German Neo-nazi Begins Two-year Prison Sentence
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German Neo-nazi Begins Two-year Prison Sentence

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A well-known German neo-Nazi has begun to serve a two-year jail sentence for inciting racial hatred, even though he still faces a recent arrest in connection with a book he co-published.

Gunter Deckert, the former head of the extreme right-wing National Democratic Party, was arrested Nov. 8 because the book “The Case of Gunter Deckert” contains anti-Semitic remarks. The book recounts his standing trial in Mannheim, Germany, for denying that the Holocaust ever occurred.

On Nov. 16, he began to serve a two-year sentence resulting from that case. Prosecutors had successfully argued that Deckert, a high school teacher, should serve the two years without delay.

In June 1994, Deckert received a one-year suspended prison term and was praised by the judges, causing concern in the Jewish community, among others.

Another trial was held in April 1995, and Deckert was sentenced to two years imprisonment for the translation and circulation of a speech by Fred Leuchter, an American Holocaust denier.

That verdict was upheld in October by a federal appeals court. Meanwhile, the chairman of the extremist right-wing Republicans has left the party to avoid being kicked out. Franz Schoenhuber, one of the party’s founders, was the author of a book glorifying his service with an SS unit during World War II.

He lately has come under heavy criticism for maintaining contacts with a notorious neo-Nazi activist, the Bavarian-based publisher Gerhard Frey.

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