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Another Kangaroo Trial in the Fatherland

A young German man sent a copy each  of Germar Rudolf’s "Lectures on the Holocaust" to the mayor of Heilbronn as well as to the Catholic and Lutheran minister of his  Community.  He was promptly charged and tried before a magistrate's  court (Amtsgericht). 

Here is a brief description of what happened, as reported by Markus Haverkamp of Germany, a freelander, in somewhat awkward English.  

The court room was absolutely packed, many  visitors having to bring in chairs from other rooms in the building  so that they could still get a seat. The supporters were all  fabulously behaved - no laughing, sniggering, moaning, fidgeting,  whispering, etc., absolutely nothing. All were well dressed. 

The  judge - Frank Haberzettel - opened the proceedings at about 13.45.  He first verified Dirk's personal details, then the prosecutor read  the indictment. 

The usual stuff: Rudolf's book is full of  anti-Semitism, he incites to racial hatred, etc., etc. Zimmerman is  endangering the public peace by distributing said book, and  furthermore, Zimmerman wishes that the addressees spread this book. 

He demanded 9 months jail, no suspension of the sentence.

After Dirk's defending council pointed out that they would not be  bothering the court with motions to hear evidence, Haberzettel  proceeded to question the accused. 

The questions were very direct,  why had he sent the books? Does he agree with the content of  Rudolf's book? Has he read other, mainstream history books on WW2  history? Why had he sent the books to these specific people? In case  he were convicted, would he continue along this path after having  served the penalty for his crime? etc., etc. 

Dirk answered all  questions truthfully, calmly and clearly, mainly pointing out that  he doubts the veracity of the Holo story and demands the right to  the freedom of opinion and speech. The last question posed was  problematic, however, since Dirk was unwilling to lie. Haberzettel  repeated the question numerous times, Dirk finding it difficult to  answer truthfully without blowing all hope for an acquittal, yet at  the same time finding it imposible to lie.

After the questions had been answered to the judge's satisfaction,  Haberzettel called in a witness - the police officer who had  initially questioned Dirk. The officer told the court that Dirk  agreed with the contents of the book, and that he had made a polite  and decent impression on him. The statement given by the officer was  interesting in that he corroborated everything Dirk had  previously told the court. 

 The witness also told the court that Dirk  had crossed out the word "Deutsch" in the section of the protocol  declaring the person's nationality, and had replaced it with  "Deutsches Reich". Asked why he had done so, Dirk pointed out that  "Deutsch" is an adjective and cannot correctly be used to describe  nationality.

 Then came the closing statements. The prosecutor highlighted the  danger of denial and dissemination of such literature, referred to  Rudolf's book as a load of evil tosh, and described Dirk as a  confused and twisted fanatic. The usual stuff. 

 The defending council  then made his final statement, saying that even though he [himself] thoroughly  believes in the Holo, Dirk was a decent, polite chap who had done  nothing wrong and that he must be acquitted. 

 Finally, Dirk made his  closing statement, where he showed that the prosecutor was lying  when he said that Dirk asked the addressees of the book to  disseminate it, something Dirk had not done, and also showed that  being cast as a fanatic was absolutely ridiculous as he was only  interested in freedom of speech. All in all a good, solid short  speech that came from the heart.

 Haberzettel then withdrew for 40 minutes to consider how to rule in  this matter. At 15.35 he read out the verdict: 9 months jail,  sentence will not be suspended. 

 As reasons he stated that even  though freedom of speech is granted, this does not extend to the  Holo. There is no debating the Holo because it had taken place.  Again the usual stuff.

  As for the severity of the sentence, the judge  pointed out that Dirk had not taken the "golden bridge" he had  extended him, i.e. that Dirk had given the wrong answer to the final  question: would he continue on this path in the future? 

 Haberzettel  said that Dirk’s social prognosis was indeed good, as he's married,  has two children and does not have a criminal record. And then  literally: "Your criminal prognosis, however, is shocking, and I'm  confident that we have not seen the last of you here."

 And that was that: for sending Rudolf's book to three people, Dirk  Zimmerman, father of two, no criminal record, in a steady job, was  given nine months’ prison.