must be guaranteed that the people are comprehensively and truthfully informed.
The intentional presentation of false and one-sided information to the public must automatically lead to false conceptions of reality and thence to unwise political decisions. The intentional presentation of disinformation through suppression of news or spreading of false news should be considered one of the most serious crimes of a political nature that can be committed in a democracy.
The question of the executive and judicial means by which the people can be guaranteed to be kept comprehensively and truthfully informed is bound to be a difficult one in view of the fundamental freedoms of press and speech. It would be necessary to require, for example, that the media be subject to democratic control in that the formation of political or economic monopolies would be prevented. One proposal would be to allow access to the media in their area of operations to political parties proportional to the vote they received or to socially-concerned organizations (such as religions) proportional to their membership, without a limiting minimum percent.
Also the right of reply in the press should be expanded such that it should apply not only when a person’s reputation is harmed, but also when it can be shown that a news item is grossly one-sided or wrong, and that the truth itself has been harmed.
The criminal prosecution of persons of whom it can be proven that they deliberately composed and distributed false information is problematic, since the proof of the assertion that a journalist deliberately spread false news-that he lied-could only rarely succeed. The simple assertion that the journalist must have known that his report was not true since all others knew it should never suffice.
After all, I think we do not need laws to censor liars, but laws that punish censors. That alone can be a remedy for the escalating censorship in modern Europe.
|||Appeared in Staatsbriefe 2-3/1996, Verlag Castel del Monte, Postfach 14 06 28, 80456 Munich, pp. 23-30.|
|||The uninitiated reader may be unaware that in Germany there is a division of the Criminal Police called the State Security Department which prosecutes politically motivated crimes. This department, by far the largest of the criminal offices, has separate areas for right-wing extremist, left-wing extremist, and foreign-influenced political crimes, respectively. Those employed in one department tend to have a political opinion hostile to their target group. For example, those in the right-wing extremist department tend to have left-wing, anti-fascist orientations. In addition, the German Federal court system includes State Security Chambers whose only work is to punish politically motivated crimes. The prosecutors who work in these courts were politically trained to deal with such crimes.|
|||This house search concerned the commented version of my expert report distributed by Remer.|
|||This house search was due to suspicion of participation in the production and distribution of the newsletters Remer Depesche and Deutschland Report. (See http://www.nationaljournal.org)|
|||This house search concerned the revisionist anthology edited by my under the pseudonym Ernst Gauss entitled Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte. Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte, ibid. 1994 (online: codoh.com/inter/intgrundex.html); Dissecting the Holocaust, Theses & Dissertations Press, Capshaw, AL, 2000, pp. 555-559 (online: www.vho.org/GB/Books/dth/fndwood.html)|
|||R. Kammerer, A. Solms (ed.), Das Rudolf-Gutachten, Cromwell, London 1993 (online: www.vho.org/D/rga).|
|||Daily newspapers, such as Süddeutsche Zeitung, Stuttgarter Zeitung, Südwestpresse-Verbund (March 29, 1994), taz, Frankfurter Rundschau (March 30, 1994).|
|||Telephone conversation of K. Philipp, Frankfurt/Main, March 30, 1994.|
|||Telephone conversation of G. Rudolf, Jettingen, March 30, 1994.|
|||Press release, G. Rudolf on April 8, 1994.|
|||D. Ebeling’s response to numerous queries to the Stuttgarter dpa bureau, April 13, 1994.|
|||In the referenced book by Max Frisch, Herr Biedermann played just the opposite role of a paper criminal, he was the victim of a criminal (and his own gullibility). But this fact was not made clear to the viewer.|
|||Cf. E. Gauss (ed.), Dissecting the Holocaust, op. cit.aaO. (note 5), pp. 31-34.|
|||There is a detailed discussion of this broadcast in: W. Schlesiger, Der Fall Rudolf, Der Fall Rudolf, Cromwell, London 1994 (Engl. online: www.vho.org/GB/Books/trc/index.html); there Rudolf disputes that he hid behind the pseudonym Ernst Gauss. He had admitted that in the trial in the District Court of Stuttgart, ref. 17 KLs 83/94.|
|||Cf. chapter 11.4.2. in this volume.|
|||Should be: Germar. Error in Original.|
|||Cf. "About true and false Perceptions" (www.vho.org/GB/Books/cq/percept.html).|
|||Cf. Die Welt, May 15, 1995: "Unterstützen Unternehmer die rechtsextremen Szene?" (Do Businesses Support the Right-wing Extremist Scene?). As a result of this broadcast, Germar Rudolf’s employer was placed under such pressure from his customers, suppliers, competitors, and employees that he terminated Herr Rudolf’s employment contract.|
|||Knaur, Munich, May 1995.|
|||Süddeutscher Rundfunk, in all four afternoon radio programs on Nov. 25, 1994.|
|||The video of this program distributed by the Süddeutscher Rundfunk was correspondingly labeled with the caption "Neo-Nazi".|
|||Because of the Remer’s commented version, the University of Stuttgart refused to give Rudolf an appointment to take the rigorosum, the final examination for his PhD title.|
|||Confidential letter of G. Rudolf to H. Herrmann, Dec. 20, 1992, Computer Data File 2, sheet 222, in records of the District Court Stuttgart, ref. 17 KLs 83/94, introduced Dec. 6, 1994.|
|||Letter to K. Philipp on March 1, 1993, Investigation File 1, sheet 351, in records of the District Court Stuttgart, ref. 17 KLs 83/94, introduced on Dec. 17, 1994.|
|||Response of G. Rudolf to accusation May 1994, introduced in trial before District Court Stuttgart, ref. 17 KLs 83/94, on March 17, 1995 in chambers, in records.|
|||H. Lummert thinks that one should stay with the abbreviation for BRD: "Bubisrepublik Deutschland" (Bubis Republic Germany). Approximately 30 witnesses testified that they had never heard Germar Rudolf make anti-Semitic remarks and that he had even protested against their use. There was no contrary testimony. The media likewise ignored a speech at an academic fraternity by Rudolf to students which was clearly pro-Jewish. On May 9, 1995, the court verified that the speech had taken place.|
|||SDR 3, June 23, 1995, 13:30 hours.|
|||Verdict of the District Court Stuttgart, ref. 17 KLs 83/94, pp. 15, 156ff. As evidence the court used an unpublished writing of the accused. In it, Rudolf commented how the confirmation of revisionist theses might embarrass Jews. Records of the District Court Stuttgart, ref. 17 KLs 83/94, Computer Data File 3, introduced on Jan. 26, 1995. Where there is racism in these speculative remarks is unclear.|
|||BRT 1 (Belgian Television), Panorama, April 27, 1995.|
|||Kreiszeitung Böblinger Bote and Gäubote/Südwestpresse-Verbund, May 6, 1996.|
|||Jessica Berry and Chris Hastings, "German neo-Nazi fugitive is found hiding in Britain", The Sunday Telegraph, Oct. 17, 1999; repeated on Oct. 18, 1999 in the Independent.|
|||Address: Castle Hill Publishers, PO Box 118, Hastings TN34 3ZQ, UK; online: http://vho.org/VffG|
|||This was echoed, e.g., by the Australian Jewish News, Nov. 5, 1999.|
|||The German matching piece to this periodical, blick nach rechts, started its campaign as late as June 2000 with a contribution by Thomas Pfeiffer in the same style, of course.|
|||Online at: http://www.codoh.com/newsdesk/000107.html.|
|||This is the trick used to send revisionists to jail: Since everyone knows that the Holocaust happened, revisionists must know it also. When they still assert the opposite, they must do so wittingly and therefore they lie. Whoever lies has evil intentions and therefore belongs behind bars. Such is the logic of terror.|
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