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Judge Rebuked, Penalized for Claiming That Crematoriums at Auschwitz Were Not for Extermination

A retired judge who claimed that the crematoriums at Auschwitz were used for baking bread, not exterminating people, was strongly rebuked by a panel of magistrates in Hamburg today and penalized by having his pension reduced 20 percent for the next five years. The special disciplinary committee of his peers acted in the case of Wilhelm Staeglich, 58, a former official of the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) who resigned from the Bench two years ago.

They found that an article written by Staeglich in an extreme right-wing magazine several years ago while he was still presiding as a judge infringed on the regulations governing the conduct of public officials and constituted an attempt to re-write history. Staeglich claimed in the article that when he visited Auschwitz in 1944 he found that the inmates lived “a comfortable camp life” under the watchful eyes of “considerate SS guards.” He denied that prisoners were gassed and cremated.