Tuesday, 27 April 1999
INSTITUTE FOR HISTORICAL REVIEW P.O. Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659
USA Tel. 949 - 631 1490. Fax: 949 - 631 0981 Web site: www.ihr.org
Dr. Fredrick Toben, an Australian historian and educator, has been arrested and is being detained in Germany for "incitement to hatred," insulting Jews, denying genocidal acts of the Third Reich regime, and "denigrating the memory of the [Jewish] dead," because he has challenged Holocaust extermination allegations in his Australia-based monthly newsletter and on an Australia-based Internet web site.
Toben, director of the Adelaide Institute historical center in South Australia, was taken into custody on April 8, 1999, during a private meeting in the Mannheim office of public prosecutor Hans-Heiko Klein.
Ironically, Toben was meeting with Klein to discuss German laws that prohibit disagreement with an official view of Second World War history, especially regarding the wartime treatment of European Jews. Toben faces up to five years imprisonment.
Centered in South Australia's largest city, and funded by donations, the Adelaide Institute was founded in 1994 by Toben, who directs its work and edits its twice-monthly newsletter (P.O. Box 3300, Norwood 5067, Australia).
Disputing Holocaust extermination claims is illegal in Germany, Israel, France, and a few other countries, but it is legal in most countries, including Australia.
Adelaide Institute acting director Geoff Muirden calls the arrest "entrapment." Dr. Toben, he says, was having "a private conversation with an official, who then decided to arrest him for `thought crimes'." "By what right does Germany impose its censorship" on an Australian-based Internet web site?," Muirden added. "Germans are not obliged
to view such material, whereas they are obliged to accept the orthodox view of the Holocaust."
John Bennett, president of the Australian Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), says that Dr. Toben was arrested "under draconian anti-free-speech laws." Calling this a "classic free speech case," he is urging people to contact German embassies and other appropriate German agencies to protest Toben's arrest. Bennett has also helped organize a legal defense fund to secure the historian's release. Donations should be sent to: ACLU, P.O. Box 1137, Carlton, Vic. 3053, Australia. Checks should be made out to "ACLU, Toben Defense Fund."
In London, historian David Irving promptly condemned Dr. Toben's arrest as an "outrage." The best-selling British author is himself banned from Germany for his dissident views on Second World War history.
Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA), an independent on-line free speech group, has also spoken out against Toben's arrest, expressing particular concern that German authorities are treating material posted on an Australia-based web site as if it had been published in Germany. EFA chairman Kimberley Heitman, who is also a lawyer, says that the German government is, in effect, trying to legislate for the entire world.
The Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a research and publishing center in southern California, strongly protests Toben's arrest. "This attempt by German authorities to, in effect, impose its odd censorship laws on another country makes the Toben case particularly disgraceful," says IHR Director Mark Weber. The revisionist history "think tank" closely monitors restrictions on free speech and free historical inquiry in Germany and other countries.
Among those who have been imprisoned in Germany in recent years for expressing skepticism of the official view of the wartime treatment of Europe's Jews are Günter Deckert, an educator and political figure, and Udo Walendy, an author and publisher.
Toben was born in northern Germany in 1944, but emigrated to Australia when he was ten. He has lived most of his life in his new homeland, and is an Australian citizen. He studied at universities in Australia and Germany, and holds a doctorate in philosophy. He has worked as a school teacher in Victoria, Australia.
[ Translation, by Mark Weber, of German Arrest Warrant against Toben (excepts): ]
Legal No. 42 Gs 830/99
Public Prosecutor, Mannheim Reference No. 503 Js 9551/99.
ARREST WARRANT (Haftbefehl) of 9 April 1999, against the accused:
Dr. Gerald Fredrick Toeben [sic], born on 2 June 1944, resident of Adelaide, Australia. Australian citizen.
The accused is remanded to investigative custody (Untersuchungshaft) [that is, to be jailed until trial], because,
since 1996, and most recently between January and April of 1999, he sent, by post from Adelaide, Australia, to recipients in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany, among other things, a monthly Adelaide Institute newsletter, for which he is the responsible editor, as well as the Vierteljahreshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung ["Quarterly Journal for Free Historical Research"], which he also produced [sic], the identical contents of which have also been circulated worldwide by Internet.
In these "newsletters" the accused claims and presents, often with the use of supposed quotations, as well as by reference to, among other things, "supporting" literature that is available on the Internet, which is consciously contrary to historical truth, at least partially identifying with the Nazi persecution measures, in a pseudo-scholarly style, characterized by a tendency to exonerate National Socialism of the stigma of the murder of the Jews, to intensively influence the sensibilities and passions of the reader, by denying the annihilation of the Jews planned by the National Socialist rulers, the denial of the existence of gas chambers for the mass killing of Jews, by denigration of the survivors of the genocide and of the memory of the Jews murdered during the mass annihilation, with the claim that the mass annihilation is an invention of the Jews, and serves to oppress the German people.
An example is "A KGB Novelist: Gerald Fleming," which was downloaded from the Internet Vierteljahreshefte on 8 April 1999.
[ Text, two and a half pages in length, of "Ein KGB Novelist: Gerald Fleming," an exchange of letters from August 1996, with commentary ]
Through Internet links the accused presents "supporting literature" to interested persons. These include, among other things, references to extreme right-wing and anti-Semitic sources, including, for example, the Institute for Historical Review, the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust, Germar Rudolf, Jürgen Graf, David Irving and, above all, the "Zündelsite," where the following summary [listing item titles] of "unambiguous thinking," which the accused identifies with, can be found and downloaded.
[ Listing of titles of 22 "Zündelsite" items, including "Did Six Million Really Die?," "The Holocaust: Let's Hear Both Sides," "The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth," "The Liberation of the Camps: Facts vs. Lies," "Auschwitz: Myths and Facts," "Inside the Auschwitz Gas Chambers," "What is Holocaust Denial?," "Pressac's New Auschwitz Book." ]
The claims of the accused as well as the literature offered and distributed by him are suited to awaken and stir up emotionally hostile attitudes toward Jews in general and, in particular, against Jews who live in the Federal Republic of Germany. They are also suited to shake the confidence in public security of the targeted Jewish portion of the population.
Thus, on repeated occasions, the accused,
A. in a manner suited to disturb the public peace, 1. incited a portion of the population to hatred, and, 2. attacked the human dignity of others, by insulting, by malevolently making contemptuous, or by libeling a portion of the population,
B. publicly denied, in a manner designed to disturb the public peace, a genocidal act carried out under National Socialist rule,
C. insulted others, and
D. denigrated the memory of the dead.
These acts are violations of the German criminal code (StGB), punishable according to Sections 130 (sub-sections 1 and 3), 185, 189, 194, 52, 53, and 9 (sub-section 1).
Toben is suspected of these things on the basis of an investigation, seized evidence, and a review of Internet material.
The accused faces severe punishment. If released, the danger exists that he will avoid punishment by fleeing to his homeland of Australia.
On 15 April 1999, Toben's German attorney, Ludwig Bock, issued a formal complaint (Beschwerde) against the Arrest Warrant. In this complaint, Bock asks that the Warrant be withdrawn, or at least that Toben be released on bail.
Bock points out that the Warrant does not specifically cite anything that has been published by Toben since 1996. For this reason alone the Warrant is invalid. Bock also writes that no supporting evidence is cited for many of the specific allegations made against Toben in the Arrest Warrant.
Bock writes that the one item that is specifically cited and quoted, "A KGB Novelist: Gerald Fleming," is simply a record of an exchange of views from 1996 that is not a sufficient basis for arrest or detention.
The 22 listed "Zündelsite" items are only punishable if they have been indexed by the federal indexing agency (Bundesprüfstelle). The Warrant says nothing about this, nor anything about the contents of these items.
Bock concludes by saying that the Arrest Warrant should be withdrawn, considering the possible damage, especially in Australia, to Germany's reputation as a free, democratic state of law.
CONTACT IN AUSTRALIA: <[email protected]> and <[email protected]>
AAARGH just adds that the factual basis of this warrant is a sand castle. Poor Heiko Klein has the facts wrong on several accounts. These lousy and lazy prosecutors, like Klein, have the liberty to jail someone, but are not even able to build a clean and clear cut case against those they sent to jailed. Rogue sheriffs. What a disgrace!
Our advise: NEVER GO TO GERMANY, OR PERISH.
This text has been displayed on the Net, and forwarded to you as a tool for educational purpose, further research, on a non commercial and fair use basis, by the International Secretariat of the Association des Anciens Amateurs de Recits de Guerre et d'Holocauste (AAARGH). The E-mail of the Secretariat is <[email protected]. Mail can be sent at PO Box 81475, Chicago, IL 60681-0475, USA..
We see the act of displaying a written document on Internet as the equivalent to displaying it on the shelves of a public library. It costs us a modicum of labor and money. The only benefit accrues to the reader who, we surmise, thinks by himself. A reader looks for a document on the Web at his or her own risks. As for the author, there is no reason to suppose that he or she shares any responsibilty for other writings displayed on this Site. Because laws enforcing a specific censorship on some historical question apply in various countries (Germany, France, Israel, Switzerland, Canada, and others) we do not ask their permission from authors living in thoses places: they wouldn't have the freedom to consent.
We believe we are protected by the Human Rights Charter:
ARTICLE 19. <Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.>The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, in Paris.