The testimony of a German charged in connection with a film he made on Holocaust denial has been riddled with contradictions.
The German government recently began the prosecution in court of Ewald Althans, 29, a neo-Nazi leader who is accused of denying the Holocaust, known in Germany as the “Auschwitz lie,” and inciting racism in connection with his film “Profession: Neo-Nazi.”
Denial of the Holocaust is a criminal offense in Germany.
If found guilty, Althans faces up to five years in jail.
The film documents Althans’ activities through interviews with him and other neo-Nazis. When it was released at the end of 1993, the producers said they had wanted to show the young generation of neo-Nazis as they were.
But critics of the one-hour film argued that it had turned into a propaganda film, serving the causes of the neo-Nazi movement.
In his testimony, Althans said he is not a Nazi and that he had given up his ultranationalist views.
He also labeled the charges against him “lies.”
In one of the film’s scenes, Althans visiting American Jew, claiming that it was technically impossibly to gas the Jews and cremate them.
However. Althans said comments he made in the movie that he wanted to turn German youth into “respectably National Socialists” were merely a joke.
The movie was banned in Germany because of its content.
Althans also claimed that he participated in the movie to “draw an end line to his neo-Nazi activities.” But in brief sent in early 1994 to another Holocaust denier, British historian David Irving, Althans promises that the movie would show “millions of Germans that the gas chambers did not exist.”
Althans, who says he already had turned away from the extreme right in 1990, claimed that the letter was a “strategic white lie.”
Last year, Althans was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for having distributed racist propaganda, including anti-Semitic video clips produced during World War II.