AMSTERDAM (May. 10)
An 82-year-old neo-Nazi in Hamburg backed away from a legal showdown Monday over his claim that the Diary of Anne Frank was a falsification.
Ernst Roemer, who publicly challenged the authenticity of the diary, the personal account of a Dutch-Jewish teen-ager who died in the Holocaust, decided not to appeal a fine imposed on him 10 years ago by a Hamburg lower court, his lawyer said.
The fine was the outcome of a lawsuit brought against Roemer, who failed to prove his contention. His appeal had gone through several stages and was about to be heard in Hamburg Monday.
Two Dutch witnesses were invited by the court to give testimony. Faced with refutations by Miep Gies, one of the neighbors who helped hide the Frank family, and Gerard Van Der Stroom of the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation, Roemer suddenly dropped his appeal.
His lawyer claimed he did so not because he changed his mind, but because of his advanced age.